SLOAN! Magazine asked cleaning expert Yvonne Manomano for her expert advice on spring cleaning. Here’s her ten top tips.
Keep it natural
Lemon is the best natural cleanser for all cleaning, as it is anti-bacterial and great at cutting through grease and hard water stains. White bread is good to remove greasy fingerprints from walls by rubbing the area with a slice of white bread. And use rice to clean inside vases or hard to reach areas by mixing rice with a water/vinegar solution, shake and rinse out. And Bicarbonate soda is brilliant for removing burnt on food on saucepans and ovens, just add tablespoon to couple of inches of water, bring to the boil and leave to cool for couple of hours.
Address all the lights
A great way to welcome spring is to bring more light into the home, so make sure that you clean all the skylights and lamps from the dust that accumulates in the winter months. Your house will instantly look that much brighter and all the newly cleaned surfaces will sparkle.
Rid dust from your mattress
During your spring clean there should be focus on your bedding, including your mattress. Make sure you give it a good vacuum with an upholstery attachment and give it a good whack whilst it is propped upwards against the wall. Lie it back down and sprinkle with baking soda. I would suggest leaving the baking soda on for 2 hours then vacuuming it off, this should successfully remove odours. Give your bedding some extra TLC too – wash your pillows and duvets. If they won’t fit in your washing machine save some money by taking them to the local laundrette and using the industrial sized washers there.
Sofas and armchairs
Considering how much time we spend lounging around our sofas and armchairs over winter, it is no wonder that they can look a bit deflated come spring. The best thing to do is to give your favourite upholstery a thorough clean – remove all the cushions and thoroughly vacuum the base, after which you can give your cushions a quick clean (most carpet detergents are well suited to upholstery). If your furniture is made from leather then wiping it down with a damp cloth will get rid of dust.
Re-order your bookshelf, getting rid of any tattered volumes – unless they have sentimental value. It is also a great idea to alternate your book stacking, placing some horizontally and others vertically, as that will make the shelves look more interesting. If you still have too many books you can get creative and use some of them to make a pedestal for a photo frame, or a vase.
Give your computer a fresh start. Organise your desktop and email account, delete unwanted items and file things you like to keep. Clean your keyboard thoroughly with sanitizer using a toothbrush and cotton buds. A study by the consumer group Which? carried out among London offices suggests that keyboards have more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat.
Iron out stains
Do you have some really tough stains on your upholstery or carpet? By applying heat it can often activate the cleaner and make it more effective. Apply stain remover or cleaning fluid on the affected area, cover with a towel or cloth and iron over this to see great results.
Get decorative baskets and place them on the bookshelf or on the sideboard. This will help you clear the clutter of smaller items in a cost effective yet stylish way. You can also use them to force yourself organise your mail – 90% is probably immediate rubbish, whereas placing the rest in a basket will urge you to sort ASAP. On the subject of baskets – get your keys a beautiful plate to sit by the door, that way you won’t ever have the ‘where are they?!’ panic.
Vacuum storage bags
A perfect way to store seasonal items in your wardrobe. It will save space in your bedroom and protect the pieces from dirt, dust and damp. You can also repeat the same trick when you are de-cluttering for summer, as you can store large items like duvets in vacuum bags too.
Clean after cleaning
Don’t forget to sanitize your sponges used while cleaning. Microwave wet sponges for 2 min, or toss them in the dishwater to kill the germs, and make sure they dry quickly. A damp sponge will attract bacteria.
Yvonne Manomano is the Cleaning Operation Manager at the on-demand cleaning and DIY company Handy – www.handy.com. Handy users can instantly book trusted, fully-vetted cleaners or handymen, removing the stresses associated with housework and DIY. Yvonne recruits, screens and trains Handy professionals, making sure they all receive personal care, in turn providing Handy’s clients with a service that is second to none. She has a fully hands-on approach, attending regular ‘test cleans’ in order to keep up with trends and advancements in the industry. She also hosts ‘Cleaner Clinics’ where Handy professionals can provide feedback about their experience on the job. As a representative of Handy, Yvonne understands the importance of complete discretion and courtesy when it comes to providing home services.