Spring cleaning tips and tricks
Grab some rubber gloves - it's time go to war on grimy grouting, greasy ovens and sticky TV screens! Whether you're in the mood to de-clutter a chaotic wardrobe or take on a mucky mess, we've got all the tips you need to make spring cleaning easy.
Make your bathroom sparkle
You don't need to use harsh chemicals to make your bathroom sparkle. Simply mix two-parts baking soda to one-part vinegar to create an eco friendly cleaning paste. Remember to use white vinegar rather than malt or your bathroom will smell like a chip shop! Shower the tiles with hot water to loosen the dirt then apply the paste with a damp cloth, leave for five minutes and wipe clean. Scrub the tiles with an old toothbrush for really grimy grouting.
%VIRTUAL-AFCSponserAds%Turn your mattress
There are more than two million dust mites in the average mattress. Not a nice thought. What's worse, the little critters live off dead skin and produce faeces that can cause allergies and exacerbate asthma, eczema and rhinitis. Dust mites are invisible to the naked eye and thrive in warm, humid conditions - making your bed an ideal breeding ground.
Open the windows, turn the mattress over and give it a good vacuum. Replace old pillows (10% of their weight is likely to be dead skin) and invest in a new mattress if yours has seen better days. Wash your bedding at 60 degrees centigrade and don't dry your clothes in the bedroom, as this will increase humidity.
Spring clean your wardrobe
Empty the contents of your wardrobe into three piles – clothes you wear regularly, those you don't and those that need mending. Fix the clothes that need mending this weekend or put them in for recycling. If you haven't worn something for a year, you're not likely to wear it again. This pile can go to the charity shop.
Clothes you wear regularly can be put back into the wardrobe. Clothes you want to keep but don't wear often should be washed, dried thoroughly and packed away in a suitcase or plastic container under the bed – anywhere that's clean, cool, dark and dry.
How to clean your oven
Check to see if your cooker has a stay-clean lining. Most modern cookers have these – and it's important not to damage them with abrasive scrubbing. For ordinary enamel linings and oven floors, use a metal spatula to scrape away cooked-on deposits then soak with a cleaning fluid. Baking soda mixed with lemon juice will cut through grime just as well as shop- bought cleaners. If you are using a chemical cleaner, make sure to open the window to ventilate the room.
If the inside of your microwave is splattered with the debris of yesterday's dinner, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with warm water and microwave in a safe container for a couple of minutes. This will loosen and dampen any dried-on debris and remove any nasty odours.
Clean your TV screen
Televisions are a magnet for dust and children's sticky fingerprints. How you clean your set will depend on the type of screen you have, so read the manufacturer's instructions first. Don't forget to unplug the TV if cleaning with a damp cloth.
Use a 100% cotton or microfibre cloth for plasma or LCD screens. If the marks don't budge with a dry wipe, add a little water to the cloth. If this doesn't work, add a few drops of vinegar to the water. To avoid streaks, dry quickly with a separate soft cloth. Take care not to apply pressure to the screen as this can permanently damage the picture.
Have you given your home a major spring clean? Leave your tips below...