Now that the Vernal Equinox – the first day of spring – has been and gone and the nights are lighter, it’s time to clean your home, ridding it of winter cobwebs and generally preparing for the summer. So, roll up your sleeves and give it some elbow grease and your house will be shiny, from top to bottom…
It’s time to focus on all those spots that often get missed: lampshades, skirting boards and the top of door frames are all places that get neglected, so make sure you pay them a little attention. It’s also the perfect time to ensure windows and doors are working properly. Clean the tracks on sliding windows and doors so you can enjoy cool summer breezes when the time comes. It’s also the ideal time to ensure your windows are gleaming – give them a clean by applying window cleaner and wiping over with a lint-free cloth. Dry them with a clean sheet of newspaper for a streak-free finish.
With so many appliances and white goods in 21st Century kitchens, we don’t often have time to clean them all on a regular basis – the arrival of spring is the perfect time to clean these, focusing especially on clearing out old food from the fridge, and canned, jarred and packaged goods from cupboards that have passed their expiry dates. In fact, it’s reported that most people only clean their fridge once or twice a year, so why not make an effort to wipe it out and clean any glass shelves and drawers at least once a month.
The oven is another appliance many people avoid cleaning regularly. Here, prevention is key; wipe any spills as they happen and don’t let grease build up. However, if you haven’t cleaned your oven since last spring, tough measure will be needed to clean away all those meals, with some debris probably left over from Christmas! Non-scratch scourer sponges are great for burnt offerings and generally getting rid of the first layer of grease and debris, but that fired on grease needs a good soak in the sink with dishwasher detergent. For inside the oven, an all-purpose oven cleaner is a great idea, as is eye protection as the last thing you want is to be splashed in the eye with strong cleaning fluid! Remove the all-purpose cleaner with clean, warm water and a sponge and wipe away any remaining grime with a non-scratch scourer pad.
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is one room in the house every member of the family uses on a daily basis, so it deals with a lot. The arrival of spring gives us the chance to clean those often forgotten about places, such as the shower head. Scientists from the University of Colorado in America have discovered that there’s a one in three chance that your shower head is harbouring significant levels of ‘Mycobacterium avium’, which can cause lung disease. To ensure your shower head isn’t delivering deadly disease-causing bacteria on a daily basis to your whole family, unscrew it and place it in boiling water in an old saucepan for 10 minutes. Do this once a month and you’ll be safe in the knowledge you’re actually having a clean shower.
Another place in the bathroom that can harbour bacteria that’s often missed during the weekly clean is the light cord. Around one third of men don’t wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, so your light cord and even door handle can become a breeding ground for an array of harmful bacteria. Just give the light cord and any bathroom handles a wipe with diluted bleach (50/50) every time you clean the bathroom.
As well as polishing bathroom mirrors, shower screens and windows, a ‘spring clean’ gives us the perfect excuse to clear out the bathroom cabinet; throw out anything half-used that you’ve not touched in the last six months, and throw out anything you don’t need any more.
The arrival of the warmer weather gives us the chance to clean duvets, blankets and pillows, but don’t forget to flip your mattress to help prevent sagging, increasing its lifespan. Spring is also the perfect time to clean out your wardrobe of anything you didn’t wear over the last 12 months, as well as re-introduce some of the summery clothes you did wear but packed away for the winter. Be strict and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or has holes in it that can’t be fixed. Once you’ve sorted out your wardrobe, pack away your winter clothes and throw in a mothball or two for good measure.