Deep Cleaning Hacks You Wish You’d Known Sooner

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By Katherine Gotthardt

There’s a reason why people tend to put off deep cleaning the house, often waiting for spring. It’s not just about the season and opening the windows for fresh air. It’s about getting the motivation to complete those pesky tasks many of us move to the back of our minds the rest of the year. If you’re one of those people who always seems to be saying “I’ll clean that later,” keep reading. These cleaning hacks can make your life a lot easier, and your home a lot cleaner.

Clean the blinds

We know this is not everyone’s favorite task. How do you clean all those individual slats? Here’s an easy
way to conquer dirt and dust. First, close the blinds. Then slide an old, long sock over your hand. Dip it in a mix of vinegar and water and run it across the surface of each blade. Reverse the slats and repeat the cleaning on the other side. Voila. You’re well on your way to a cleaner home.

Descale the showerhead

Showerhead stains got you down? Those stains might also be blocking the water stream. Instead of replacing the fixture entirely, try descaling it like this. Take the showerhead off and soak it in a bag of two parts vinegar mixed with one part water for about 20 minutes. (You’ll need to seal the bag to do this, so be sure to use a tight tie of some kind to avoid spillage.) Then rinse with clear water. If stains do not rinse off, soak it for an additional 10 minutes and repeat until clean.

Dust the ceiling fans

Here’s a great way to get the dust off those hard-to-reach fans without having dust bunnies fall all over the floor (and you). Get a sturdy ladder or stool and a pillowcase. Once you can safely reach the fan, open the
pillowcase wide and slide it over a fan blade towards the center. Then close the pillowcase and apply gentle pressure as you slide it back away from the center. The pillowcase will capture the dust. Repeat for each blade, using fresh pillowcases as desired.

Dust the lampshades

Dust really resists coming off fabric shades, so chances are, you tend to put off this task. Ready for this cleaning hack? Use a lint roller. Slide your hand inside the shade to support it and roll away on the outside, top to bottom, making your way around the circumference of the shade. (For pleated lampshades, roll from side to side so as not to disturb the pleats.) You’ll have a cleaner lampshade with little effort.

Brighten sinks and surfaces

If your cabinets, refrigerator and kitchen sink have stubborn stains, try this. Mix a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and coat a brush. Scrub surface areas in a circular motion. Wipe off the mixture with dish soap and water. Follow up with a rinse of water and then dry. You should see shinier, cleaner surfaces in no time.

Cleaning the house takes time, effort and motivation, and many of us are lacking in at least one of these areas when it comes to doing dirty jobs. The trick is to find what works for you. Make the process simple (and even fun!), and you’ll see you can have the clean house you want any time of the year.

Social Media Director for Prince William Living, Katherine Gotthardt ( is an award-winning writer, poet and author, as well as president of Write by the Rails, the Prince William chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Learn about her work at


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