Spring Cleaning Fun 1- from TODAY

11 easy DIY spring cleaning tips (including Tang in the toilet!)

March 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM ET

You will not believe these spring-cleaning tips from TODAY contributor and lifestyle expert Elizabeth Mayhew, who’s showing how to get your kitchen and bathroom sparkling with easy items you already have around the house!

1. Sanitize the sink

Your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat!

Spring cleaning


To disinfect, clean your sink with soap and water first.

Spray a mist of vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide,and let air-dry. Don’t mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide togetherspray one after the other.

If your sink is stainless steel, make it sparkle afterward by putting a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing.

2. Disinfect the sponge

Sponges can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Disinfect your sponge every night by running it through your dishwasher with your nightly load.

When it’s shredded and smelly, replace it.

3. Disinfect the garbage disposal

To get rid of odors, run it with a cut-up lemon, some salt and a few ice cubes.

The lemon deodorizes, and the ice and salt clean away residue.

Spring cleaning


4. Don’t forget the dishwasher 

Once a week, shake baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe around the machine’s edges to remove stuck-on food or stains. 

To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic, a product designed to kill bacteria like E.Coli.

5. Empty the fridge and defrost the freezer

Pull out all contents and toss anything past its prime. 

Wipe down and deodorize shelves with a solution of warm water and baking soda (1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with 1 quart warm water).

Pull refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum dust and dirt.

6. Line your oven

Cut down on the need to frequently clean your oven by lining the bottom with a nonstick oven liner. It can be wiped with a paper towel, put in the dishwasher and reused over and over.

Keeping the interior range top burners and reflectors clean, you can save up to 10 percent by redirecting heat more efficiently, warming food faster and more evenly.

Spring cleaning


7. Deep-clean your bathroom shower head

Pour white vinegar into a sturdy plastic bag big enough to submerge the shower head. Using a rubber band, secure it and let it soak overnight.

Shower head cleaning


Remove the bag and run the shower to rinse. This process removes calcium deposits as well as any lingering bacteria.

8. Make shower door and tracks shine

Start by making a paste of baking soda and distilled white vinegar (1 cup to a few drops) and rub it over the door.

You can clean the track by wrapping some fine steel wool around an old toothbrush and rubbing it back and forth to loosen any grime or mildew.

Let paste sit for an hour and then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Rinse off and buff dry with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

A closed-loop microfiber cloth is a super-soft textile with great absorption power and water because the scrubbing action and absorption grab mildew from grout.

Spring cleaning


9. Clear out the drain

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then follow it with 1/2 cup vinegar.

Cover it with a wet cloth, wait 5 minutes, uncover and flush with steaming-hot water.

10. Wash shower curtain

Run plastic shower curtains through the washing machine with a bit of detergent and some old towels (they will act as scrubbers to get rid of soap scum and mildew). Hang to dry.

11. Tackle the toilet

Drop a teaspoon of Tang drink mix in the bowl. The citric acid acts like a scrubber. Best of all, it’s non-toxic.

Let it sit for a few minutes, then swish and flush.

Recycled DIY -Pet Bed- the one they’ll use.

I don’t have pictures, but I have been doing this awesome, useful craft for years. Ever notice how your pets jump on your laundry, clean or dirty? Next time you clean your closet, take an old pillow case/sweater/t-shirt and use it as a base for your pet bed. If you use a sweater/t-shirt, just cut the arms off and you are good to go. If you wand to get fancy, you can sew the holes shut, or if your low on the craftiness, you can use ye old glue gun to glue said holes shut. Somewhere is this process, you just stuff the pillowcase/shirt with old clothes. Instant pillowbed; free, but most effective.


Want to up the ante? Just sleep on the clothes first. Now, they smell like you and are ready to escort your beloved pet to pet nirvana. You can even leave a patch open and wash/sleep on the clothes again to have them stay keen on your scent.

DIY Orange Box Shelf

I had a little box of tangerines. It was on sale, and, well, I love my fruit. Here I was sitting eating a little orange and thought, “well, that’s a waste.” That would not do, so I thought up a DIY to upcycle/reuse le box petite into a small shelf. Now, it made a cute little shelving unit, but it does not hold a lot of weight. I plan on making a few more of these in different colors as I get the boxes to make an artsy wall decoration.

Things you need:

Wooden box from fruit

White glue

Paper – something pretty

Rag or paintbrush

Optional stain:


Food coloring



(The before shot. I picked some pretty wrapping paper from x-mas)

Optional Steps: Staining.

If you have a stain you could use that; if not, let’s make some easy stain.

  1. Get a good size container that can hold hot liquid. I used an old jar.
  2. Take about a cup of boiling water and steep some tea bags. I used four.
  3. Add a couple of drops of food coloring. I chose pink.
  4. Add some vinegar, say 1/3 a cup.
  5. I stained it 2 times. It dries super quick so do as many as you like.

There are other natural stains you can make but they’ll probably take longer. You could also lacquer it, but I choose not to do that (I might not have had any). Here is a before/after shot so you can see how it looks.

Image Image

 (Dig that mellow pink, man.)

How do I do the rest? :

  1. Take your [stained] box and cut your paper to size.
  2. Take an old cup (maybe even the cleaned one from above) and add 1 part glue and one part water.
  3. Decoupage that paper right onto the back using your rag or brush. That’s right! You knew that was coming.
  4. Hang it like a boss. (This may be the MOST important step)



That’s it! I used two long nails to hang it. It was easy enough. Now for more upcycling ideas from people like me feel free to join this facebook group: Bowerbirds Journal

I’ll update this post after I have a few hanging so you can see how it goes.

DIY Hobo Gloves

For people like me who’s hands get cold, I’m doing a quick run down on how to make your own hobo gloves.

1. Get some cheapo gloves. I like the 2 for $1 kind since I lose them all the time. Or the ones you get for x-mas…

2. Cut a bit off each finger.

3. Burn the the edges.

Viola quick hobo gloves


How to reuse those holiday cards.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, my neighbor said to me, “I have some extra Christmas cards I’m going to throw away”. To which I replied, “I will take them”. Then this neighbor bestowed upon me hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cards.

The moral of this story is that I now have a DIY craft project. How do you reuse those holiday gift cards? Bookmarks!

What Do You Need:

1. Packing Tape

2. Hole punch

3. Ribbon or pretty string

4. Scissors

5. Cards!

Ruler is optional, but recommended.


How to do it:

1. Cut or fold your paper skinnier than your packing tape.

2. Cover both sides with the packing tape.

3. Punch a hole a decent distance from the top.

4. Make a pretty string (but not super thick).