Last minute Spring cleaning guide
Back in the 1800s, famous designer, craftsman and writer William Morris wrote many words about his artistic process - but he also shared a gem of advice on spring cleaning:
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Hundreds of years later, this advice is just as valid today and can form the basis for your last-minute spring clean! Here is a handy guide to kick the dust to the curb outside your lovely double-storey home.
Blot out any stains by putting a garbage bag or plastic liner between your cushion/stuffing and fabric so the stain doesn't transfer to the upholstery fabric as drastically.
Ruth Travis, president of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, shared a pro tip with House Beautiful: Blot liquids or stains as soon as they spill. This helps prevent nasty stains that are tricky to remove from forming, and using cold water is better for this purpose than hot!
Use a neutral pH solvent cleaner for the tiles, or if you're pressed for time, make your own using baking soda and water! A string or sponge mop will do the trick.
Cleaning kitchen benchtops
First of all, have your benchtops sealed at least once a year so liquids form beads or droplets on the surface instead of staining the stone. For spring cleaning, pour half a cup of ammonia into around 4 litres of water, and use this solution to remove mildew and soap scum. Smaller coffee or juice stains can be bygones with a pinch of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia in water.
Use a microfibre cloth dampened with just a little water, but don't let the metal screw base get wet! Handy tip: When you can't find a microfibre cloth anywhere, look inside your sunglasses case. These polishing cloths will also do the trick. For the hard-to-reach lighting fixtures up on the ceiling, Martha Stewart's website recommends using a telescoping lamb's wool duster.
Cleaning curtains or blinds
Many curtains these days are machine-washable in a gentle cycle with cold water. Check to see if yours are, and if not, hand-wash them in the tub also in cold water. For heavier materials, get them dry-cleaned or steam-cleaned professionally. Wooden blinds are best wiped using an sponge wetted with a few drops of wood cleaner. Wipe down with a towel.
Cleaning stainless steel
For best results, get into the habit of spraying the surface using a wax-based aerosol spray. A light mist of spray will suffice. This will help protect the stainless steel from stains developing in the first place - prevention is better than cure, after all!
Finally, take this time to update necessities. Spring cleaning is a time to focus on the house, so replace batteries in smoke detectors and check that your security alarms are working.
Happy cleaning! Some say it's therapeutic...