April 12, 2024
35 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

If you can’t go out, why not make your house spick and span?! (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It’s spring cleaning time, although it might not feel like it given we’re all currently in lockdown.

The world is somewhat overwhelming right now, and as a result, it can make normal parts of your routine feel overwhelming too – including cleaning.

As with any big task, the best thing you can do to feel like you’re accomplishing plenty is to chunk it down into smaller tasks that you can tick off your list.

When it comes to cleaning, not only does this give you that great feeling of getting sh*t done, it also helps you get control of underloved areas of your house that might not have had much sprucing up in some time.

Each of these little cleaning tasks can be done on top of your standard routine if you wish (such as changing bed sheets, cleaning the kitchen, and cleaning the bathroom), and take ten minutes or less to do.

There’s no pressure to get them all done, but you can use this list as a mini motivator to break up your day with one or two and do something productive to boot.

By the end of lockdown, you home could be sparkling.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

It’s not to hard to take it step by step and get the house sparkling (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Vacuum over – and under – your rugs

We often give our rugs a vacuum, but potentially neglect the underside which can collect dust and debris.

As well as vacuuming the fluffy part of your rug, turn it over and give it a once over before repeating on its ‘proper’ side up.

If you have a bit of Shake ‘N’ Vac or baking soda to sprinkle on beforehand and deodorise, even better.

Take a set of tongs to your blinds

Blinds are notorious dust traps, and one of the areas of the home that can be extra fiddly to clean.

This is where your kitchen tongs come in. Cover each end with a cloth and place an elastic band over the top to secure. Then clamp over each slat of the blind and swipe across, taking the dirt with you.

Each blind should take about five to ten minutes, so if you have a houseful, don’t feel like you need to do them all at once.

Squeegee your stair carpet

It’s not the classic item you’d imagine when you think about cleaning stairs, but a standard window squeegee used on a carpet can make light worth of hair.

Particularly if you have pets, you’ll be surprised at how much hair you can pick up simply going over each stair with a product like this one.

You can do it dry or slightly damp to lift a bit more, and it works on all carpets – but is particularly handy on stairs which are harder to vacuum.

Disinfect your handles

Right now you’re probably disinfecting like no tomorrow, but common touch-points like door and drawer handles may get left out.

Using diluted Zoflora (or another brand, we just like the smell) spritz handles until damp and give them a wipe. Once they’re dry, you’re good to go.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

A home refresh can change your outlook (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Clean the washing machine drawer

All that detergent and softener clogs up a washing machine drawer like no tomorrow, but thankfully it’s easy to get it back to like-new.

If you have a pipecleaner or straw-cleaning brush, work this through hard-to-reach areas, and wipe everything with a touch cleaner like Elbow Grease.

Mould remover sprays such as the ones from Astonish or Cif Perfect Finish come next, and then simply wipe, rinse, and leave to dry before replacing.

Dust your bookshelf

Bookshelves can get mega dusty over time, so spend a few minutes taking out a quick book, going over each with a dry fluffy duster such as this one from Pledge.

If you have dryer sheets you could also use them. Not only do they pick up dust, they leave a very slight residue that helps repel it in future.

Once the books are out of each section, spritz the shelf with diluted Zoflora, wipe and dry, then pop everything back.

Organise the fridge

Make room in your fridge – very needed right now – and find everything easy by going through everything you have and throwing out anything past its best.

Wipe down the shelves and door with disinfectant and put everything back how it should be.

Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, veg and fruit in sealed bags in the drawers, and ready to eat food on the higher shelves.

Create a stair basket and empty it

If you have an upstairs, you might find yourself forever going up and down to put things back where they belong.

Putting a little basket or tub on a low step on the stairs gives you the opportunity to chuck everything in there as and when, then bring it up when you’re already heading upstairs.

You can use any basket for this, but there are ones with a step cut out for an easier fit that you can buy online.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

A clean bathroom is a clean mind (Picture: Erin Aniker)

Scrape your oven door

You don’t need to use loads of harsh chemicals to clean the oven door. Professional cleaners swear by scrapers like these to get gunk and grime away in no time.

Keep the blade at about a 30 degree angle and burnt-on food will be history.

Wash door frames

Fingerprints and general dirt build up over time on doors and frames.

Using a magic sponge, or even a bit of Elbow Grease or Pink Stuff on a cloth will make light work of any smudges.

Go over them after with a dry tea towel to soak up any moisture.

Degrease the oven hood

When you wipe down your kitchen, the oven hood can be forgotten.

