6 Tips For Spring Cleaning

 

Well, we made it. Tomorrow marks the first official day of spring. It’s time for the snow to melt, the air to get warm and lose all those extra layers we’ve all been carrying around. But with warm weather also comes spring cleaning. We’ve got a few tips you must have to make your spring cleaning a little easier this year.

Trash itRefigerator-interior

Refrigerator:  Remember when the Polar Vortex hit and you stocked up your refrigerator with things you should only eat in an emergency? The emergency is over and it’s time to clean out the fridge. It seems simple, but you’ll be amazed at how much food you forgot about over the last few months. After it’s been cleaned out, wipe the inside out with a solution of baking soda and hot water (1 tablespoon per pint of water).

Bathroom:  That tomcat tangerine lipstick looked just as bad in the winter as it did in the summer, so why are you holding on to it? Trash that along with the half-empty bottles of shampoo, nubs of eyeliner and the earring you’ve been saving for five years whose mate you’re sure will turn up. It’s so hard to let go of all of those little things that are cluttering up your bathroom, but it’s so easy to say goodbye – and then you can say hello to a whole new generation of junk that you won’t find until next spring.

Wipe it

Oven-cleaningOven cleaning: The spring air is wafting in from the yard and the last thing you want to do is pollute it by cleaning your self-cleaning oven. Instead, use an environmentally gentle oven cleaning method that requires little more than mixing a cup of baking soda with 1/3 of a cup of salt. All you have to do is dampen the oven surface, sprinkle on the mixture, spray it with water and let it sit overnight. Wipe it down the next day with a wet cloth or sponge – you can use soapy water if necessary.

 

Vents & electronics: Like white noise, you probably don’t notice the dust on your vents and electronics building and mucking up your air space. To clean your TVs, computers and vents use old dryer sheets. The dryer sheets neutralize the charge on surfaces where there is static electricity so they’re able to pick up the dust that’s clinging to them.

Flush it

DrainClean your drains: With all the things that go down a bathroom drain or a kitchen drain, water alone can’t keep a drain fresh smelling. A ½ cup of baking soda sprinkled down the drain followed by 4 cups of white or apple cider vinegar will create a furious foam that can scrub away odors caused by bacteria that’s been building up for months.

Clean your dishwasher: Like your drain, the dishwasher can get mucked up with food particles and cause a bit of a stink even though it seems clean. A similar baking soda-vinegar concoction can be used to clean your dishwasher, but if you do it wrong, you might end up with a foamy floor that will double your cleaning duties, so the other easy, non-toxic way to clean your dishwasher is to use a sugar-free drink mix like powdered lemonade. Just take out the filter and soak it in soapy water before returning it to the dishwasher. Then poor the drink mix into the dishwashing detergent compartment – use as much drink mix as you would detergent – and then run a full cycle.

Pinteresting Picks for August

Every month, we like to look back at what you loved best on Pinterest. It’s a great chance to spot a deal you missed, get fresh ideas for gift-giving or create a wishlist of some of your favorite things. August’s pins included tasty treats, ways to stay cool on sultry summer days and favorites for families with kids going back to school.

Cast-Iron-Skillet-Cookie-Kit
If your pins were any indication, you loved getting creative in the kitchen this August. You’ve pinned cake-pop cookbooks, mixing bowls and some of our favorite baking dishes, but one that popped up again and again was this cast iron skillet cookie kit. Cast iron holds heat well, so using this cookie pan means you leave the oven on for less time – a good idea during the hottest month of summer. It’s the perfect pan for baking your own version of a chocolate chip cookie cake, chewy brownies, a sugar cookie with plenty of space for you and the kids to decorate, or any other sweet treat you might dream of baking. The kit comes with a package of mix, instructions and a ribbon on the handle, so it also makes an excellent gift.

Freezer-Cups
With so many August birthdays, it’s no wonder it was a popular pin last month.When the weather’s hot, few things feel as refreshing as an ice-cold drink. Maybe that’s why our sets of Freezer Cups were big on Pinterest. The double-walled cups are made of freezer-safe plastic and contain a non-toxic gel between the translucent layers. Store them in the freezer, and when you’re ready for a cold drink, pour it into your freezer cup; the frozen gel keeps everything cold far longer than ice inside the cup, and you won’t water down your soda or lemonade. Clear lids screw on and help prevent spills when you take your cup on the go, so they’re great for commutes to school or work. Whether you choose the clear set of four cups or the set with cool blue gel, you’re also making a green choice because these cups are reusable.

Lunch-Cube
August is also back-to-school month, so many of your pins featured student-friendly items. One that made the top of the charts with parents of schoolkids and students themselves was the Lunch Cube, a handy all-in-one kit that holds a sandwich plus three side items. The single compartment is roomy enough to hold even a loaded sandwich, and the divided compartment keeps easy-to-eat tidbits such as raisins and baby carrots separate. Pack your salad ingredients in separate compartments to keep everything fresh; then, combine them when you’re at work or school and ready to eat lunch. The cubes are large enough to hold crackers, chips, fruits and vegetables, so you can vary your menu as much as you like and transport everything in a compact, washable case. You pinned this one often, and it’s easy to see why: It’s as sleek as it is practical.

We will have another round-up at the end of September, so pin your favorites and spread the word. A great time-saver or delicious new treat is too good not to share on Pinterest!