Time to tackle the spring-cleaning

BELINDA CIPRIANO

Spring-cleaning may be a cliche but it's a good excuse to get motivated for a tidy-up in preparation for the new season. And the good news is, with a little expert advice the task can be easier than you think.

Lynda Armstrong, owner of home maintenance and family care business Dial-An-Angel, said that as so many people spent winter indoors - hibernating and enjoying the creature comforts of home - by the time the warmer months rolled around our houses were well and truly in need of a spring-clean.

"It is only when the sun starts to shine through the home and we see all the dust build up and the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling that we then sense the change in season," Ms Armstrong said. "Not only is it a great way to welcome in the new season, it gives you a great mental boost."

The warmer months also meant more entertaining at home, so many people felt the need to spruce up their home in preparation for visitors.

Canning Vale VIP Home Services franchise owner Janet Ward also believes a good spring-clean is a must at this time of year.

"You don't realise how dirty your home can get after winter but because you spend more time inside, there is more grime, dust and dirt and it is harder and heavier to clean," she said.

Built-up dust was also a cause for concern, especially for people with allergies and the elderly. "You don't realise how bad dust can get until spring comes around and there is more sunshine in the home so you tend to notice it more," Ms Ward said. "Regular cleaning can help avoid this and makes the home nice and fresh."

To help lighten the load, try these room-by-room tips to get the most out of your cleaning.

  • BATHROOM *


"Get rid of the PVC curtain and use one that can be washed, like canvas, cotton or hemp," founder of Enjo Australia Barb de Corti said. "PVC releases toxic chemicals causing all sorts of respiratory problems.

"Also aim to keep things dry so there is no mould build-up. Keep windows open and turn your fan on."

Ms Armstrong said it was important to use the right equipment.

"Some people use bleach and that eats away at the grout. Lots of people are now getting into the natural stuff like bicarbonate soda, vinegar and Enjo. So many people love using them because they give you the right clean without all the chemicals."

  • KITCHEN *


"This is probably the biggest job and really it should be tackled in small steps," Ms Armstrong said.

"Start by removing outdated produce from cupboards and fridges. Take things off fridges and benchtops so it's easier to see where all the dirt is.

"To get your stove looking like new, spray it with the right product 24 hours before."

To banish bugs, Ms de Corti said it was important not only to wipe down benchtops but to dry them properly. "Bacteria likes warmth and moisture so make sure it is thoroughly cleaned with water and then dried off."

"To tackle grease in the oven, I pop a hot bowl of water in it and steam the whole oven. Once it cools down, I grab my microfibres and wipe it down.

"Fridges should always be kept clean to avoid mould build-up. Empty it out, clean it with water and make sure you dry it off."

  • BEDROOM *


Ms de Corti recommends airing your mattress and giving it a good vacuum, then turning it over. "Also keep clutter to a minimum, the more things you have in your room the more dust will accumulate," she said.

Ms Armstrong also recommends banishing junk first to make cleaning easier. "I think it's important to de-clutter as much as you can otherwise you are cleaning around things," she said.

  • LIVING ROOM *


"Spring is the perfect time to open all your windows to air it all out," Ms de Corti said.

"Living rooms also tend to have big windows so use natural products without ammonia - chemicals can cause windows to cloud.

"Give cushions a wash and make the effort to vacuum them and leave them in the sun."

Ms Armstrong advised checking your vacuum was in good working order, that it was not just blowing air around, and that you were using the right mop for your floors.

  • LAUNDRY *


"The laundry can attract mould build-up so wash walls and dry them off," Ms de Corti said. "Clean out filters and dust behind washing machines and dryers."

Ms Armstrong recommended getting someone to help move heavy appliances. "Make sure you have someone to help lift the washing machine or dryer to get in and around all the corners," she said.