Now that 2020 has been done and dusted, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and purge any lingering bad vibes if you haven’t already.
With the Lunar New Year rolling up soon, and despite the limitations on visitors this year of the Ox, there’s nothing more auspicious than a sparkling clean house . Our checklist of spring cleaning to-dos will have you breezing through those chores in super-good time.
1. Marie Kondo your space
Before you get down and dirty, it’s wise to declutter your wardrobes, shoe cabinets, and miscellaneous drawers. That ill-fitting shirt you wore for your first day of work or stuffed toy from your graduation bouquet might hold sentimental value, but it’s taking up space and collecting dust.
Take the time to sort out what you frequently use and toss out or donate the rest. If you really can’t bear to let them go, invest in a couple of storage boxes and pack them away. This frees up space for you to clean and keep organised and tidy.
2. Dust the literal roof over your head
Work your way down; start with ceiling fans and finish with lightbulb changes. For the former, reduce the amount of dust raining down onto the floor (and you) by wrapping an old pillowcase and wrapping it around the blade of the fan, collecting the dust into it as you carefully pull it off before wiping with a cloth.
While you’re up on the ladder, take the chance to clean any crevices and nooks and checking your light bulbs to see if they need to be swapped out for new ones.
3. Through the sparkling looking glass and windows
Using water alone doesn’t get rid of the prints and smudges that have collected over months on your mirrors and windows.
Wipe them down using an easy-to-make cleaning solution – equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle – and your lint-free cloth, moving in a zig-zag motion from the top to the bottom. Mild dishwashing liquid also works just as well for windows. Once you’re done, dry with a squeegee, and voila!
4. When life gives you lemons, tackle water stains with their juice
Along with giving the good ol’ bowl a scrub down, water stains are one of the most common things found in the bathroom that needs cleaning, along with sinks, faucets and glass surfaces.
The citric acid from fresh lemon juice is very effective in removing those pesky stains, so much so that you can simply slice a lemon in half and rub it over the affected areas. Leave it to sit for ten minutes before giving it a rinse and wiping it dry.
5. Keep wooden furniture shiny with a good buff
Wooden furnishings need a polish every now and then. Maintain that glowing lustre by wiping the surface down with a soft damp cloth – make sure it’s not overly soaked or wood will get saturated – and a gentle cleaning solution like a mixture of water and mild dishwashing soap.
Then, give it a wax with a microfibre cloth and wood polish, such as Brightmax Furniture Polish or Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish & Conditioner. After letting it sit overnight to dry, buff it with a dry cloth.
6. Deep clean gas stove burners
All those days spent playing MasterChef at home during the Circuit Breaker warrants a thorough cleaning of your stove.
First rule of thumb is to shut off the gas valves to prevent disastrous accidents. Soak the burner heads and caps in warm water and dishwashing detergent for a half hour before scrubbing buildup from them using a non-abrasive scrub pad.
For the stovetop, remove any greasiness with a sponge and soapy water. Struggling with tough buildups? Mix up two parts baking soda and one part water and spread it over the stovetop, letting it sit for 15 minutes before giving it a good scrub.
7. Say goodbye to unsavoury carpet stains
Ever had one too many house parties where a guest accidentally drops food onto your carpet? Blotting out stains momentarily then is fine, but once the oil seeps in, water alone isn’t cutting it.
Once again, vinegar and baking soda are your best friends; soak the oil-based stain with the former and sprinkle the latter onto it. Wipe it off after a couple of minutes before vacuuming it for a stain-free, dust-free carpet for you to pad around on.
8. Guard your house against creepy-crawlies
The last thing we want to see is cockroaches, beetles and random bugs roaming freely in your house like they own the place. Rather than give them any openings to settle in, seal up any cracks you chance upon with caulk or sealants.
Insects also hate tea tree and lemongrass – spraying a mixture of either with water onto potential entry points will deter them from making your home theirs as well.
This article was first published in City Nomads.