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8 best-ever spring cleaning tips

California Shutters 03/03/2017 10:53:07 Seasonal

Pic: Dotcomgiftshop
1 Clean like a pro
Professional cleaners go at housekeeping in a truly organised way to get the job done fast. Here’s how: in every room you clean, start to the left of the door and work around it in a clockwise direction until you’re back where you started. Clean from high (furniture) to low (the floor), so that any dust or crumbs that get knocked to the floor can be vacuumed up. Always use both hands at once: so, if you’re cleaning a window, spray with one hand and wipe down with the other; or if you’re scrubbing a worktop, have a cloth in each hand. Swap the cloths for old gloves for an even faster finish.
Pic: Harvey Norman
2 Wash and dry
If your soft furnishings look grubby, they probably give off a lived-in scent, too – so wait for a warm, sunny day to give them a proper wash. Anything that can go into the washing machine then on the line should, while a fabric shampoo, a steam-cleaner or even a trip to the dry cleaner will work wonders for anything that can’t. Need a quick fix? Chuck throws, blankets and even curtains (although we’re not sure why you’d have them if you could have shutters instead) into the tumble dryer with a dryer sheet and ice cube for 10 minutes or so. They’ll come out sweet-smelling and will stay wrinkle-free if you hang or fold them immediately. Then squirt everything (even curtains) with a fabric deodoriser once a week for rooms that smell fresh right through to summer.
3 Cut out the odours
What if your rugs, carpets, mattresses and windows are the ones giving off the pong? Perhaps it’s the puppy’s fault, maybe the toddler… even the teenager. Whatever, the trick is to use bicarbonate of soda, coffee grounds or vinegar to freshen them up (really). Simply sprinkle the bicarb or unused coffee grounds on to the floor or bed, leave overnight then vacuum up. The smell will be gone. As for the vinegar, wipe it over windows, lightbulbs and mirrors to banish everything from cooking odours to the smell of cigarette smoke. And yes, the room will smell of vinegar – briefly – so throw open the windows for half an hour or so to get rid of that, too.

Pic: California Shutters
4 Look underneath everything
Your table tops, chairs, sideboards, chest of drawers and everything else might be gleaming, but what lies beneath? If you have kids, we’d bet that the underside of table tops and dining chairs are smeared with whatever you’ve been feeding them for dinner for the past year or so. As for all those other pieces of furniture that sit close to the floor, you can be sure they’re hiding a whole world of fluff and dust, so get a clever dusting tool designed especially to fit into narrow spaces or hunt down the vacuum’s narrowest nozzle to suck it up. The room might not look cleaner to everyone else, but you’ll know…

Pic: California Shutters
5 Make your shutters shine
We all know that plantation shutters are super-easy to keep looking like new – all they need is a quick dust down once in a while. But what about the greasy fingerprints that build up over time? We’d recommend that once every two or three months, you dust off your shutters (or using the softest brush, carefully vacuum them), then give them a gentle clean with warm soapy water, finishing off by drying the slats and frames with a microfibre cloth. Job done.

Pic: Harvey Norman
6 Put the dishwasher to work
Save yourself time and get a really professional shine by putting anything that can safely go into the dishwasher on the gentlest cycle. We’re talking grubby glass light fixtures (minus the electrics, obviously), wire kitchen drying racks, toothbrush holders, kids’ toys, candle holders… as long as it can stand the heat, it’s a trick that will conserve your much-needed elbow power.
7 Use a lint-roller for dusting
Yes, really, that thing you use for getting cat hair off your best suit makes a really good cleaning tool. Perfect for removing dust (and of course pet hair) from lampshades, the back of sofas, an upholstered headboard, chair seats… and it saves you getting the vacuum cleaner out.

Pic: California Shutters
8 Give the bathroom a quick once over
Limescale remover is genius at making taps shine like new (making sure you follow the instructions on the bottle), but if your grout is grimy, you can quickly make it gleam again by diluting household bleach with water (1:4 should do it), then using a stiff brush – or old toothbrush – to apply the solution to the grout. We’d wear rubber gloves and glasses to be on the safe side, and be careful not to get the bleach on towels, walls and clothes. Let the mixture sit on the grout for a few minutes then scrub and rinse it off. While you’re there, mix half a cup of bicarb with quarter of a cup of table salt, and pour it down whiffy, sluggish plug holes, followed by a cup of vinegar (it’ll foam and bubble, so stand back and open a window). Let it stand for 15 minutes, the run the hot tap for 30 seconds. Hey presto, lovely clear drains.