Amy Boggs, owner of a local green cleaning company, joined us today to help kick-start our spring cleaning -- in an earth-friendly way.
Here are Amy's tips:
History of Spring Cleaning:
- During the 19th century in America, prior to the advent of the vacuum cleaner, March was often the best time for dusting because it was getting warm enough to open windows and doors (but not warm enough for insects to be a problem), and the high winds could carry the dust out of the house.
Cleaning mind-set: De-clutter first, clean second
- Recycle old magazines
- Sort through books to be sold at Powell's
- Store winter clothing
- Store winter sports equipment
- Wash your winter blankets and mattress cover and store them; have your shams, duvet cover and dust ruffle professionally cleaned at an Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaner
- Go through the pantry and throw out expired food
- Dispose of outdated food from the fridge
- Sort through your medicine cabinet and throw out old makeup products (make sure to refill your first-aid kit while you're there)
Clean shelves in fridge with mild dish soap:
- To save your energy, scoot all the food to one shelf, clean the cleared-off shelf and then scoot the food back over. This way youʼre minimizing the movement back and forth taking the food out and putting it back
Clean fridge coils:
Fridges are energy hogs. They place right after heating and air conditioning in terms of home-energy consumption (it's estimated that a fridge uses about 15 percent of a home's power). An easy way to help your fridge run more efficiently is to clean the coils, which dissipate heat from the fridge. If they're covered with dust or caked-on "grunge," they can't work the way they should, and your fridge will run longer and more often. The dust buildup blocks airflow as well as insulates which decreases the efficiency of the unit, lowers its performance and increases its operating cost.
- Step 1 Find the coils. On older-model fridges , the coils are exposed on the back. On newer models, the coils are on the bottom, hidden behind a cover panel or kick plate.
- Step 2 Unplug your fridge and pull it away from the wall (on built-in fridges, turn off the circuit breaker).
- Step 3 Remove the cover plate. On some models it's held in by spring clips; others may use a couple of small screws.
- Step 4 Use the long, narrow attachment of your vacuum to clean any accumulated dust on bottom coils. Clean back-mounted coils with the upholstery brush attachment.
- Step 5 Use warm water and dish soap to remove the sticky buildup of cooking fats if you haven't cleaned your refrigerator coils for a while.
- Step 6 Replace the cover panel, slide the fridge back into place and plug it in (or turn on the circuit breaker).
Clean the coffee maker:
- Clean the glass carafe everyday with dish soap otherwise oils can build up that make the coffee bitter; for Spring Cleaning run a cycle with white vinegar instead of water (and no coffee), then follow with 3 or 4 cycles of hot water (toget rid of calcium deposits)
Clean your garbage disposal:
- Cut a lemon in half and then run both pieces through the disposal. The lemon cleans and it smells great.
Clean your medicine cabinet:
- Take all bottles out, spray down with all-purpose cleaner, replace items,
- If there are rust stains on your metal medicine cabinet: Start by cutting a potato in half. Sprinkle baking soda directly on the cut potato. Rub the potato and baking soda on the medicine cabinet with vigor. Continue to scrub until all the rust is gone, or the surface of your potato has become so rusty that it is counter productive to continue to use it. Cut the potato again and re-scrub with baking soda.
To remove lime scale from your shower head, soak it for 1-2 hours in a zip-top bag filled with white vinegar:
- Attach it to the shower head with a rubber band. Flush with water afterwards.
Wash your plastic shower curtain liner in the wash on the smallest load setting with two towels and the normal amount of detergent.:
- The towels will provide friction to rub against the liner. Wash it on cold. Move the shower curtain liner as soon as the load is finished and hang to dry so any wrinkles fall out during the drying process.
Clean your pillows:
- Whether made of natural fibers (down) or synthetics, most pillows can be machine-washed. This rids them of mold, bacteria and odors.
Open up your windows and clean the window-wells:
- Using the vacuum attachment, vacuum up the debris from area where the window meets the frame. Then spray with all-purpose cleaner and wipe. Youʼre ready for a spring breeze!