• Pamela Wilkinson

Spring Cleaning

Today is the first we've seen the sun in what feels like weeks. Are you as glad as I to go outside and just walk around? I know it's still winter, but it sure feels like spring today. The Redtips are already blooming and daffodils are poking their heads out. Despite all the rain, I'm so glad to live in Atlanta. We have really moderate weather compared to many other places I've lived and I'm grateful to be here.

This nice weather makes me think about Spring Cleaning. Ha! You thought I was going to say, "bike riding" or "hiking," didn't you? Like that will happen. Anyway, I have a few tips to make cleaning, well, not a breeze, but at least tolerable.

1. Organize your supplies

Make it easy to do a quick cleanup in the bathrooms, without searching for your cleaning supplies. Buy a small bucket or plastic tote with a handle, stock it with the tub and toilet cleansers, gloves and cleaning rags or sponges, and keep it under the bathroom sink. (You really don't need a lot of different cleaners, either. Choose products that are multi-purpose cleaners or use white vinegar.) Each bathroom should have its own tote and its own toilet brush. This makes it easy for the kids to clean their own bathrooms, too!

2. A Homemade Shower Cleaner and Soap Scum Remover

To make this powerful shower cleaner, measure out equal amounts of Dawn soap and white vinegar. (Somewhere between one and two cups of each should be plenty.) The soap makes the mixture thick and keeps it from running down the drain. Here are the full instructions from the blog, OneGoodThing.

3. KETCHUP is a terrific cleaner.

This makes sense, because of the acidity of the ingredients. (It's mainly vinegar and tomatoes.) My friend, Marty Seaburg, uses ketchup (any brand,) to polish her stainless steel sink. She says it also works on copper and silver. Squirt it on and spread it with a sponge or dishcloth, let it sit for a minute and rinse with warm water. I would wet the sink first. I'll bet this works on copper-bottom pots and the stainless burner pans on your stove, too.

A fellow property manager and friend, Billy Goldberg, uses ketchup to clean the ovens in his rental properties. He turns the oven to its lowest setting, smears ketchup all over the interior, including the racks, and leaves it for an hour. Turn off the oven (don't open the door) and let the ketchup work overnight. I can't say that I've tried this one, but he swears by it.

4. Clean and Sharpen Your Garbage Disposal

Toss half a lemon - seeds, rind and all (or lime or half an orange) - into the disposal, turn on the cold water and grind until you no longer hear a clunking noise. Katelyn Fagan writes a blog on how to clean anything. Here are her tips on sharpening the disposal blades and ridding your kitchen of a stinky disposal drain.

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