Use a degreasing spray first to cut through the residue, then go over it again with a cleaner specific to the material.

Glass cleaner or white vinegar brings glass up a treat, while stainless steel cleaners are also available (although baby oil polishes it up nicely, too).

If your hood has a filter, check to see if it can be washed or needs replaced.

Have a shower and clean while you’re there

You’re more than likely to be having a shower at some point today, so use a bit of that time wisely and give it a scrub before you give yourself a scrub.

A tool like the Dishmatic (just not the one you actually use on your dishes) is ideal. Just fill up the handle with a cleaner of your choice and scrub your tiles, shower screen, and bath as you go.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

Getting little tasks done eventually adds up (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Wipe house plants

Dust and dirt can build up just as much on plants as on other surfaces, and too much of it can also affect transpiration and photosynthesis in plants and make them dull.

A damp cloth – dipped in just water and wrung out – and a wipe if all you need to do.

Use salt and a lemon to revitalise chopping boards

Wooden chopping boards are porous, and therefore can stain and take on smells easily.

As well as washing regularly as normal, a quick way to get them back to best is lurking in your cupboards.

Cut a lemon in half and coat the cut-open side with salt. The bigger the crystals the better here, but any salt will work. Then, rub this all over your chopping board, leave to sit for a while, and rinse.

Freshen up your washing machine drum

This tip technically takes longer since you have to wait for as long as a machine cycle takes, but the hard work takes seconds.

Use a dishwasher tablet to give your machine drum a good clean through, simply popping a tablet into the empty machine, and putting onto a warm wash.

You should start to notice the difference in the way your clothes smell immediately.

Remember the radiators

When your heating’s off – as it probably is in this beautiful weather – it’s the right time to get your radiators nice and clean and ready for when you’ll be putting them back on again.

There are a few different ways to get radiators dust-free. Some people use a hairdryer to blast dirt from inside, while others use a big feather duster to get into the crevices behind them.

Whatever you do, put a towel underneath them to catch any dust that falls and save yourself a job later.

Once the dust is gone, a spritz of Zoflora and water on the exterior of the radiator finishes your task.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

Especially when working from home, keeping your space clean is a must (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Vacuum ceilings

Quite literally blow (or suck?) away the cobwebs with a handheld vacuum.

If you don’t have a vacuum that’d do this, a long-handled duster will definitely do the trick. It takes minutes, and makes a big difference if it’s been a while.

Flip your mattress

Not all mattresses can be flipped, but most can be rotated if not (so where your feet were would now be where your head is).

Moving it around helps it last longer and stay more comfortable, and is a good habit to get into every six months or so when you’re changing the covers.

Give it a hoover if you have a chance, and spray with Febreze for freshness.

Swish fabric softener onto your skirting boards

Running the vacuum over skirting boards with the brush attachment on is a quick way to get rid of dust.

Savvy cleaners will know that this area can also be utilised to make your home smell amazing, too.

Fill a basin with hot water and a capful of fabric softener, and quickly go over each skirting board with a cloth doused in the mixture.

It won’t strip the paintwork and bathes your house in the scent of fresh washing.

Refill home scents

Some people prefer candles, others prefer wax melts, and others like a good old diffuser.

If you have a spare minute, trim your candle wicks, put new tea lights where needed, and flip over the reeds in diffusers to make the most of the liquid.

To empty wax burners, Mrs Hinch swears by cotton pads, heating the existing wax until melted before dipping a pad in and throwing away. Then pop a new melt in there for next time.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

Spring cleaning isn’t hard if you do it in stages (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

Give your dressing table a clean

In the morning when we’re shoving our makeup on and running out of the door, the last thing we’re worrying about if how clean our dressing table is.

Give this area a disinfect, as well as chucking away old makeup (crusty mascara, we’re looking at you) and cleaning your hairbrush out.

A quick mist of white vinegar and wipe with newspaper will get any glass and mirrors streak-free.

Wipe doorbells and knockers

Outside the home can still get dirty, especially with the number of people dropping off deliveries at the moment.

An easy one to tick off your chore list, it takes just a minute with an all-purpose cleaner to get these sanitised.

Throw unloved throws and blankets in the wash

Soft furnishings that aren’t bed sheets and towels are easy to forget, but bundling them up ad putting them on a hot wash is simple too.

Blankets, throws, cushion covers, and pretty much anything that needs a refresh (make sure you check airing cupboards or under-the-stairs) can go in. Just check care labels before you do so.

