Pick and Choose Your Spring Cleaning Tasks
Tackling a few of these sometimes-neglected details will help your home feel spring fresh
Tip: This project is best tackled once winter weather has receded so your pillows can air dry and get that sun-fresh scent. That said, if you’re eager to jump on this project, you could dry the pillows indoors, as long as you don’t leave them in a room that smells musty.
Tip: For extremely dirty windows, add vinegar or ammonia to your solution. Vinegar can cut through grease and built-up grime. To eliminate streaks after squeegeeing, Lewis advises using a dry cloth or newspaper.
Tip: To remove a stain, use a mixture of salt and lemon, baking soda or, as a last resort, a solution of bleach and water. (Keep in mind that bleach may discolor the wood.) If these methods don’t work, you might want to try sanding out the stain.
An alternative is to spread baking soda throughout the oven, then spray it with a solution of a quarter-cup of vinegar, two cups of hot water and a drop of dish soap to make a paste. Let that sit, then scrub off with a bristle brush or steel wool.
Tip: For stove-top rust stains, make a paste of cream of tartar and water and wipe it on in circles.
Tip: Lemons are another great natural cleaning product. They have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and you can use them for everything from bringing copper pans back to a shine — using a little lemon and salt — to cleaning your cutting board and teakettle.
Tip: After washing slipcovers, put them on while they’re still a bit damp for the best fit.
Tip: Instead of letting your zeal get ahead of nature’s timeline, Houzz contributor Benjamin Vogt advises, follow this calendar for tackling garden cleanup:
- Zone 7 or warmer: Wait until at least March 15
- Zone 6: Wait until at least April 1
- Zone 5: Wait until April 15 or later
- Zone 4: Wait until May 1 or later
- Zone 3 or colder: Wait until May 15 or later