(Family Features) Don’t get caught putting extra work into your spring cleaning efforts.
“A little effort up front can make everything you do feel effortless,” said Patrick Coleman, spokesman for Hoover vacuums. “It’s not about finding short cuts. It’s about finding easier ways to do the job right.”
Here are five myths, and the best ways to actually tackle the challenges.
• Cleaning Every Spring is Enough
When it comes to your hardwood floors, putting off cleaning until spring may mean you have to replace them more often.
Walking on dirt and debris can wear down the floors over time. So while it may be tempting to just sweep unless there’s a spill, it’s best to clean the floors at least once a week.
Do this instead: You don’t need to scrub on your hands and knees every week. Let a machine do it for you. The Hoover FloorMate Deluxe has a set of brushes that spin while they gently wash and scrub hard floors. You’ll be surprised how much less you’ll mind cleaning the floor.
• Vinegar is a Miracle Cleaner
Natural cleaning can be a more environmentally friendly way to tackle the mess, but you need to make the right choice for the right job.
Vinegar will do a great job on glass, plastic and ceramic. However, it can actually damage porous surfaces like the grout between tiles or stone.
Do this instead: Mix 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, 3 drops of dish detergent and 1 cup of water. Make it smell divine with essential oils.
• More Dirt = More Soap Needed
When something is absolutely filthy, it’s natural to grab the soap and go to town. But that can actually make it dirtier.
While soap is helpful in removing dirt and grime, if you don’t get it all rinsed and removed, the residue acts like a magnet for more dirt.
Do this instead: Use less than you think you need. You can always add more if needed.
• Newspapers Can Replace Paper Towels
You can certainly save money and a tree or two by reusing newspapers instead of buying paper towels to clean windows and other surfaces.
But the ink on newsprint can smear – so you need a backup plan.
Do this instead: Keep a few extra towels or torn garments for when the newspaper is not cutting it.
• Hairspray is the Best Way To Get Out Ink Stains
Yes, hairspray does work. But why add glue and other chemicals to the mess?
Do this instead: The alcohol in hairspray is what’s actually doing the heavy lifting. So go straight to the source and use alcohol to lightly blot out the stain.