Today (20th March) marks the first day of spring, signalling that it’s time to say goodbye to winter and hello to the warmer brighter months. Now that springtime is officially here, it’s time to start spring cleaning so your home is tidy, fresh and decluttered.
Cleaning isn't the most fun job in the world and it can take up a lot of time. Depending on how extensive you want your spring cleaning to be, you can simply vacuum your floors, clear out your fridge and cupboards, wipe down your kitchen surfaces, clean the windows and do your washing. These are all simple tasks that can make a huge amount of difference to the look, feel and smell of your home.
But if you’re planning to do a full deep clean this year, I’ve found 12 spring cleaning hacks that you need to try. The following tips and tricks are natural, time-efficient and can help save you money, while leaving your home sparkling.
1. Clean your vacuum, mops & cleaning supplies
First things first, it’s important to give your cleaning supplies like your vacuum cleaner, brushes, mops and sponges a wash before you start spring cleaning. Why? Well, you don’t want to start cleaning with tools that are dirty, as you’re simply transferring the dust and grime from them onto the rest of your home. Take time to give your supplies a quick clean, for example, empty the bin, clean the filter and detangle the brush head of your vacuum cleaner so it’s performing its best (see our guide on how to clean a vacuum cleaner for more).
2. Dust, dust, dust!
One of the easiest ways to give your home a spring clean is by dusting. Regardless of how often you clean your home, furniture, skirting boards, ceilings, shelves and blinds all collect dust. No one wants a dusty home, especially if you have allergies triggered by dust, so take a cloth or a feather duster and dust, dust, dust!
3. Scrub your oven with vinegar & bicarbonate of soda
Cleaning your oven is probably one of the worst jobs, as it’s time consuming, grubby and requires a lot of scrubbing. There are many different ways to clean an oven, and you can just head to your local supermarket and buy specially designed oven cleaners. However, if you’re trying to save money, you can use ingredients you already have around your house. According to Delish, using 65g of bicarbonate of soda with water to create a thick paste can save you scrubbing away at your oven. With this paste, use rubber gloves or a paintbrush to spread it on the walls and door of the oven, being careful to avoid any heating elements. Leave this overnight before filling a spray bottle with a half white vinegar and half water solution. Spray this over the paste (expect some fizzing!) and wipe it all away with a damp cloth.
4. Freshen your microwave with citrus
A handy hack to always keep in mind when cleaning is citrus like lemons, limes and oranges are brilliant at removing stains and freshening appliances. Microwaves are constantly getting splattered with food, so clean it by filling a microwave-safe bowl with water before adding lemon, lime or orange slices and juice into the water. Pop this into the microwave and put it on high power for 5 minutes until the window steams and the mixture boils slightly. Wait for this to cool down before removing the bowl and wiping down your microwave with a sponge.
5. Use dish liquid to remove stains from pans
If your pots and pans have tough stains on them that are hard to remove, you can soften these with water and dish liquid. Rather than doing this in the sink, put this mixture in your pan on a low heat and bring it to a simmer on the stove, says Good Housekeeping. Once it’s simmered, turn the heat off and let this cool down before giving your pan a scrub with a sponge to remove any stubborn bits that are still hanging on.
6. Get rid of dirty grout with an old toothbrush
If the grout between your kitchen or bathroom tiles are mucky, you can get rid of this dirt and brighten the grout with a toothbrush. Using the same trick as cleaning the oven, mix a bicarbonate of soda and water paste and rub this into the grout with an old toothbrush. Let this sit for a few minutes before spraying with the vinegar mixture and wiping down with a wet cloth.
7. Put a wash on for your cushion covers
When it comes to washing your decorative cushions or sofa covers, always read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning them. This is because some covers can be washed in a machine while others definitely can’t, like elaborate upholstery or pure velvet materials. If the instructions give you the go ahead, you can freshen up your sofa covers with a quick spot clean before putting them in the washing machine on a slow cold wash to remove any big stains (see our guide to the best washing machine for help choosing yours). Let them air dry before putting the covers back on your sofa cushions.
8. Stick a lemon in your bin
Like I said, lemons really come in handy when you want to naturally clean something around the house. This next trick is to help tackle your smelly bins. Even if you’ve cleaned the bin and chucked out your full bin bags, rubbish bins can still have an overpowering smell. To keep your bin smelling fresh, stick half a lemon in it to mask the smell and add some citrus freshness. Of course, you’ll need to remember to throw out the lemon at some point so it doesn’t get mouldy but this is an easy trick if your bin has a bad smell.
9. Run hot water in your washing machine & dishwasher
Hot water can tackle most cleaning tasks, including freshening your washing machine and dishwasher. As mentioned in T3’s how to clean a washing machine guide, “the key ingredient for cleaning any washing machine is to select the highest water temperature available.” Most manufacturers will suggest running the hottest water programme on your washing machine and dishwasher (without clothes, dishes and detergents in them) as this will remove most of the dirt and debris from your machines.
10. Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress, carpets & rugs
While the idea of cleaning the best mattress is a bit of an arduous task, spring is the best time to give your mattress a deep clean. T3 already has a full guide on how to clean your mattress but one hack that can also be used on carpets and rugs is sprinkling baking soda. After spot cleaning and removing stains from your mattress, rug or carpet, cover it with baking soda to deodorise, soak up excess moisture and kill bacteria. Leave it to air dry for several hours before vacuuming up the baking soda.
11. Clear out your wardrobe from winter to summer
Decluttering is a big part of spring cleaning and it’s a brilliant way to clear out your winter clothes and switch them with spring garments. This hack is especially useful if you put your summer clothes into storage during the winter and vice versa. Start by removing your winter clothes from your wardrobe before replacing them with your spring pieces. As you do this, go through your winter wardrobe and set aside the things you didn’t wear this season. If you don’t love them anymore or don't see yourself wearing them again, take these clothes to a charity shop or donation bin. See these 11 tips for spring cleaning your wardrobe for more details.
12. Clean your shower with lemon & vinegar
If your shower or bathroom has grouted tiles, make sure to use the grout tip above, but for showerheads and doors, you should go down the citrus route. As Real Homes advises, you can get rid of watermarks by rubbing half of a lemon on your shower doors and tiles. Similarly, to remove grime from your showerhead, “fill a clear sandwich bag with warm water, vinegar and lemon, then tie this tightly around the shower nozzle.” This mixture will soak into the showerhead and remove any dirt while also helping avoid future blockages. Remember to rinse the doors and showerhead thoroughly before your next shower.