spring cleaning tips shortcuts

Photo: Allegra

Ah, spring cleaning… Whose idea was it to clean the whole house all at once, anyway?

It can feel impossible.

But these shortcuts will make spring cleaning, well, a breeze!

Read on for 10 essential spring cleaning tips to save time and simplify your life.


1. Schedule a Charitable Donation Pick-Up

Or just put a trip to Goodwill on the calendar. Either way, having a concrete plan before you even start will motivate you to purge the house of clothes, furniture, and knick-knacks you don’t use anymore.

Now to find a charity that will come collect your stuff. Donation Town gives you a list of organizations that do donation pick-ups in your zip code. The Salvation Army will also pick up donations in some areas.


2. Use the Dishwasher to Clean Everything

kitchen dishwasher cleaning

Photo: Beau-Port Kitchens

Okay, maybe not everything. But it might surprise you that all these things are dishwasher safe:

  • Plastic and glass light fixture covers (unless they’re really delicate)
  • Stove hood filters and stove knobs
  • Refrigerator shelves
  • Toothbrush holders (they accumulate a lot of bacteria)
  • Dish sponges
  • The removable cup holders in your car

Just don’t put wood in the dishwasher. If you’re not sure if something is dishwasher safe, check this list.


3. Clean the Dishwasher Itself

After all that, the inside of your dishwasher could probably use a cleaning too.

This blogger has a quick and easy technique that I love: First, pull out the bottom rack and carefully remove any food (and anything else) stuck in there. Next, securely place a dishwasher-safe cup full of white vinegar on the top rack and run the machine on its hottest cycle.

If your dishwasher is really dirty, you might want to do more scrubbing. You’ll find detailed instructions here.


4. Clean Your Microwave with Water and Lemon

clean microwave with water lemon

Photos: Emily May, KaMa Photography, BreakingPic

While the dishwasher’s running, you might as well tackle the microwave. Microwaves are hard to clean because all that gunk on the inside gets baked on.

So try this trick:

Fill a microwave-safe bowl with equal parts water and lemon (or white vinegar). Microwave on high for several minutes until the liquid is bubbling but not boiling over.

Let the bowl cool for a minute or two. Then you can easily wipe the inside of the microwave clean with a sponge.


5. Lemon Banishes Water Stains and Rust

Just rub a lemon half on stainless steel in the kitchen and bathroom to get rid of rust spots and water stains. No need to rinse if you like the smell of lemon!


6. Clean the Shower Head Overnight

All you need is white vinegar, a plastic bag, and a cozy place to snooze. Then follow this tutorial:

Fill a plastic bag with white or apple cider vinegar, then attach it over your showerhead with a twist tie. Let it sit overnight or for at least 2 hours. This will loosen buildup from hard water.


7. Put Pillows in the Washing Machine

Considering that the average person spends about 25 years sleeping, the cleanliness of our pillows really matters. In fact, they should be washed at least every six months. But how do you wash a pillow?
spring cleaning pillows

Photo: Didriks

First take pillowcases off. Then wash two pillows together (to balance the weight in your machine) using your regular detergent. Run an extra rinse at the end.

Depending on how delicate your pillows are, either choose the air cycle on your dryer or just set it to low heat. PopSugar recommends throwing a couple of tennis balls in socks in the dryer to stop the pillows from clumping.

If your pillows have that gross yellow tinge, try this natural remedy instead of a regular wash.


8. Clean Your Mattress with Vodka

cleaning bed bedding mattress

Photo: lemontale

Even cleaning your sheets regularly won’t stop your mattress from getting dirty. Sweat from your body and dust mites are common mattress invaders. Dust mites, those microscopic animals that hide in your bedding and furniture, are one of the most common culprits of allergies and asthma.

If you have allergies, or just don’t like the idea of critters in your bed, here’s a new reason to hit up the liquor store: A light spritzing of vodka from a spray bottle freshens and disinfects your mattress.

To add a calming scent and kill more dust mites, use vodka to make linen spray. Mix 1.5 cups of distilled water and 3 ounces of vodka in a spray bottle. Then add 30 drops of essential oil (eucalyptus and clove are the most effective dust mite killers). Spray away!


9. Don’t Forget Smartphones, Tablets, and Remote Controls

Anything that gets touched a lot has germs on it and needs to be cleaned. We constantly touch electronic devices like phones, tablets, and remotes.

cleaning devices phones nokia

Here’s how to clean them without damaging them.

Start by removing cases and batteries. Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe the surfaces. Add a little bit of rubbing alcohol for buttons and plastic covers, but for screens, just stick to water.


10. Blast Water Rings With Your Hairdryer 

Those annoying white rings don’t have to stay on your coffee table forever. It might sound weird, but cleaning bloggers swear by this method. Blow dry those rings until they fade. Then rub a little olive oil into the wood to restore some moisture.

There you have it. 10 essential spring cleaning tips that don’t require hours of scrubbing. I hope this post helps you freshen up the house and skip the sore muscles.

One last thing: Make sure you don’t use up all the vodka, because you deserve a cocktail after all that cleaning!

What’s your best spring cleaning secret?