Use tea to shine mirrored surfaces

A cup of black tea can be cooled down and used with a microfibre cloth to get an amazing sheen on mirrored surfaces.

Microwaves and mirrors can be cleaned with black tea, or you can even put a bag down the toilet to steep before cleaning to remove stains.

Make yourself a cuppa while you’re at it.

Organise the freezer

Keeping space in the freezer is more important than ever right now.

It’s time to get rid of unlabelled tubs of stew that have been there years, and get rid of those lone frozen peas that spilled out of the bag long ago and haven’t found a home since.

Do each drawer or shelf one at a time, practicing your Tetris skills to utilise the space.

As you’re going, make a note of what you’ve got so you can meal plan accordingly.

Clean the cleaning cupboard

‘Always the cleaner never the cleaned’ is the sad tale of the place you store your sprays and cloths.

Follow Stacey Solomon’s lead and use storage tubs like these from B&M. Using a Sharpie to label the room the cleaners are for can help keep everything organised.

Sort the ‘bag cupboard’

Since the 5p bag charge came into play, you’ve probably found yourself with a glut of bags forced into a cupboard or drawer.

Getting rid of tatty or stained ones is the first step, but there’s also a way to fold the good ones and make them easier to grab and go.

  • Lay the bag flat with the handle stretched above.
  • Fold horizontally into thirds (exclude the handle from this bit).
  • Fold the left side into the middle.
  • Tuck the right side into the fold of the left side.
  • Wrap the handle around the square you’ve created.

No more terrifying cupboard.

Take on mucky bins

Smelly bins are easily countered with a couple of cleaning products.

A kettle full of boiling water can be tipped into the empty bin along with some bleach. Leave to cool while you wipe down the exterior and then give the inside a wipe before pouring out excess.

Dry the bin with kitchen roll, and for an added touch soak a sheet with neat Zoflora to leave in the bottom before you put the bag in.

Neutradol Dustbin Odour Destroyer is also fab to sprinkle into the bag and add freshness.

34 10-minute cleaning jobs for a speedy spring clean you can do gradually

You can get everyone in your household to chip in (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Clean the microwave

Cleaning the microwave isn’t a chore with this quick hack.

Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a small bowl of water, and put the remaining lemon in the bowl.

Put that in the microwave on high for three minutes and then leave to stand for five more minutes.

The lovely, fresh steam from this should lift off caked-on grime, and make it easy to wipe off with a kitchen towel.

Descale the kettle

Getting chalky bits in your tea? Not nice.

Before you go to bed, fill the unplugged kettle with half white vinegar and half water. You might want to leave a note on there so no-one in your house uses it before morning.

By the time you wake up, the limescale will have dissolved, so all that’s left for you to do is rinse, give it a boil with fresh water, and rinse again.

We know this one needs to be left overnight, but the effort from you is just a couple of minutes.

Show your sponges some love

Mother nature won’t thank you for continually using reusable cloths. Although they won’t last forever, sponges and fabric cloths are much better for the environment.

If you have a dishwasher, stick them all in a wash of their own with no detergent.

If not, they can go in a dish of water (submerged) in the microwave for a minute on high.

For those who like things to smell extr nice, leave them in a basin overnight with diluted Zoflora, ready for use in the morning.

Do a tech sweep

With many working from home, we’re using laptops and phones even more than usual.

Disinfectant on some kitchen roll kills off those germs.

Remote controls, house phones, games consoles, and TVs can get the same treatment.

Spruce up the shower head

Fill a plastic bag – one with no holes in – about halfway with white vinegar.

Put your shower head inside so it’s submerged, affixing with a tight elastic band or string.

Go do your thing while that soaks for a few hours, then rinse. Those annoying specks of limescale clogging the water holes should have disappeared.

Pumice stubborn toilet stains

A pumice stone is not just for your feet. It can be used to get hardened stains off of toilets.

Don’t try this if you have a marble or plastic toilet, and only use once in a blue moon for stubborn marks.

Using just water, and going gently, age-old rings around and under the waterline can be a thing of the past.

Vacuum under couch cushions

While you might find a penny or two under the couch cushions, there’s probably more likely to be plenty of crumbs.

Dig out the upholstery attachment for your vacuum, going to all those places that haven’t been cleaned in a while.

It’s not a huge task, but one that’ll make you feel better knowing it’s done.

Do you have a great cleaning tip to share? Get in touch at [email protected].

Share your views in the comments below.

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