Top Spring Cleaning Tips
Bid farewell to winter, spring is on the way. Whether it's time to give your house a new lease of life or get it ready to put on the market now is the time to tackle that list of jobs you have been putting off. Before you pick up a duster or dive into your wardrobe, here our top tips to help you clean up, de-clutter and revitalise your home with minimum fuss.
Duvets should be cleaned twice a year. Now is a great time to do it, as you switch between winter and summer quilts. Most domestic washing machines are too small to clean a duvet properly. Professional dry-cleaning is more likely to kill off dust mites and the allergens produced by them: this is particularly important for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems.
It’s a good idea to clean curtains at least once a year to extend their life and keep them looking as good as new. If the fabric's washable, you should be able to clean and iron them at home: ironing is most effective while they're still slightly damp.
Carpets gather a lot of dust, dirt and even fungi over time, all of which are unsightly, unhygienic and can be potential health hazards. To tackle those really stubborn bugs and stains, it's well worth hiring professional steam-cleaning equipment for a day. Prices start from around £20 a day but be warned, you might be shocked at how much dirt comes up.
To remove stains and odours from fabric, blot up as much of the mess as you can right away. Then clean with cold water as best you can. Blot and clean again. Cold water doesn't set stains as much as hot water, if there's still an odour, use a half-vinegar, half-water solution and rinse again. If that doesn't work, call in the professionals!
A cheap and effective way to tackle the job is to mix some bicarbonate of soda into a thick paste with a little water, then smear it inside your oven - including the door - and leave for a few hours or overnight. Then simply wipe it away with a damp sponge. No chemical cleaners required!
Now the sun is shining you’ll want your windows sparkling clean to let in the light. Using an old spray bottle to mix together 1tsp washing-up liquid, half a teacup of white vinegar and two teacups of warm water. Spray this solution on to your windows and use a soft, dust-free rag to wipe clean. Magic!
Other Useful Tips:
You can also clean bathroom and kitchen tiles with a bicarbonate of soda and water mixture, but a little more watered down. Simply apply the liquid with a mop for floors or with a cloth for walls – works for grout too.
For an easy spring time make over you can make a quick, easy change with different bedding, towels, and table linens to create a different mood. Changing soft furnishings seasonally, or for a special event, or whenever you just want to try a different colour or pattern can be achieved for a minimum of expense.
If your vases have become discoloured with grime and greenery over time, you can give them a new lease of life with a packet of frozen peas. Pour some frozen peas into the bottom of the vase, fill with cold water and swirl. The effect is like dermabrasion and will gently get rid of any build-up of grime.