With all this warm weather we’re having the last thing we want to be doing is cleaning! So I’ve done the research and found some “life hacks” for cleaning that go a long way and keep your home fresher, longer, allowing you to enjoy the much needed sunshine!
Toss out paper towels: Use microfiber cloths instead. When wet, they sanitize and clean floors, counters, glass and tile, and eliminate the need for other cleaning products. They're reusable (machine-wash, hang to dry) and cost about $5 for a two-pack. Save the environment and your pennies!
Use vinegar on everything: Diluted with water, vinegar is a household M.V.P. Use it for everything from laminate floors to chandeliers.
Clean while you cook: Linda Cobb suggests filling your sink with hot soapy water as you start dinner. "Place used dishes and pans in the filled sink so they'll be soaking while you eat," she says. Also, wipe up any spills immediately—don't give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around. Make relaxing time longer!
Cook your sponges: We all know that sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfect yours every night by squeezing it out and microwaving it on high for a minute. When it's shredded and smelly, replace it.
Shower doors made easy: Rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off. Or, try Rain-X Original Glass Treatment, a car-care product made to keep rainwater off your windshield. Use it twice a year.
Tame that drain: Keep drains free of hair and clogs by using a product like Drano or Liquid-Plumr to make sure potential clogs are gone, then pour boiling water down drains once a week to keep problem-free.
Squeegee kids: Dirty window panes are no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees, which are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper.
Keep drawers to a minimal: Most people have drawers full of clothes they don't wear, and their dresser tops then become repositories for things they can't store. Get rid of things you haven't worn in a year and vow to put away your clean laundry each week.
Dynamic ways to lose static: Since fabric softener and dryer sheets can strip towels of their absorbency, add ¼ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle or throw two (new, clean) tennis balls in your dryer to get rid of static electricity, soften fabrics and eliminate the need for dryer sheets.
Velcro labeler: Label the bottom of each electronic game controller (Xbox, for example), and then Velcro it to the console, suggests Linda Cobb. You'll never have to pick them up again (because you have angel children who will put them back after playing).
Lost, but never really lost: Every house needs one. Use a cute vintage lunch box or lidded storage container to stash lost game pieces, stray screws and buttons, and similar small items. When you’re missing an item, you'll know where to look first.
5-minute clean-ups: Do a 5-minute sweep through each room, taking a laundry basket with you. Place in it anything that doesn't belong in that room, then put away the stuff that does belong there. OR, do the logical thing and hand your child the basket and say “go!”
Stop clutter from the start: Mount a plastic or cloth shoe rack inside your front entry closet door, and use it to stash all kinds of living room and family room miscellany—toys, hats, gloves, magazines. Label these for each family member. You can even designate one of the pockets for mail you're not sure whether to save or toss.