If Stress Scrubbing Is Your Thing, Try These 7 Deep-Cleaning Routines
Research shows that a good old cleaning session can increase feelings of positivity and help us exercise a sense of control over our space (yes, even during times when everything else feels like chaos). Sounds pretty great right about now, huh? If you're fresh out of de-stressing activities, here are seven deep-cleaning projects to consider tackling as the week goes on:
Get rid of that funky dishwasher smell.
We run our dishwashers on practically an everyday basis, but when was the last time the dishwasher itself got a deep clean? Luckily, all you need is a little white vinegar to get the job done.
Empty out your dishwasher and inspect it for any food scraps that might be stuck. Give the filter a rinse if your dishwasher has one (you'll find it on the bottom of the dishwasher, underneath the arms), or even a scrub if necessary. Then, simply put one cup of your white vinegar in a bowl on the bottom rack of the empty dishwasher and run it. Easy, quick, and oh-so-satisfying.
Get your oven Thanksgiving-ready.
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, but yes, it's time to start thinking about that turkey—and the state of your oven. To give yours a good cleaning, all you'll need is water, baking soda, and a little vegetable-based Castile soap.
Mix half a cup of water with baking soda until you have a paste, then add a tablespoon of your soap. Take the oven racks out and apply a thin layer of the paste around the oven, wherever you see grime. (Just avoid the vents!)
While the paste is sitting, scrub down the racks with a sponge and your baking soda paste. Wipe the paste off with a damp microfiber cloth, then use the cloth to scrub down the oven. Wipe it clean until all the residue is gone.
Clean your washing machine.
Along the same vein as the dishwasher, it's a good idea to clean your washing machine once in a while, too. You'll need baking soda, white vinegar, and your favorite essential oil for this one.
Run your machine on a long, large-load, hot-water cycle, with 2 cups of baking soda inside. Once it's done and drained, add 2 cups of your white vinegar and around 10 drops of your essential oil of choice, and run it again on the longest, hottest, and largest load setting you can. Wipe down the drum and agitator after with a cotton cloth and vinegar. Most stains, if there are any, can be taken care of with a paste of baking soda and water and a non-scratching sponge.
Clean your windows to let in the sunshine.
Cleaning your windows can do wonders to brighten up a space. To clean yours, you can make a simple vinegar solution with a cup of white or apple cider vinegar, a quarter-cup of rubbing alcohol, and water, in a 16-ounce spray bottle. (Add essential oil if you want it scented!) Spray on the inside and outside of your windows, and wipe them down with a huck towel to avoid streaks.
Alternatively, you can use 2 teaspoons of baking soda and a teaspoon of Castile soap in a 16-ounce spray bottle with water for your cleaning solution.
Scrub down the shower.
It's honestly a good idea to wipe your shower down every time you use it, but once a week or so, a deeper clean might be in order. For a quick spray to wipe down your tub (and any other hard surface in your bathroom), add equal parts white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. If you like, you can add a few drops of an antimicrobial essential oil, like tea tree.
For spot treatment, mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap. Form into a paste, and apply to problem patches. Let it sit for five minutes before wiping clean with a sponge.
Wash your bedding—comforter or weighted blanket included.
When you wash a comforter or duvet insert in the washing machine, it's a good idea to rinse twice and spin twice, to get all the detergent out, as well as the excess water. And as far as weighted blankets, most on the market are machine-washable too, just be sure to check your machine's weight capacity. Don't forget to spot clean by soaking the stained area in cold water and rubbing down with a cloth or sponge that has a drop of detergent.
Freshen up your couch.
And lastly, if you've been posted up on your couch watching election coverage, there's a good chance it might need some sprucing! Start with a good vacuuming to pick up any crumbs, hair, etc., then depending on the material, you can wipe it down.
A very lightly dampened microfiber cloth is suitable for some materials, such as leather, but always check the furniture's care label. For stains, scrape up any caked-on bits with a cloth that's damp with water or a tiny bit of stain remover. Then, put a small dot of Castile soap on the stain and scrub it with a sponge or white cloth.
However you choose to de-stress, we hope it brings you a sense of calm and control in the midst of uncertainty. There's never a bad time to freshen up your home, but when tensions are high and vibes are low, cleaning might be just what you need to take your mind off things.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.