Spring is in the air and there’s no better way to be celebrating this new season than with the traditional spring clean. So why not put on some overalls, roll up your sleeves and get your home ship-shape, inside and out!
1) A good tip is to start with the outside and work your way inside. Get your shears and prune and trim the trees in your garden, making sure there are no overhanging branches into your neighbour’s yard and also that there are no branches in close proximity to your gutters, walls and roof.
2) Then you can tackle the gutter and downpipes. Clean out the gutter using a garden trowel and pour a bucket of water into the downpipes so you can see if there are any blockages.
- Check your flowerbeds, pot plants, hedging and trees for pests of all shapes and sizes. Because they will already have begun feeding on the new spring growth you’ll be alerted to them on the buds, leaves, bark and stems of saplings, trees and plants. Larger pests, like rats and mice, might be more difficult to find, but be on the lookout for droppings, a musky smell, damage to cables and rustling noises especially in your walls and attic and even more especially at night.
4) It’s a good idea to bleed your radiators. You should get into the habit of bleeding them every year during your big spring clean. Your radiator won’t be able to distribute heat effectively if it has trapped air inside. Not only will this leave the home feeling chilly, but it can also lead to frozen or cracked pipes further down the road.
5) If you’ve got a smoke alarm then make sure it’s in proper working order. In fact, you should check whether it’s working on a regular basis and not just once a year. Open it up and clear out dust or debris that might have collected over the months, and every so often push the test button and replace the batteries when you hear the low-power warning beep.
6) Clean out your plugholes in baths, basins and sinks (as well as the shower drain) with baking soda. Take 15 tablespoons of baking soda and pour down the plugholes followed immediately with 100ml of white vinegar. Once the fizzing stops run hot water down the hole.
7) Look for damp. Mix half a pint of PVA glue and a pint of water and paint over and around any damp spots you find. Leave to dry. It will kill the mould while drying out the moisture content.
Homemade cleaning products
There's no need to spend a fortune on expensive cleaning products when everything you need can be found around the house! All you need to do is raid your kitchen cupboards, grab a few ingredients and get cleaning.
Get your windows squeaky clean with a simple homemade window cleaner. You’ll need half a cup of vinegar, two cups of water, a dash of liquid soap and an empty spray bottle. Add water, vinegar and mix, then add a dash of liquid soap and shake well with your finger covering the top. Close the bottle and you’re good to go with your own brand of window cleaner. Be sure to label the bottle and keep out of reach of the kids.
Get rid of over gunk with three tablespoons baking soda, half a cup of warm water, rubber gloves and a scrubbing brush. Mix the baking soda and water into a paste, and add more soda or water if you’re not happy with the consistency. Smear the inside of your oven with the paste and leave for a few hours then give it a good scrub, leave it overnight and in the morning wipe down with a damp cloth.
Finally, you can give your copper and brass pots a good shine with, wait for it – ketchup. Good old tasty tomato sauce is an excellent cleaning agent for copper and brass pots and pans. Soak your copper and brassware in warm water, add a good measure of tomato sauce and get scrubbing. Rinse and dry for sparkling shiny copper and brassware that looks brand spanking new.