DIY Network

Seasonal Cleaning

Some things need to be cleaned every day, but other jobs need to be done only once a year. Often it's handy to mark a calendar to remember when the yearly cleaning ritual should be performed.

More in Decorating

salt and club soda help to remove stains

Cleaning Supplies:
White vinegar A natural acidic, great for removing soap scum.
Lemon juice: Nature's bleach and disinfectant.
Baking soda: A mild abrasive that won't scratch surfaces and can be used as an all-purpose cleaner.
Club soda: A natural stain remover; if you can put water on it, you can put club soda on it. Great for all types of stains; the carbonation bubbles stains up, and the salts prevent them from setting.
Carpet spotter
Rubber gloves
Lambswool duster
Soft cleaning cloths
Garbage bags.

Warm weather brings its own type of stains, like chocolate ice cream. Spritz the stain with water, work in borax using your thumbs, let the borax soak into the stain, spritz with water a second time and work a little bit of Fels Naptha soap into the stain. Launder as usual.

Go through kids' clothes and either donate those that don't fit to charity or pass them on to a friend.
To set the color in new jeans, add a cup of table salt to a washing machine filled with warm water and soak the jeans. Not only will the salt set the color, but the sodium in the salt acts as a water softener to soften the fabric.
If zippers are hard to zip, rub the graphite of a pencil over the teeth. The graphite lubricates the teeth.
If zippers won't stay up, spray them with hairspray.

When washing holiday crystal, first put a towel in the bottom of the sink to keep the crystal from hitting against a hard surface. Add dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water. Lay the crystal in the water on its side. Wash with your hands, not a cloth. The vinegar will make the crystal sparkle.
If you have tarnished silverware, put aluminum foil in the bottom of a container, shiny side up. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of baking soda. Add boiling water and immerse the silver in the water. The baking soda reacts with the foil to release the tarnish from the silverware.