The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming — and you're stuck within the confines of your home due to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s not an ideal way to kick off spring, but sometimes you just have to say “you win, 2020” and play the hand you’re dealt.
Take advantage of all this free time with an activity proven to help relieve stress, anxiety and depression: Spring cleaning.
Running to the store for cleaning supplies isn't a great idea right now. For starters, routine grocery store visits pose a risk not just to yourself but the people around you. To make matters worse, cleaning agents are flying off the shelves due to increased demand. In times like these, it pays to be creative. Use this handy list of alternative cleaning hacks to spruce up your safe haven.
Use a lemon for cleaning stainless steel sinks and faucets.
Slice a lemon in half, and rub the fruit against hard water stains and rust spots in your kitchen and bathroom. You can also sprinkle on some baking soda for the really stubborn marks. The stains should lift easily. Plus, you won’t have to deal with nauseating and headache-inducing chemical fumes, just an all-natural lemony scent.
Disinfect surfaces with bleach.
Sanitize high-touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, screens, and remote controls with a bleach solution recommended by the CDC. When properly diluted, unexpired household bleach proves effective against coronaviruses. Mix four teaspoons of household bleach with one quart of water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray whatever surface needs disinfecting, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it clean with a wet cloth.
Steam clean your microwave with water and vinegar.
Is your microwave plastered with hardened food stains? Make your appliances shine with common pantry items. Grab a microwave-safe bowl, fill it with 1-2 cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Nuke it for five minutes and then wipe those stains right off.
Wash your windows with soap.
Down to your last drop of Windex? Pour warm water into the empty spray bottle and add a small squirt of dish soap. Shake it up and spray. For tougher jobs, add some vinegar or ammonia to the mix. Scrub the window with a sponge, wipe it clean with a squeegee, then do a final pass with a clean rag or towel.
Use coffee filters to wipe monitors and screens.
Get rid of fingerprints, dust and stains on your computer monitors and TV screens with a simple ol’ coffee filter. Coffee filters are lint-free and gentle against surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
Clean shower heads with white vinegar.
Shower head not performing like it used to? Fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar and secure it around your shower head with a rubber band. Let it soak overnight. The water stains and calcium buildup should wash right off in the morning.
Use a lint roller to dust.
Instead of sticking brushes and feather dusters into every little corner and cranny in your home, use a lint roller. Run the roller over your light fixtures, mantels and shelves. For corners that are super-dirty, use a strip of duct tape for stronger pickup power.
Use your dishwasher for more than just dishes.
You’d be amazed at how many of your belongings are dishwasher-friendly. Save a ton of time by tossing select items into the dishwasher for mass cleaning. This includes desk accessories, hair brushes, pet dishes, refrigerator shelves, garden tools, tweezers and drawer knobs. When the cycle is through, clean your dishwasher by placing a cup of white vinegar on the top shelf and running it through its hottest cycle.
Use a window squeegee to scrape pet hair off your carpet.
The rubber edge of the squeegee is perfect for gripping and removing pet hair from your rugs and carpet.
Use a hair dryer to get rid of water rings.
Did someone forget to use coasters? Blast the water ring with a hair dryer until it starts to fade and disappear. You can also rub olive oil over the area to return the wood to its original shine.
Try it for yourself!
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