Here are 14 spring cleaning hacks to keep your house sparkling this festive season

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Get your home ready for the festive season with these hacks. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)
Get your home ready for the festive season with these hacks. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Home for the holidays and preparing to entertain small groups of friends and family after a long, hard year? Good times lie head – cooking up a storm, long chats around the table, lazy afternoons in the garden . . .

But before you get to the fun part, you might need to get your house ship-shape for the festivities so it’s a sweet-smelling haven of happiness – especially if you have a fussy friend or a hard-to-please mother-in-law coming round. 

Here are some easy ways to clean your castle from top to bottom without breaking the bank.

towels, spring cleaning, festive season, hacks
You can still put old towels and T-shirts to good use. (PHOTO: Getty Images / Gallo Images)

1. Repurpose clothing and towels

Go through your cupboards and drawers for things that are too small (thanks, lockdown) or you no longer wear or use. Of course, items that are still in good condition can be given away but tatty T-shirts, scruffy vests and towels with holes or bleach stains can be repurposed.

Use them to wipe down floors, windows, walls, the bathtub and other surfaces. You can also dry your hair with clean old cotton T-shirts to prevent frizz.

newspaper, spring clean, cleaning hacks
For streak-free windows, use newspapers. (PHOTO: Getty Images / Gallo Images)

2. Streak-free windows

Windows covered in fingerprints or dog-nose smudges? Mix 250ml (1c) water, 250ml (1c) vinegar and 1 drop dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Spritz your windows, grab newspaper and give them a wipe. 

The dishwashing liquid helps prevent streaks and the scent helps cover up the smell of vinegar. Newspaper absorbs oil and liquid better than paper towels, which usually leave streaks.

 cobwebs, spring clean, cleaning hacks
Sweep away those cobwebs. (PHOTO: Getty Images / Gallo Images)

3. Clear away cobwebs 

Cobwebs are generally found in difficult-to-reach areas, such as the upper corners of rooms and light fixtures. Wrap a towel around the bristles of a broom, secure with a hair tie or rubber band and run along corners and ceilings and over lights 

blinds, spring clean, cleaning hacks
Easily clean blinds with braai tongs and two microfibre cloths. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

4. Blitz those blinds 

Blinds can seem daunting to dust. Try this simple hack: fasten two microfibre cloths with a rubber band or hair tie to a pair of braai tongs and run up and down each slat. Once done, remove the cloth and throw it in the washing machine. 

spring clean, cleaning hacks, oven
A steam bath makes it easier to wipe the grease away. (PHOTO: Getty Images / Gallo Images)

5. Steam your oven . . .

Roast potatoes and leg of lamb just taste better when they’re baked in a clean oven. Skip the scrubbing and give your oven a quick steam bath: fill a casserole dish with water and 125ml (½c) white vinegar. Heat the oven to 180°C, allow the water to boil for 30 minutes, then switch the oven off and allow it cool down. Grab a paper towel and wipe the grease away.

spring clean, oven
Get rid of burnt-in dirt with heat, water and baking soda. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

6. . . . and scrub away those burnt bits

To get rid of burnt-in dirt in your oven, make a paste with water and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and coat a layer over the oven. Leave for 12-24 hours, then wet with a damp cloth or sponge and wipe off. The baking soda loosens the debris, making it easy to wipe away.

silverware, toothpaste, spring clean
You can polish your silverware with toothpaste. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

7. Polish your silverware . . .

Without spending a cent. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to an old toothbrush or cloth then rub into your silverware and watch the sparkle emerge. 

household gloves, spring clean
Remove pet hairs with household gloves. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

8. Gloves for pet hairs

Pet hairs on the couch can be a pain to get rid of but try this: put on a pair of dishwashing gloves and rub your hands over the surface of the sofa. The friction creates an electrical charge which makes it easy for hairs to stick to the glove. 

microwave, lemon, hack, spring clean
Clean your microwave with this hack. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

9. Microwave magic

Your microwave gets a workout this time of the year, so make sure it’s nice and clean for all the heavy-duty business ahead.

Pour 250ml (1c) water into a microwave-safe bowl. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of both halves into the bowl. Set the microwave for 5 minutes. Wait for the bowl to cool, then remove and take a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave. The steam from the mixture will soften caked-in food and make it easy to remove.

kettle, spring clean
Keep your kettle sparkling on the inside. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

10. Clean that kettle 

Limescale and other mineral deposits build up inside your kettle, resulting in unsightly brown stains. Over time it will affect your kettle’s performance and even shorten its life span.

Slice one lemon into thin rounds and put the slices in your kettle. Fill the kettle with cold water so it covers the affected areas. Boil the water with the lemons in it, leave for 30 minutes, then boil a second time.

Stubborn stains might need a third boiling. Then rinse with clean cold water. This hack works on plastic, stainless steel, ceramic, electric and stove-top kettles.

drain, spring clean
Keep your drain smelling fresh. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images

11. Deodorise your drain

There is little more off-putting than a smelly or clogged drain. Get yours guest-ready by trying this trick: pour 125ml (½c) baking soda down the sink’s hole, then add 125ml (½c) white vinegar – this will cause a chemical reaction and the mixture will start to bubble and fizz up. Leave it to sit for around 10-15 minutes. Boil water in a kettle and carefully pour down the sink’s hole. 

bathtub, soap scum
Remove soap scum from your bath without having to get on your knees. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

12. Remove soap scum without the hassle

There’s no need to get on your hands and knees to scrub the bath. Mix 125ml (½c) baking soda with 125ml (½c) white vinegar and add it to a tub of hot water. Leave it to soak for 10 minutes, then empty and rinse. You’ll have a pearly-white tub and no sore knees.

lemons, cloves
This combo not only looks good on the table, but it keeps buys away. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

13. Keep bugs at bay

There’s nothing worse than inviting guests for a braai and being bombarded by flies and mozzies. Slice a lemon in half and stuff the inside with cloves. You can arrange the cloves in a pattern and set on your table as part of the décor while you enjoy your meal. The cloves give off a strong aroma, which repels bugs.

mattress, spring clean
Get mattress ready for guests. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

14. Bed bliss

Having guests to sleepover? Give your mattresses a freshen up by mixing 250ml (1c) baking soda with a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. Sprinkle over the mattress and allow to sit for up to 1 hour. Then grab your vacuum and suck up the baking soda – along with the dust and dust mites that may be living there. Flip your mattress and repeat on the other side.


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