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Spring Cleaning Tips That Won't Break the Bank

Venessa Eck,  Sr. Mortgage Advisor

May 3, 2022 — 7 min read

The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing ... and the house still feels like it's stuck in the winter blues. However, before you throw open the windows to let in that fresh spring air, you must clean them first. It may not be your favorite pastime, but spring cleaning is a necessary step to maintain the health and appeal of your living space. Below, we share our top spring cleaning tips that won't break the bank, or download our Spring Cleaning Tips Checklist (PDF). Chances are, you already have these items on hand, so you won't need to go to the store.

What is Spring Cleaning?

To spring clean means to clear dirt away from your ceiling all the way to your floor. You should try to wipe and dust every surface and throw away what you don't need.

Spring cleaning started as a way to clear away winter's mess and the soot and grime that went with it, back when homes were heated by fire. These days, this kind of cleaning isn't really necessary, but the spirit of the tradition continues.

When to Start Spring Cleaning?

Objectively, you can start spring cleaning whenever you're able to clear out a day or two to devote to it. You may be tempted to spread your spring cleaning tasks out over a longer period of time, but it's best to complete it quickly; that way, there's more time to enjoy it.

Use a Microfiber Cloth to Spring Clean Your Home

So, what's our top spring cleaning tip that won't break the bank? From windows and bathtubs to floors, microfiber is a favorite when it comes to chemical-free cleaning around the house.

Microfiber cloth contains millions of fibers, including positive-charged polyester fibers and negative-charged nylon fibers. These attract and pull up whatever is on the surface you're cleaning. Microfiber is safe for the environment and cleans with water instead of harmful chemicals. It will also save you money, endure longer than other cleaning cloths, and can remove up to 99 percent of bacteria on surfaces.

How to Spring Clean a Microwave with Vinegar

Have you ever had something explode inside your microwave? Don't waste time scrubbing every surface to remove weeks' worth of grime--here's how to clean a microwave using vinegar:

  • Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl (about half a cup of each).
  • Put a toothpick into the bowl to break the surface tension.
  • Microwave the vinegar and water solution for five to 10 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes to continue steaming up the interior.
  • Next, remove the bowl carefully; at this point, you should be able to use a sponge, cloth, or paper towel to wipe down all surfaces of the microwave, and everything should come without much effort.
Close-up of woman using vinegar to spring clean in the kitchen

How to Spring Clean a Toilet with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Hopefully, you clean your toilet more often than just in the spring--residue and enzymes can build up quickly and will cause discoloration and smells. Instead of using potentially harmful chemicals, try vinegar and baking soda. These ingredients will clean and deodorize your toilet.

Put one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the toilet, then close the lid and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Use a toilet brush to finish cleaning the bowl. The baking soda and vinegar will break down stains and residue. When you're done, just flush the toilet-- baking soda and vinegar will not harm your plumbing.

How to Spring Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Sinks

When you buy a new stainless steel appliance, it comes with a pristine gleam that brightens up your kitchen. However, as time passes, stainless steel tends to show fingerprints and smudges. While you may be tempted to use regular cleaning supplies, beware of abrasive cleaners--these can remove the outer chromium layer on the surface of the stainless steel, which will eventually lead to rusting. Instead, break out the baking soda and vinegar and follow these steps:

  • Remove loose debris with soap and water.
  • Spray the surface with warm vinegar and let sit for five minutes.
  • Sprinkle with baking soda, then scrub with a non-abrasive sponge or dishcloth; the baking soda and vinegar will foam up and dissolve the grime, but will not hurt your skin.
  • Have some tough stuck-on spots? Try adding salt for more grit.

There are other effective options, but they're probably not as cheap. If you're looking for effective spring cleaning tips that won't break the bank, there's not much that's going to beat baking soda and vinegar.

Young woman spring cleaning her kitchen using vinegar and baking soda

How to Remove Pet Hair from Carpet and Furniture

If you live in a fur-friendly household, chances are, even the fanciest vacuum cleaner still leaves much to be desired when it comes to cleaning up pet fur buildup on your furniture and carpets.

To remove pet hair from smaller areas, try using a fine-tooth pet comb or brush. For a larger area, run the squeegee across the carpet to gather up the majority of the pet hair; after that, you can use your vacuum to get the remainder, and you'll be less likely to have to unclog or empty out the vacuum every five minutes.

Remove Hard Water Stains with Lemons

Did you know that white chalky residue that builds up in sinks and showers? Have you noticed that sometimes, no matter how hard you scrub, the hard water stains just come back as soon as the surface dries?

These stains indicate there's a buildup of minerals in your water supply. Instead of grabbing your typical spring cleaning supplies, try scrubbing these stains with a lemon--the citric acid will cut through the mineral deposits and smells much nicer than most chemical-based products.

Why is Newspaper Good for Cleaning Windows?

Compared to paper towels, did you know that newspaper fibers are more rigid and will not separate and cause lint? For spring cleaning, mix a quarter cup of white vinegar, two cups of water, and two teaspoons of liquid soap into a spray bottle. Spray the windows with the solution and rub the newspaper in a circle on any obvious spots. Then use long strokes to cover the whole window, starting with vertical, followed by horizontal.

If you have vinyl around your windows, be aware: the newsprint can leave marks on the white frame, so be sure to use this cleaning method on just the glass.

How to Spring Clean an Oven with Baking Soda

From crusted-on sauce to drops of burnt cheese, your oven is a canvas for food spills and splatters, and while most ovens have a self-cleaning feature, all that does is super-heat the oven, turning everything into charred bits for you to wipe out later.

  • You can use baking soda to clean your oven without the smell, smoke, or chemical residue.
  • Empty the oven of all racks, thermometers, and anything else you might have in there.
  • Mix half of a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to make a spreadable paste.

Spring Cleaning, Not Crying: How to Use Onions to Clean Your Grill

Did you go a little heavy on that BBQ sauce during your last cookout? First, heat up the grill so that it's super hot. This will burn off any remaining food or nasty growth from the winter. Once the grill is hot, halve an onion, skewer it with a long grilling fork, and scrub it all over the grill surface, cut side down.

Bonus Tip: If you're grilling over charcoal, toss the onion in with the coals to add extra flavor.

While these spring cleaning tips won't magically make dirt disappear, they will help make the spring cleaning process less overwhelming, and they're easy on your wallet. Do you have additional spring cleaning tips that won't break the bank? Print out our Spring Cleaning Tips Checklist (PDF) to add your own tips, tricks, and advice for next year.

Now that you've used our spring cleaning tips to get your household sparkling, can we help you with any home financing tips? Speak with your local Mortgage Advisor today, or visit our blog for additional resources.

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