Even though it is only the middle of March, it really feels like spring has come to Northern New England. We have been fortunate to have a mild winter – we have actually received 50 fewer inches of snow than we did last year. So I am gearing up to do my spring cleaning early this year, and I have stocked up so that I am ready to open the windows and get started. I will probably tackle the bathroom first: that is the room that really needs a deep clean. And I am going to share my favorite tips with you:
I started with a trip to Walmart. I restocked my favorite go-to cleaning supplies: vinegar and baking soda. I grabbed my husband’s old toothbrush (at least it looked like he was finished with it…) and stocked up my caddy with the great products that I received from Kimberly-Clark.
Tips and Tricks!
1. Start with the medicine cabinet.
Remove everything and wipe down the bottles and jars with a mild solution of vinegar and water. Then scrub the shelves. I love to use the Viva® Vantage® towels for this job – they have a great texture for scrubbing and getting rid of spilled toothpaste and lotions. Then I fold up a Viva® Vantage® and place one on each shelf before I return all of the toiletries to the cabinet: the towel is strong and durable, and will keep the shelves clean and catch any drips or spills, making future clean up simple.
Discard all expired health and beauty products. Put all expired medicine in a bag to be dropped off at the proper drop-off stations. Most fire, rescue and police stations have monthly “expired medication” drop-off days.
Bonus 1a. Organize your medicine cabinet with a place for everything. For ages we had a bunch of junk lying in the bottom of our cabinet. I marked jars with chalkboard labels and now everything has its place.
2. You don’t always want to start at the top!
Radiators are typically filled with dust and cobwebs. Take a can of compressed air and blow the ick out of those things first. Don’t forget proper eyewear. I’m not kidding. The stuff that comes out of radiators is nasty and can burn and sting your eyes.
3. The walls.
Dust and wash the walls – now that dust and cobwebs have been blown everywhere it’s best to clean it up before moving on. I usually use a damp paper towel to wipe down the walls – and Viva® Vantage® are great for this – they don’t fall apart, and the texture helps them to pick up dirt, dust, and grime much more effectively.
4. Give the showerhead a good soaking.
Place the showerhead in a bag of vinegar for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep the bag on the showerhead with an elastic band. If the elastic band won’t hold the bag on the showerhead you’re using too much vinegar.
After soaking, scrub the showerhead with a toothbrush to remove any loose crud and then rinse. I use Viva® Towels to shine the shower head after I have scrubbed it. They are soft, smooth and delicate, and do a great job shining the chrome.
5. Spray down the shower.
Vinegar is a great cleaning agent, but vinegar with baking soda is even better.
Spray down the shower with vinegar then put baking soda on a folded Viva® Vantage® paper towel. The texture gives it great scrubbing power without scratching. As much as I love a sponge, they tend to scratch. But Viva® Vantage® paper towels scrub without any damage.
Dunk a toothbrush into vinegar and then sprinkle a little baking soda on the top. Scrub corners, fixtures and around the drain with the vinegar baking soda mixture. Rinse, and then shine up your fixtures and sink with a Viva® Towel.
7. Clean Grout with half a lemon and salt.
This applies to Kitchen and Bathroom (or any place you have tiles with grout) Grout is my least favorite thing to clean. A little lemon and salt will get it clean in no time. For the really grungy areas grab that toothbrush and scrub the lemon and salt mixture into the grout.
8. Toy storage
Tubby toys are a necessity in many homes, but they get in the way when left in the tub, and when stored in a bucket the toys become moldy. To keep the toys out of the way I grabbed 2 totes at Walmart and I hang them off of suction cup hooks (purchased at Walmart around Christmas. During the summer we use the hooks to dry swimsuits.)
Bonus 8a. Plugging the bottom of toys with hot glue gun.
Nasty mold grows inside of the bath toys. When my girls were small we would grab the glue gun and seal the holes in the bottom of the bath toys as soon as the toys came out of the package.
ATTENTION: Only do this if your kids know not to put the toys in their mouths. I don’t want a little tyke sucking on a ducky and getting hot glue lodged in their throat.
9. Fresh scent.
To keep your bathroom smelling sweet place a few drops of scented oils in the Scott toilet paper roll. The scent is light and freshens each time the toilet paper is used.
Bonus 9a. During the holiday season wrap extra toilet paper in festive paper and leave it on the back of the toilet so guests never run out.
10. Keeping it clean.
To help keep the shower clean all year round, I leave a pot scrubber containing vinegar and dish soap. You can find the directions in an early post: Fastest, Easiest Way to Clean the Shower