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Deep Cleans

Spring Cleaning Tricks: Do These Deep Cleans in Under an Hour

Spring cleaning is an amazing phenomenon. It’s the one time we don’t mind attacking the dirt and grime that we ignore for the rest of the year. Something about a deep clean renews not only our home, but our spirit. It just feels good.

So let’s get down to business. Here are five frequently overlooked deep cleans, and how to do them in under an hour.


If your microwave gets daily usage, it’s probably time for a refresh. Here’s a homemade cleaner that smells as good as it works.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine one cup of water, one tablespoon white vinegar, two tablespoons lemon juice, and a couple drops of vanilla extract. Heat on high for one minute then allow the mixture to remain in the oven for five minutes without opening the door. The aromatic steam will loosen the baked-on residue. Open the door and carefully remove the bowl. Use a damp, clean cloth to wipe out the interior.


You depend on this appliance to sanitize your dishes, but do you show it any TLC? Here’s how:

Start with an empty dishwasher. If your model has a filter (not all do), remove it and soak in warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water then replace (no need to let it dry). If you notice gunk or chalky white calcium deposits in the bottom or your machine, sprinkle one cup of baking soda on the bottom, and use a little water and a scrub brush to form a paste. Let it sit for about half an hour. Next, pour one cup of white vinegar into the dispenser and run the machine on the “heavy” cycle. This should not only clean, but deodorize your machine, and reassure you that your dishes will come out sparkling!


We spend a lot of time in bed – according to, approximately one-third of our lives! So laundering the sheets alone isn’t going to cut it. Use this simple method to revive your mattress.

Strip off the bed linens and vacuum the surface. Next, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil into one cup of baking soda, and sprinkle it on the mattress. Allow the mixture to sit for about two hours then vacuum again. Yes, the resting time exceeds one hour, but the actual work only takes about 15 minutes, and it will be worth the extra time!

Window Treatments

Once again, your vacuum comes in handy. A thorough vacuuming may be all that is needed to rid your curtains or drapes of accumulated dust and lint. Although dry cleaning is a must for formal drapes (in order to preserve the pleats) many curtains can be washed at home. Make sure to check the tags before laundering, however. If washing isn’t an option, use a steamer with a few drops of lavender essential oil to refresh curtains right on the rod! You can also take them down and use a steam iron to get the same effect. Roll shades, cellular shades, and Roman shades will also benefit from a thorough vacuum.

Blinds are a bit trickier. First, close the blinds and vacuum to remove loose surface dust.

If you can’t remove them from the window, use a vinegar and water solution (1:2 ratio). Spray the solution on an old sock or microfiber cloth then wipe down each slat thoroughly. Next, finish by wiping each slat with a dryer sheet. This will help repel future dust.

If you can remove the blinds from the window, you have an opportunity for an even deeper clean. NOTE: If you will be cleaning multiple sets of blinds, be sure to label them on the back side of the header so you know where each set belongs!

Fill the bathtub with enough water to fully immerse the blinds, and pour in 1-2 cups of white vinegar. Allow to soak for half an hour, then use a sponge to wipe away the grime. Use a handheld shower or a pitcher to rinse. Lightly pat dry with a towel and rehang, allowing the blinds to air dry.

Alternatively, you can take the blinds outside and lay them flat on the patio or driveway, making sure all the slats face the same direction. Using a pressure nozzle on the garden hose, spray the grime off the slats. Follow up with a soft sponge (or a sponge mop) and a bucket of water/vinegar mixture then rinse with the hose. If the day is sunny, you can leave the blinds to air dry outside before rehanging them.


To truly achieve that deep clean, baseboards are a must.

Start by using a stiff brush or a vacuum with brush attachment to remove loose dust and dirt. Next wipe them clean with a warm water/vinegar solution (2:1 ratio). You don’t want to mar the finish, so use a sponge or erasing pad, not a scouring pad or scrub brush. Dry with a soft towel. Follow up by running a dryer sheet across the baseboard to discourage dust build up.

Enjoy the sense of renewal that these deep cleans bring to your home!