One of the best things about moving into a new for rent apartment in Baton Rouge, LA. is that it’s a fabulous opportunity to start fresh. Everything is clean and empty, waiting for you to neatly put away your stuff. If you’re like most movers, you’ll probably make some kind of a resolution to keep your apartment as neat and clean as your management team made it for you on move-in day. Here are a few of our favorite apartment spring cleaning hacks, especially chosen to help keep your ongoing cleaning routine a little more trouble-free, so your apartment will stay fresh year-round!
- Line your refrigerator shelves. It might be news to you, but even though they’re closed for most of the time, refrigerators and freezers can get pretty dirty. The containers and produce that we put into them aren’t always clean. Condiment bottles and leftover food containers drip. Dust and whatever else might be in the air—including spattering grease from a nearby stove top—floats. You get the picture. Of course, since most apartments today come with frost-free freezers, the old-fashioned chore of defrosting is largely a thing of the past; but that doesn’t mean that the insides of our apartments’ fridges and freezers don’t still need a good wipe-down every now and then. Get a head start on keeping inside surfaces clean by keeping them covered with a liner that you can either take out and toss, or easily clean and replace. Glad® Press’n Seal® wrap is an ideal disposable solution; and if you’d prefer something reusable, plastic placemats are another great choice. Either toss the old film and replace it with a fresh sheet every couple of months or take the placemats out and give them a good wash in the sink with warm soapy water.
- Give your microwave a steam treatment. The best defense against gunky food splatters inside of your microwave is to cover food before you nuke it. If you’re not using a dish with a cover, a paper towel makes a great splatter-guard. If you’re past the point of prevention and need to remove nuked-on gunk, we have the perfect microwave-cleaning hack for you. Fill a shallow dish half-full with water. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water, then put the lemon slices cut-side down into the water. Put the water dish into your microwave until the water starts to steam nicely. Let it sit closed for a few minutes so the steam can loosen up the gunk, then open the door, remove the bowl and wipe everything down. If you have a glass plate inside, remove it carefully (seriously—those things can be a real pain to replace) and give it a good wash in a sink full of warm, soapy water then rinse and dry before replacing in your newly cleaned microwave!
- Dust-proof your clean baseboards. Well, maybe they won’t be entirely dust-proof, but they’ll definitely be more dust resistant. Start with clean baseboards … if it’s move-in day, they should already be in pretty good shape; but if they’re dusty to start, give them a good going over with a soft dust cloth, broom, or Swiffer® duster. Next, wipe them all down with a great-smelling fabric softener sheet. Not only will your house smell clean-laundry-fresh, but the softener will help keep dust from sticking, so your baseboards will be much easier to keep clean! Keep them coated with the magic stuff by re-doing the fabric sheet trick about every fourth or fifth time you clean and dust. Bonus tip: this is a great trick for air vents and ceiling fan blades, too!
- Speaking of ceiling fan blades… you’ve probably noticed that they can get pretty fuzzed-up with dust over time and there’s no easy way to clean them without stirring up that dust or knocking it down onto the furniture below. Instead of a duster or dust cloth, use a pillow case! Just place each blade inside the pillow case and use the inside surface to pull off the dust. When you’re done, take the dirty pillow case outside, turn it inside-out and shake out all of the dust, then give it a good wash. Wipe down the blades with a fabric softener sheet to keep dust from sticking; and add a drop of an all-natural essential oil (like lavender, orange or lemon) to turn your fan into a giant, apartment sized air freshener. Here’s another bonus tip for you: did you know that the little switch on the motor of most ceiling fans is there to change the direction that the blades turn? Blades should turn clockwise in winter to pull air upward and push warmer air down from the ceiling; and blades should turn counterclockwise in the summer to push air downward and create a breeze effect.
- When life hands you a dirty toilet, make lemonade! Yes. We are, in fact, suggesting that you make lemonade in your toilet; specifically with lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid which happens to be a fantastic toilet cleaning hack. Just pour one packet (one of the little packets that doesn’t include sugar) into the bowl at night, swish it around with your toilet brush and let the citric acid do its thing while you sleep. The next morning, give it a good scrub and flush away stains and water deposits. Don’t be tempted to try this with grape or wild cherry … it’s the citric acid in the lemonade mix that does the trick. Bonus tip: instead of putting the wet toilet brush back into the holder while it’s still wet and primed to grow more germs, prop it between the bowl and the seat, brush-inward, and let it drip-dry before you put it away. While you’re cleaning the bathroom, add a drop or two of the same essential oil you used on your ceiling fan to the inside of your toilet paper roll; and every time the roll spins, it’ll help freshen the bathroom and keep your apartment smelling great! Oh, one more thing: the lemonade mix works equally well as a dishwasher cleaner. Run your empty dishwasher through a full cycle using a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid in the detergent compartment and it’ll come out sparkling clean!