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Take a spring cleaning shortcut with these hacks

Nationally recognized media personality AKA The Accidental Housewife,New York Times bestselling author,crusader helpin women manage real life issues with a smile,'n mucho proud mom

Spring is in the air tra la, tra la and so is our desire (or in my case need!) to do some deeper cleaning and preening around the house. Here are eight simple tips to help you do just that!

1. Wash windows on a cloudy day

Cleaning windows on a bright sunny day will cause the cleaning liquid you use to dry quickly and leave streaks, so it's best to wash on a cloudy, cool day.

2. Rejuvenate your mattress

Mix three to five drops of essential oils (i.e. lavender, peppermint, citrus or eucalyptus) with one cup baking soda (if you need more, mix another batch). Sprinkle on your mattress. Work in with a stiff brush. Leave for one hour so that the oils can penetrate to leave a fresh smell and the baking soda can absorb odors and moisture. Vacuum and repeat on the flip side if your mattress is not a pillow top. (Use your vac's upholstery attachment for best results). FYI: You can use this same "recipe" for your pillows.

Tip: Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress prior to putting your mattress cover on to continue to absorb moisture and odors.

3. Unclog drains with vinegar and baking soda

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into your bath, shower or sink drains followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let it bubble. Once bubbling stops, pour a kettle of boiling water down to remove any residual gunk. Repeat if necessary.

Note: If the vinegar doesn't make the baking soda bubble that most likely means that the baking soda is no longer good, so use a fresh box.

4. Clean your dishwasher with Kool-Aid

Fill the dispenser with Kool-Aid or any citric-based powdered drink mix (Tang, Country Time lemonade, etc.). Run one full cycle to remove gunk and leave the inside shiny.

5. Use lemons to clean the microwave

Cut a lemon in half and place in a microwaveable bowl filled with water. Microwave for three to five minutes. Wipe interior with a damp cloth to remove debris. Bowl will be hot, so use caution when removing.

6. Swish shower curtains with Listerine

If your curtain is not machine washable, clean with a 50/50 mix of Listerine and water. Spray on the curtain and wipe with a sponge.

7. Stick it to your laptop keyboard

Use sticky notes aka Post-Its and slide the sticky side between the keys to remove dirt, dust and crumbs.

8. Dust plant leaves with banana peels

Remove the stringy pieces inside a banana peel, and then use it to remove dust and debris and shine leaves.

Image: Topalov Djura/Getty Images
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