Now that Marie Kondo has convinced us to throw away everything that no longer "sparks joy", our homes suddenly look cleaner but, being the neurotic Virgos we are, we will ALWAYS find more things to clean. Buckle up, because we’re bringing some spring cleaning love to the forgotten spots in your home. Taking out the trash and washing dishes is amateur hour, people! You haven’t truly lived until you’ve descaled your shower head. We bring you the typically overlooked nooks and crannies cryin’ for a cleanin’ (I think I just wrote a country song)...
Shower heads and faucets can get clogged up with mineral deposits from the water. The easiest way to descale only requires white vinegar, a sandwich baggie, a rubber band and an old toothbrush. Fill the baggie with vinegar and wrap it around so the faucet or shower head is submerged. Secure the baggie with a rubber band and leave for a few hours. When you remove the baggie, use the toothbrush to gently scrub off and remaining debris. We recommend doing this at least every three months.
Indoor plants can get surprisingly dusty. We used to wipe the leaves down with a damp microfiber cloth, but we just discovered a faster option...give those green babies the once-over with a hairdryer (set to cool). Yup, we’re hair-drying our houseplants...it’s come to this.
The range hood filter keeps grease from gunking up the exhaust fans above your stove. Didn’t know they were even there? That means you probably need to clean them! Fill up a large bowl with boiling hot water and add a generous squirt of dishwashing detergent and ¼ cup of baking soda. Drop the filter in there and let it soak for 20 minutes before giving it a good scrub with a kitchen sponge. Make sure the filter is dry before popping back in place. It’s a good idea to clean this guy once a month, especially if you’re frequently cooking.
The washing machine has to be washed? Wooooahhhhh maaaaan (said in a 90s movie stoner voice)! To make sure you’re not cleaning your clothes in mold soup, there are a few parts of your washing machine that need a regular scrub-a-dub. Grab a measuring cup filled with 2 cups of white vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of hot water, and a scrubbie sponge and microfiber cleaning cloth to get down to business. Wipe down the face of the machine and around all the knobs. Add your mixture to the detergent container and run the machine on the hottest setting. Once the machine has finished the cycle, take the wet sponge and scrub the inside of the machine to wipe up any debris. Most importantly, pull the rubber seal away from the drum and scrub out any mold with a mixture of more hot water and vinegar; this is a sneaky spot is prime mold real estate. After doing a load, leave the washer lid open so the interior can dry out.
The garbage disposal is another potentially grubby spot (I also have an irrational fear of my hands getting eaten by mine, but that’s normal for a grown woman, right?). All of the chemical cleaners I’ve tried have never gotten the job done, but this greener alternative has freshened things up down in the depths of the disposal. Fill an ice cube tray up with white vinegar (notice a theme here, we buy ours in bulk at Costco), and slice up some citrus peels (lemon, orange or grapefruit, whatever you’re about to toss out) into small chunks. Drop some of the peels into each cube, add a few sprigs of rosemary if you’re feeling extra. Stick the tray in the freezer and, when solid, toss 2-4 cubes into the running disposal. The vinegar de-grimes, while the citrus helps to disinfect. Another spot that gets overlooked here is the rubber splash guard. Toss on a pair of rubber gloves, grab an old toothbrush and some soapy hot water and get all up in there.
Dirty dryer vents are home fire hazards waiting to happen. Just peeling the lint off the lint trap is fine, but twice a year you should remove the trap and gently scrub the screen with soapy water and a sponge or bottle brush. Cleaning out the lint trap isn’t enough though, you’ve got to go deep into the bowels of your dryer to get ALL THE LINT! The dryer vent is the large hose between the lint trap and the outside of your home, so if you’ve noticed that it’s taking longer than usual to dry your laundry, a clogged vent could be the culprit. Use your vacuum hose to get down in there and suck out all those lint bunnies. If your vacuum nozzle is too thick, take an old paper towel roll and tape it onto the nozzle to make a handy dandy little extender! You’ll also want to clean out the vent from the other end located outside. As a bonus, your dryer will run more efficiently and you could be extending the life of your appliance.
The coffee maker can trap residue which can affect how your morning brew tastes. A recent study found that HALF of all traditional coffee makers have mold and yeast growing in their reservoirs! In less upsetting news, it can also clog up the drip...but also MOLD AND YEAST COACHELLA is happening in your coffee maker! Mix a few cups of equal parts white vinegar and water, and run the mixture through the machine. You’ll want to run some water through afterwards to flush out the vinegar smell.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we always try to reach for non-toxic, green cleaning products. White vinegar and baking soda are our go-tos, and with a little extra elbow grease, they can tackle most grimey challenges. We always keep a spray bottle full of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water under the sink...it may make your house smell like salad dressing, but it’s cheaper and greener than commercial chemical cleaning agents.
After all that cleaning, think about how nice it will feel to kick back with a cup of moldlessly-brewed coffee, enjoying your hair dried, dust-free plants, and knowing your home won’t burn to ashes in an easily avoidable lint fire. This is LIVING you guys!