As featured in The Columbian, April 8, 2018

Mother Nature has finally given us in Clark County a chance to open up our windows and let the fresh air in! It’s a great time to freshen up your home with some basic spring cleaning. If you’re selling your home, a first impression of “clean” and “fresh” is absolutely what you’re going for.

Top to Bottom: Use a dust mop around the upper perimeter of every room to get rid of cobwebs. Work your way down from the ceiling to give the walls and doorframes a quick dusting. Repeat around the lower perimeter to give the baseboards a once over. Keep your eyes peeled for any areas that need a deeper clean and maybe some touch-up paint.

Windows: Nothing transform a living space like clean windows. Clean the blinds or shades. Take the drapes or curtains in for an annual dry cleaning, or DIY them with a steam cleaner. And to make the glass sparkle, the pros at This Old House recommend a solution of warm water with a few drops of dish soap (the less suds the better), clean with a strip applicator (check Home Depot), and finish off with a squeegee. Spray cleaners with paper towels or newspaper tend to just move the dirt around.

Floors: Spring is a great time for carpet cleaning, lots of specials and coupons available! Steam cleaning is a great nontoxic alternative to carpet shampooing and is also great for your upholstery. When it comes to your hardwood floors, I love the Bona hardwood mop and cleaning solution.

Dusting: I hate to dust, it’s my most dreaded and most avoided chore. A great way to keep it simple is to keep your flat surfaces (table tops, hutch top, shelves, etc.) as free of knickknacks as possible. And a nontoxic DIY dust-busting solution of one cup water + two teaspoons castile soap with a microfiber cloth is a great dust grabber that doesn’t just spread it around (important if you have allergies, like I do!). Add a couple drops of lemon essential oil to the solution for a fresh scent.

Freshen up the furniture: I’m in a newfound love relationship with essential oils, and have been scouring the internet for ways to use them in the home. With two pups in the house, I am loving this DIY fabric spray to keep things smelling fresh (think Febreeze-like but chemical free). Combine half a cup each white vinegar and rubbing alcohol with one cup of water. Add 15 drops of lavender essential oil and eight drops of lemon oil. Combine in a spray bottle. Give the couch a good vacuuming in the spirit of spring cleaning, and then give all the fabrics in the room a spritz, including curtains or drapes. Open a window if the vinegar smell bothers you. The rubbing alcohol helps the spray dry quickly, vinegar is a natural disinfectant and the end result is a clean, fresh scent without chemicals or perfumes.

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