5 Brilliant Cleaning Shortcuts
Even the mildest winter still brings its fair share of dirt, grime, and mustiness into the home, so an annual cleaning is a must-do down South. Use these five tips and tricks to get through your annual spring-cleaning checklist in a hurry.
1. Shake Up Carpets and Rugs
According to our grandmothers, there's very little that baking soda can't fix. If carpeted or rug-filled rooms have a lingering, musty winter smell, use the southern standby to freshen up. First, dust the carpet with a fine layer of baking soda; wait a few hours, and then vacuum up the powder.
2. Dust from Top to Bottom
First, use a large rubber band to secure a microfiber duster over the end of a long-handled broom; then, run it along the highest areas of the room—ceilings, crown molding, and light fixtures. Second, remove the cloth and use this cloth to wipe down window moldings, closed blinds, flat surfaces, and baseboards (in that order). Finally, use the broom (or a vacuum cleaner, if you have carpet) to collect any dust bunnies that made it to the floor.
3. Clean the Microwave
Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl, zapping the mixture in the microwave for 5 minutes. Without opening the door, set your microwave's timer for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to cool in the microwave. Remove the bowl and use a clean sponge to easily wipe out the mess—no elbow grease necessary.
4. Freshen the Disposal
Get rid of musty disposal odors by dropping a few cubes of ice and a handful of citrus peels (lemon is our favorite, but lime and orange peels work, too) down the drain and flipping the switch.
5. Run the Dishwasher—Without Dishes
Fill your dishwasher with plastic items that need a little extra attention, like pet supplies (food bowls, plastic chew toys, etc.), kids' toys, range knobs, gunky soap dishes, and makeup brushes. Just be sure to run the dishwasher with a gentle, all-natural dishwasher detergent on a delicate cycle.