While Spring suggests periodic showers and apparently more cold fronts than we had all winter, there is one important aspect that everyone stores in the back of their minds; one feeble homunculus that shudders as you peek into its room. It grows by feeding on the darkness, causing dust bunnies and grim buildup on your kitchen appliances. What is this horrid beast that haunts the inner aspects of your brain; The creature that plots, schemes and dreadfully fears the coming of Spring? It is the anxiety around the idea known as Spring cleaning. In most circumstances, cleaning your house up and down is incredibly stressful; couple that with your move out or closing and you have a situation where some things remain unclean and the tenants or buyers want the carpet ripped up and the walls repainted. You know the awesome nature of your house. Four walls that contain memories and emotions that are irreplaceable, and every scuff mark or dirty tile is a representation of your commitment to living. Romance aside, you know the value of the place, but people can be a bit superficial when it comes to first impressions (I guess you don’t really have a choice in that regard). As a result, you want to make your home look as pristine as the Fortress of Solitude (pre-‘Man of Steel’; that junk looked dirty and alien). As always, your humble blog writer has your back with some easy and natural ways to change your home from crusty and drab to looking rad!
Cleaning the Fridge. It goes without saying that you should probably remove the food before you get started, unless you like vegetables squeaky-cleaned with baking soda. Hey, no judgement. This process is less about the new tenants (unless you don’t own the property) and more about convenience when you must move the darn thing. Remove the shelves and clean them with a baking soda paste (made with some water and baking soda to create a thicker consistency). Use the same solution to clean the inside of the fridge; let it sit for a while before wiping it out. Never use bleach to clean out the inside of the fridge because it will, as my mother used to say, turn your insides yellow (and that’s a fact!). As a preventative measure, be extra vigilant about moldy food as it can sour your other food products along with your stomach!
Cleaning the Stove. As before, cleaning the stove is mostly for you unless this is a rental property or something similar. Create the same baking soda solution as before (isn’t baking soda the best?) and coat the inside of the stove after you remove the racks. Let the paste sit for at least 12 hours before wiping it off. Mix a vinegar solution with three parts water, 1 part vinegar and put it inside a spray bottle. Spray that stuff on the inside like its French fries at the state fair. The vinegar should react with the baking soda, creating a kind of foam. Wipe the whole thing out, and now you’re cooking with gas (but I would suggest not literally cooking anything at this point; defeats the purpose, I guess).
Cleaning Cabinets and Counters. Unless you don’t want your house smelling like vinegar, mix up that solution again and apply it to a sponge. The other option is to go for a commercial cleaner, but that isn’t natural and I promised all-green, human safe, down-to-earth-cleaning goodness. Your move means that you don’t have to smell it for very long…just hope that the new people enjoy that aromatic sourness. All joking aside, vinegar is the bomb when it comes to cleaning because of the acidity level. Use the sponge to remove grime cabinets and counters (moving in a circular motion). When it comes to the hardware, use a toothbrush dipped in your cleaner of choice. Dry everything out in the end and consider putting some liner on the inside of the cabinets to prevent warping for the new folks (you’re so thoughtful and considerate).
Cleaning the floors. Unless you take a note from Japanese culture, your floors are probably a little on the dirty side; no fear, we will make it so that you can spoon soup from the carpeting without any concern (I don’t suggest this unless you want artificial fibers in your gut). Carpet really should be clean with a steam cleaner. I know it’s a bit of a cop-out with the whole natural promise, but it is steam! That’s pretty natural! Laminate should be cleaned with a mop that is slightly damp with no polish at the end, though I’m sure that never really crossed your mind. Hardwood can be a bit tricky. You must first find out if they are wax floors or the polyurethane kind. Run your finger across the floor; if it leaves a smudge, it is probably wax. The finish is important for how you proceed. For polyurethane, use mild soap and wipe it up soon after to remove surface imperfections. Water can damage the wax finish, so care for it with a handy broom. Porcelain requires some elbow grease and the occasional steam cleaning.
Cleaning the walls. We get a reappearance from our good friend baking soda solution! You should be careful when cleaning the walls, because you could damage the finish. Find a small spot, away from direct eye contact, to test clean. If you notice any fading or any other damage, you may want to stop and consider repainting instead of cleaning. Place some paper down to collect the extra drops before rubbing in the baking soda in a circular motion. From one of my previous posts, spray vinegar to take care of subtle mold problems.
That anxiety homunculus is no match for you and the power of natural cleaners! If you want a safe and clean storage option, Mobile Attic is here for you. No matter the stress and anxiety, we’ve got this!