Simple & genius spring cleaning tips

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –  From polishing car lights to removing water rings from wood furniture, it’s time to spring clean your home from top to bottom! Creative Craft Consultant Malena Chipps joins us from Fancy That Antiques in Wilbraham to
explain how to clean difficult or fragile items!

Cleaning Tips by Malena Chipps

Alka Seltzer:

Alka Seltzer is just baking soda, aspirin and citric acid so keep that in mind if you run out!

  1. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, Brush and flush.
    The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.
  2. Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water
    and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
  3. Polish Jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the
    jewelry for two minutes.
  4. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
  5. Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the
    drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.


Oxi-clean is 3% peroxide. Peroxide is much cheaper.

  1. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of Peroxide to keep them free of germs.
  2. Clean your counters, table tops with peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters.
  3. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.
  4. Add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing, pour directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.
  5. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors, and there is no smearing.
  6. To remove urine stains from a mattress, first you need a spray bottle with an over sized straw. Remove the filter from the bottom. Use the recipe below within 20 minutes to get the best results:

1 Drop of BLUE Dawn dish washing liquid.

3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda

8 ounces of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.

Do you shake these ingredients together, only swirl them gently in the spray bottle. Spray on the affected area and wait for 5-10 minutes. Repeat if necessary. You don’t need to scrub very much if at all. The peroxide will do the scrubbing for you! This tip is wonderful for anyone who has small children or pets.


  1. To brighten boots, rub with a cloth moistened with diluted ammonia, wash with soap and water, then rinse.
  2. Ammonia whitens clothes; bleach takes out the dirt.
  3. For soap scum on tubs and showers, make your own scouring powderwith 2 parts baking soda, 1 part salt, and 1 part borax. It will cut through even the toughest scum!
  4. For washing windows, use 1 c. ammonia and ½ cup white vinegar in one gallon of hot water.
  5. Mentholatum will take water-ring off wood surface! Rub it on and let it stand for a little while. The camphor in it is the ingredient that removes the ring.
  6. To nourish house plants, Put water in unwashed milk bottles and water houseplants. They need a little milk too!
  7. To remove white water marks from tabletops, apply mayonnaise and rub it in. Let stand for an hour or so; then wipe with a soft cloth.
  8. When something spills or cooks over in the oven, sprinkle a thick coating of table salt on the spill immediately. When the oven cools use a pancake turner to scoop up the mess.
  9. To remove grease spots from carpeting, pour a generous amount of baking soda or corn meal over the spots and brush lightly through the pile of the carpet. Leave it overnight and vacuum off the next day.
  10. To clean silver, put crumpled aluminum foil in the bottom of a porcelain sink or enamel pan. Put silver on the foil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of baking soda over the silver and pour 1 gallon of boiling water over all. Let sit for a few minutes, letting the water cool enough to touch. Remove silver with tongs and put in soapy water. Rinse and dry. Foil picks up the tarnish from the silver.
  11. To remove crayon marks from walls, use a damp rag, dipped in baking soda. The crayons will come off better if you use a magic eraser sponge after you get most of it off with the baking soda.  Also, bread crusts are excellent for rubbing crayon marks off the wall. (Not wonder bread, real bread!)
  12. To remove ink or marker from counter tops, (like store receipt BLUE!) use rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
  13. To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
  14. To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top. For hard to remove foods, ad a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil. It will make your kitchen smell wonderful too!
  15. When you have a spot that is hard to get out of clothing, put shampoo (without the water) on it, let sit for 15 minutes, rub fabric together, then rinse, and the spot will usually come out. I’ve even used it on grease!
  16. I have also used straight shampoo as a tub cleaner. Put it all around the tub; then scrub with a brush, and rinse. It works just as well as commercial tub cleaners and leaves a nice smell so you don’t have to breathe the smell of chemicals.
  17. To bring back the luster in antique wood furniture, use this recipe in equals parts:

Lind seed Oil


White vinegar

After removing any water marks with the VAPOR RUB method in #5 apply this mixture to a 0000 fine grain steel wood pad. Gently rub in the direction of the grain in the wood. This will both clean and nourish the wood and bring it back to it’s original glory. Wipe down with a soft microfiber cloth after wards to remove any excess oil.


  1. To remove hard water stains from your head lights, rub on CREAM Silver Polish with a paper towel in a circular motion. Spray with water and wipe off. You will have perfectly clear headlights again!


  1. To pull out stubborn odors from a room, pour white vinegar into a bowl and leave it in the corners of a room all day or for several days. You can also add white vinegar to your carpet steamer! It’s acidic so it won’t harm items that shouldn’t get wet. You can also spray mattresses, rugs and carpet with vinegar to remove the smell. For smells that are ultra stubborn in carpet, sprinkle baking soda after the carpet is dry. Wait a few hours and vacuum it up. (Most carpet fresheners are made of fragrance oils or powders and baking soda.)


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