Spring clean before the guests arrive

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

The festive season is almost here and guests will be dropping in unannounced. So now is the time to get your house cleaned and keep it that way throughout this hectic time.

Despite your best cleaning efforts, there are nooks and crannies in your house that will still need a thorough clean-up.

According to Gerald Tromp of Tromp Cleaning Services, it's easy to miss dust in a corner in which a cabinet stands, or cobwebs that flourish below the sink area in your bathroom or kitchen.

Tromp says: "Plan carefully so that you don't waste time, energy or resources. For a squeaky-clean house, it is always advisable to look for professional help from cleaning services. But if you can't, plan your cleaning well."

Household cleaning tips:

l For more effective dish washing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dish washing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling.

l To clean up spills in your oven, sprinkle them immediately with salt. When the oven has cooled, brush away the burnt food with a damp sponge.

l To whiten an old, stained sink, pour half a cup of salt in it and then scrub it with a lemon. Let it stand for a few minutes and rinse.

l To remove kitchen and food odours, soak pure vanilla on a cotton ball and place in a saucer. Put the saucer in the car or refrigerator to remove odours. Keep cotton ball out of reach of children as it contains some alcohol.


l Bars of soap too small to use effectively can be pressed into the sides of new bars that have been softened by recent use.

l Shower curtains can be renovated by being washed, on the gentle cycle of a washing machine, with about half a litre of white vinegar.

l To clean tubs and showers use a product that contains phosphoric acid. There is no scrubbing involved.

l Build-up on shower doors: Wipe with lemon oil. Removes build-up and keeps doors protected longer from future build-up.

l Urine stains: For washable fabrics that can be bleached, pre-soak them in cold water for at least thirty minutes. Launder these fabrics in hot water, using detergent and chlorine bleach according to the directions on the bleach container.

l For washable, non-bleachable items, sponge the stained area with a solution of equal parts of household ammonia and water, then launder the item in warm water and detergent.

l For non-washable items, sponge just the stained area with clear water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added. Then, sponge with clear water only.

l Use crumpled-up black and white newspaper dipped in vinegar to wash windows. Dip paper in vinegar and wipe the glass until almost dry, then shine with dry newspaper or cloth.

l Children's stickers can be removed from wood by applying white vinegar to the sticker, letting it soak and then scraping off.

l Remove spilled nail polish from wood furniture: Don't wipe it up. The solvents in nail polish soften most finishes and wiping may take off the finish.

Instead, let the polish dry completely, then gently scrape it off with a credit card. Wax the surface, using superfine steel wool.

l Cleaning ceramic tiles: Regular rubbing alcohol works wonders for a ceramic floor. Just pour straight on and rub around with a mop until it dries.

Make sure children are not in the area during this process and also have good ventilation in the room.

l Removing crayons from walls: Use damp sponge and Colgate toothpaste. Rub carefully.

l Removing pen and pencil marks from walls: Use a dry cloth and rubbing alcohol.

l Garbage Disposal: If you've got a lemon that's a little past its prime, cut it in quarters and run it through your sink disposal to freshen your drain.

Additional information from www.thefunplace.com