The Year of the Goat is upon us mamas (hat tip to Ikea for inspiring our headline), with just one weekend left to get our houses in order.
Besides a pre-holiday haircut (as it’s bad luck to cut anything during CNY celebrations) and fortune-telling (make sure to tune in next week!), a thorough spring cleaning to get living quarters spic-and-span for a fresh start in the new year is an absolute must.
We’ve scoured (get it?) the Internet for top tips, and have called in some majorly expert advice. Your house will be sheep-shape in no time!
- Recycle old newspapers and make windows spotless
We love this hack from Apartment Therapy: it turns out newspapers are not only just as absorbent as paper towels, but their ink even acts as a light abrasive to wipe away particles and spots from glass. If, like us, you’ve got a big old heap of Straits Times lying around, put it to good use before hitting the recycling bin. And check out these green glass-cleaning tips from our friend Militza at Little Green Dot!
- Get those floors clean!
Whether you’ve got tile floors, hardwoods or carpets, start with a thorough vacuuming to pick up dirt, hair and dust, then follow up with a surface-appropriate washing (mopping liquid for tiles, pH-neutral cleaner for marble, and an only slightly-damp cloth for hardwood, as too much water can damage it!).
We’re mega-fans of the Bosch In’genius Pro Silence vacuum cleaner – it’s the quietest bagged vacuum on the market (perfect to avoid waking sleeping babies!), it’s got a snazzy new high-performance motor (German engineering isn’t just about cars, mama!) and its integrated HEPA filter is easy-peasy to wash and reuse – no more schlepping to the hardware store for pesky replacement parts! And it’s great for so much more than just floors…
- Shake out those curtains
Be it blinds, sheers, valances or blackout shades, the first step with window treatments is to remove dust with a vacuum and a step stool. Some curtains will need to be washed at the dry cleaner, while most blinds are nylon, cotton or polyester and can do with a short, warm spin in the washing machine (then hang ‘em out to dry and they’ll be wrinkle-free). See Good Housekeeping for more great tips on this front.
- When life gives you lemons, clean up the kitchen!
We’ve sung the praises of lemons before, but have to give a particular shout-out to their wondrous kitchen-cleaning powers. The acidity of lemon juice cuts through grease stains like a champ, and as an added bonus funky kitchen odours are eliminated with a nice, fresh citrusy scent.
- Hit the [vodka] bottle for shiny fixtures
We wouldn’t normally advocate for hard liquor in the bathroom, but according to Lynette Chong of ace cleaning service Helpling, vodka is a major cleaning whiz! (Who knew? Finally a good use for our Duty Free surplus!). Mix 1 part vodka and 1 part water and you’ll get a cleaner that will disinfect, cut grease and take care of soap scum. It’s particularly great for making your fixtures shine, mamas!
- Winning water combinations
Water is at the base of almost every cleaning solution, but different types possess different special powers. According to cleaning products extraordinaire 3M, hot water is best for treating dark liquid stains like coffee, wine, juices, grease and oil. Cold water will get at protein-based stains from milk, eggs and blood. Carbonated water is a must-have for pet owners, as its effervescence helps lift pee stains and slows down discolouration. And ice will harden soft stains like candle wax droplets, making them easier to remove off fabrics and surfaces.
Happy cleaning, mamas! And if this all seems just a bit too overwhelming, why not call in the pros from Helpling to get your house in order?
From now through 31 March, Sassy Mama readers can receive one free hour (worth $20) off their first booking with a minimum 2-hour cleaning. Just enter the voucher code helplingsassy upon checkout and you’re good to go!
We wish everyone a prosperous, auspicious and most of all clean Lunar New Year!