Kick off spring cleaning early this year with these six chores


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Start your spring cleaning early with these tips and tricks. 

Eleanor Chalstrom and Nicole Mattson

Spring cleaning is around the corner and may seem daunting. Here are six ways you can spruce your place up for the change in season. 

Deodorize carpets

The cause of lots of bad odors in the house could be the stale carpets. With winter comes dirty shoes that track in grime that gets stuck in the carpets. Deodorizing the carpets is not nearly as difficult as it may seem and requires only a few household items. 

First, take some baking soda or scented carpet powder and dump it on your carpet and rugs. Let it sit for a few hours while running errands or out of the house. Then vacuum it up like normal. This will leave the house smelling fresher and ready for nice weather (and cleaner shoes!).

Special tip: be sure to keep pets and children away from the carpets while the baking soda or carpet powder is resting. 

Clean oven 

To give your kitchen a fresh start, get rid of those dark stains and buildup in your oven.

If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, this is an easy way to get the process going! Make sure to remove all pans, racks and anything used to catch spills since this feature brings the temperature up much higher than usual. Lock your oven door, and then be prepared to wait. This feature can take multiple hours. After the oven has cooled down enough to unlock the door, sweep up leftover ash and use a damp rag or sponge to wipe the interior.

If your oven does not have a self-cleaning feature, you can use a DIY cleaner. Slowly mix warm water into ½ cup of baking soda until it forms a paste that can be spread on the interior of the oven. Apply the mixture with a new, clean paintbrush. Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of your oven. The vinegar will cause the paste to foam. Spray the foam thicker on tough stains. Let foam sit for 12 hours, then wipe clean with a damp rag or sponge.

Clean the interior side of the door with an all-purpose cleaner or a store-bought oven cleaner. Wipe with a damp rag or sponge. You can also clean your oven racks with hot water, dish soap and a sponge. Clean the outside of the door with hot, soapy water.

Cleanse the fridge

It is time to wipe away the goop and stains that occupy the fridge. All you need is some hot water, dish soap and paper towels to get this task on your checklist. 

First, remove all the food from your refrigerator, and set it aside. Take the drawers out, and give them a good scrub down in the sink with warm water and dish soap. While the drawers are drying, take some paper towels and soapy water to wipe down all the crevices in the fridge. 

Before putting all the food back in the refrigerator, wipe down condiment bottles and other containers to make sure the fridge stays as clean as possible. 

Another tip to get the fridge smelling better is to wipe it down with vinegar or leave a small cup of coffee grounds to neutralize odor. 

Wash the windows

Let your home sparkle with a refresh to your windows.

Rinse exterior windows with a hose, then fill a bucket with cool water and a few drops of dish soap. Wash with soapy water and a towel. Rinse with a hose. Dry with a squeegee. For stubborn stains, spray with a vinegar and water mixture. Remove window screens, and rinse with water. Spray a vinegar and water mixture for stubborn stains.

To clean interior windows, start by sweeping off the dirt. Then wash windows with a store-bought window spray and a soft, microfiber towel.

To get the windows as clean as possible, take the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner and vacuum off the dust from the window screens. 

Clear your drains

While it may be the most disgusting part of spring cleaning, it is important to clean all of the drains in the home for sanitary and maintenance benefits. You will need white vinegar, baking soda and hot water. 

First, dump about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by another half cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain for a few minutes and then pour boiling water down the drain to clear out the mixture. 

This will surely eliminate odors and germs in shower drains, kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks. 

If the drain has extra debris in it, buy a plastic drain snake from the hardware store. After you pour the concoction into the drain and flush it with the hot water, wiggle the drain snake in until you can pull up any grime. 

Donate unused clothing

Free up space in your closet or dresser by going through old, unused items. If you haven’t worn something in the last year, consider donating it to someone in need.

There is a Goodwill in Ames located at 3718 Lincoln Way for donations and a Salvation Army at 630 Lincoln Way.