Spring has arrived and with it comes the warm air and sunny days. This is the time when we open the windows to let the fresh air in, replacing the stale air from winter and we start to think about doing a deep clean of our house.
- Clean in an organized manner. It is usually best to think of cleaning top to bottom, left to right. This way if you are cleaning a ceiling fan or the top of a cabinet, the dust is not falling on your nicely cleaned floors.
- Clean things you’d never think of cleaning normally. When was the last time you cleaned your mattress, shower curtain, indoor garbage bins, microwave, washing machine or dishwasher? If you have a mattress cover, throw it in the wash, otherwise wipe down the top of your mattress with hot water. Wash any indoor garbage bins with hot water, baking soda and soap.
- Dust with old wool clothing. Did you know that wool creates static when you rub it on a surface? This means you can wipe your furniture dust-free without using any polish or spray.
- Polish your Silver. There are a few ways to clean your silverware. You can use commercial cleaners or toothpaste. Whichever you are using, dab a bit onto a cloth and rub the silverware with it. Make sure you wash with soap and rinse thoroughly.
- Clean your drains. For seasonal treatments, you can purchase the chemical drain cleaners. For weekly maintenance, toss a handful of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. This will help prevent blockages.
- Clean your windows, inside and outside. A great homemade solution is 1/3 cup of white vinegar, a spoonful of dish soap mixed with 1 L of water. Great to use on the outside of the windows, so you are not damaging any gardens. A sponge works better to soak a window than a spray bottle to get the windows thoroughly wet. Do avoid cleaning in the bright sunlight as the cleaning solution will dry too quickly. Paper towels or newspaper (newspaper leaves no lint) work better to dry the inside of the windows (less mess) and a black rubber squeegee works best to dry the outside of a window.
- Clean your floors. Not just the courtesy clean we may sometimes do, but a good deep clean. If you have marble, tile or granite floors, use just hot water or a cleaner made especially for these types of floors. General cleaners can damage these types. For linoleum floors, hot water and soap works well to get all the dirt if you didn’t want to use commercial cleaners. For hardwood and laminate floors add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 1 L hot water and use 100% cotton terry towels to clean the floors. These will not scratch the sealant off the hardwood and laminate.
- Disinfect your cutting boards. For plastic cutting boards, put them in the dishwasher or microwave them on high for 30 seconds. For wood cutting boards, if you put them in the dishwasher, be sure to pull them out to air dry as the drying cycle on the dishwasher can damage them. Vinegar and lemon juice are also good for disinfecting and taking odors out of your favourite cutting board.
- Clean out your cupboards. Now is a great time to go through your pantry and purge. Get rid of any spices that you haven’t touched in a year or so, they do lose their flavour. Check the expiry date on all canned and boxed goods. Toss the ones that are expired. Donate to a local food bank any that are still good but you know you won’t be using before they expire. Open up your oils and take a sniff?? Oils can go rancid if left open and unused for too long. Properly dispose of the oil (not down your sink) with your local municipal waste management facility. Most now have the ability to accept fats, oils and grease from cooking for proper disposal.
- Clean out your Refrigerator and/or Freezer. In a similar fashion as your cupboards, now is a good time to go through and purge. Check the expiry dates on all bottled goods and toss any that are “past their prime”. Have leftovers in the fridge? If it has been longer than 3-4 days since the meal was made, it is safe to get rid of the leftovers. If you are uncertain about any food in your fridge…trust your nose. Your nose knows best and will let you know when something is off and not safe to eat anymore. Check out everything in the freezer, most meat can last for 1 year before freezer burn can damage it, vegetables and fruits are a couple of months. Health Canada does have great general food safety tips to reference on how long food can safely be stored in the refrigerator or freezer