Top 7 Spring Cleaning Hacks

Most Oklahomans associate spring with sunshine, the start of baseball season and severe weather. But it’s also a time to shake off the cobwebs, and give the house a good scrub and a declutter. While it’s no one’s favorite chore, spring cleaning can give you that wonderful, fresh-start feeling. Here are our seven favorite spring cleaning hacks:

  1. Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smells

Most of you have seen viral videos on social media claiming that a bit of ice and hot water will flush grime out of the pipes. However, a plumbing expert recently warned that running your disposal with hot water can loosen grease and make clogs worse. One way to clean a garbage disposal: 

  • Fill the disposal with ice cubes, a sprinkle of coarse salt and a few lemon wedges to give the disposal a fresh scent. 
  • Turn on the cold water and run the disposal until the ice has cleared. 

Voila! Enjoy a lemony-fresh garbage disposal… at least until you wash your next batch of dirty dishes. 

  1. Clean Your Microwave the Easy Way

If you have a few lemons left over after cleaning the garbage disposal, use them to loosen up the grime in the microwave. Yes, really! 

  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. 
  • Microwave for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the door. The trapped steam will loosen those pesky stuck-on food bits, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less effort.
  1. Let Go of Old Clothes

“I plan on wearing that when I lose weight!” 

“My vintage jeans will totally be back in style soon!” 

If you’ve made similar excuses when cleaning out your closet, this next hack is for you. Take all of your clothes on hangers and place the hanger on the rack, but with the ‘hook’ facing you. Then set a calendar reminder for 6 months. Every time a piece of clothing is worn, hang it back up with the hanger facing the correct way. At the end of 6 months, donate all of the clothing still facing the wrong way. Let’s face it – if it hasn’t been worn in a year, it will probably never be worn. 

  1. Fix Your Clogged Shower Head

Have been meaning to fix that shower head that sprays water in all directions? Now is the time! One way to clear the mineral deposits that could affect water flow is with white vinegar, a plastic bag and a rubber band. Simply fill the bag with vinegar and use a rubber band to secure the bag to the shower head. Let it soak overnight. To avoid the smell of vinegar all day, remember to let the water run before hopping in the shower!

  1. Get Rid of Old Electronics and Accessories

Electronic waste is the fastest-growing waste stream globally. Rather than throwing away your old gadgets and accessories, consider some more useful ways to get rid of that tangled box of cords accumulating dust: 

  1. Retail Drop-Off. Big box electronics stores often have kiosks for recycling old electronics and accessories. A few places like Best Buy, Fry’s and more!
  2. Sell and Recycle. Metal recycling centers will sometimes pay you for your small electronics – especially cables with copper wiring.
  3. Give away. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Electronics that are old, may be an upgrade for a friend or family member. Find out if anyone would love to have that older generation iPhone, Xbox or even GameCube.
  4. Donate to STEM Programs. Schools and nonprofits with STEM programs may be highly useful for educational purposes. 
  5. Clean the Inside of a Dishwasher (the easy way!)

You may think that because a dishwasher cleans dishes, that the inside must be sparkling. But dishwashers can actually accumulate grimy buildup and cause unpleasant smells. Here are a few ways to keep a dishwasher fresh with only two ingredients and a few easy steps. 

  • First, inspect the drain and remove any debris. Give it a scrub with some vinegar and an old toothbrush. 
  • Next, place a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack and run the dishwasher on the hottest setting. 
  • When it’s finished, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom floor of the dishwasher and run for a short hot water cycle. 

*For an extra clean dishwasher, add 1 cup of bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full wash cycle. 

Performing this process as needed can help eliminate clogs and help avoid costly repairs.

  1. De-Gunk Your Oven

Did you know that dryer sheets can help clean the gunk off oven racks? It may seem strange, but it really works. Here’s how to try it out for yourself. 

  • Place 6-8 dryer sheets in the bathtub and lay the oven racks on top. 
  • Fill the tub with hot water until the oven racks are covered. 
    • For extra-greasy racks, add about ¼ cup of Dawn dish soap.
  • Let the racks soak for several hours or overnight. 
  • Use the dryer sheets to wipe away the gunk. Thanks to the antistatic in the dryer sheets, the grime should wipe away easily. 

Along with cleaning and decluttering with our spring cleaning hacks, this could also be a good time to check in on your Home Insurance coverage. Contact your local OKFB agent to discuss any updates or planned renovations to ensure your coverage is up to date.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

As the weather warms and spring begins to bloom, you may catch the spring cleaning fever. Spring cleaning can help you feel accomplished and have a clean home. It can also help keep your home safe by taking care of small items that could cause major problems or be hazardous down the road. Consider this checklist while you’re cleaning up around the house this spring, to be sure it’s as safe as it is clean. 

Clean the Dryer Vent

While most people know to clean the lint trap after each load of laundry, the dryer vent often gets neglected. Lint can also build up in the hose from the dryer and dryer vent, which could be a fire hazard. Make sure to check for lint that accumulates in these forgotten areas and clear out any hazards. 

Replace Damaged Extension Cords 

Whether they’re under a rug receiving a lot of foot traffic or being yanked from one place to another, extension cords often get worn and damaged. These damaged cords can be a big fire risk. Consider replacing older cords around the house to reduce the risk of fire. 

Update Online Passwords 

As you deep clean your house this spring, it’s a good reminder to clean up other areas of your life as well, including online passwords. Take a few minutes to set up new, strong passwords for all your accounts. This will help prevent online accounts from being hacked and your identity from being stolen. 

Clean the Stove/Oven 

As food particles build up over time on the stovetop or in the oven, thoroughly cleaning both of these appliances is an important checklist item. Built up particles and/or grease can pose a fire hazard. No matter how frequently you cook, make sure to spend some extra time deep cleaning the stove and oven this spring. 

Change Air Filters

Make sure to clean and/or replace home air filters as the weather warms. The furnace will still be moving air through your home all year, and pollen, dust and other allergens that get built up in the filters can worsen seasonal allergies if you don’t change the filters.

Check Alarm Batteries

Smoke alarms help keep your home safe, but are often forgotten about if the alarms don’t go off frequently. Spring cleaning is a great time to check the status of alarms and put in new batteries. Also, wipe down the alarms to ensure dust isn’t inhibiting them from doing their job. We reward safety precautions and offer a discount for having a fire alarm in the home. Check with your agent to see if you may be eligible. 

Clean Bedding 

Most people wash their sheets and pillowcases often, but the mattress and pillows may be neglected in the process of cleaning the bedding on a regular basis. Take time to vacuum the mattress and rotate it so that it can wear evenly. Also, wash pillows in hot water to help get rid of dust mites. 

No matter how much you clean or prepare, accidents can still happen. Ensure your home and family are protected with a Home Insurance policy. Contact an OKFB agent for a customizable policy that fits your lifestyle.