|Spring Cleaning Tips: Should You or Shouldnt You?
by Marjorie Dorfman
For shiny and clean stainless steel sinks, countertops etc, apply some baking soda or club soda. Vinegar will also remove stubborn water spots as well as a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
To keep white porcelain sinks sparkling, place paper towels across the sinks bottom and saturate with household bleach. Let them sit for eight hours and rinse. Never apply bleach in colored sinks however, unless you are consciously attempting to ruin whatever color scheme you have selected.
The Refrigerator and Other Appliances
In addition to an open box of baking soda, a few droops of vanilla extract applied to a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate all odors.
An application of vinegar wiped on the refrigerator will prevent mildew.
Dust and dirt on the front of the refrigerator coils is easily removed with a vacuum.
A mixture of 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup baking soda and 4 cups of warm water will stop the yellowing of white appliances. Apply with a sponge and let set for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Car wax will work wonders on large appliances, making them shine and removing small scratches.
One of the best cleaners for wooden floors is a solution comprised of 1/2 cup white vinegar dissolved in 1 gallon of warm water. Use a damp mop squeezed almost dry.
To prevent grit damage is very important. Mats situated at doors collect grit and help to keep the area clean. Frequent dust mopping in high traffic areas is the best prevention. You can use the vacuum brush attachment to accomplish this goal and use felt and furniture protectors to help protect the integrity of the floor.
To remove water stains, rub the spot with No.2 steel wool and rewax. You may need to lightly sand with fine sandpaper if the stain is more serious.
For those nasty heel and caster marks, rub vigorously with a fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe, dry and then polish.
To remove ink stains and other dark spots, use a No.2 steel wool cleaner and then thoroughly wash the affected area. If the spot is still there, sand with fine sandpaper, re-wax and polish but watch your tone of voice. The spot may go away if it feels you are being respectful of its presence and talk nicely to it. If it doesnt and you are not in the mood, you may have to replace the affected area.
Vinyl Floors and Carpets
Use a gallon of water and a dash of dishwashing detergent to damp mop vinyl floors after first sweeping thoroughly.
To eliminate a greasy stain, sprinkle it with some baking soda, cornstarch or talcum powder. Then decide whether you are cooking or relaxing after taking a bath. Leave on 8 hours (leaving enough time to do those two other things) and then vacuum.
That stuff you use in the dryer (Bounce) has many other uses for the Spring as well as other times of year. Consider these little known but very sweet smelling facts:
Eliminate static electricity from your television screen. Wipe the screen with a used sheet to keep dust from resettling.
One used sheet will dissolve soap scum from shower doors.
Eliminate odors in wastebaskets by placing a sheet at the bottom of the basket.
A sheet of Bounce will collect cat hair. Just rub the area with a sheet (not the cat) and watch how the loose hair is attracted to it! (This action is recommended only if you have done all of the above chores and have nothing else to do!)
Bounce is a great deodorizer too. Just place a sheet inside your shoes or sneakers overnight and they will smell wonderful in the morning.
So, dear reader, all of this should keep you pretty busy for a while. Let me know when you are done, and I will write out some tips for the summer, fall, winter and beyond!
Did you know . . .
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Clean is good. Cleaning is not.
Kathryn Hammer, Nature Abhors a Vacuum
Housecleaning is like Chekov; it starts slow and then tapers off.
Henry Alford, The New York Times
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