Moms' Best Spring Cleaning Advice

It's that time of the year when you can't ignore that to-do list any longer and decide to tackle your spring cleaning. Generally speaking, most moms don't relish the time spent doing it, in addition to the long list of other tasks at hand, not the least of which is spending much-needed quality time with the family.

Moms in the know are willing to share their favorite and best time-saving cleaning secrets. They'll maximize your cleaning power and minimize the time you spend on this tedious (but necessary) seasonal chore.

Tackling Bathroom Cleaning Naturally

Give your tub an extra thorough cleaning. Mom and math tutor Angelique Haas shares her tip for a wonderful do-it-yourself household cleaner that has a number of uses, but really makes the bathroom shine. "I started using these because I have pets and these will not harm them," says Haas. Mix 1/2 cup organic white distilled vinegar or lemon juice with 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon of water. "It's great for bathroom fixtures, tile floor, glass, windows, and even mirrors."

Busy mom Melissa Webster Conway, a daycare aide, swears by a mixture of "equal parts vinegar and dish soap warmed and sprayed in the bathtub -- it works great!" Just wipe it down with a paper towel and you've got a fast, no-fume way to clean all of those stubborn bathtub rings.

Pet-Safe Deodorizers

Another fantastic tip to freshen your rooms is to make your own fragrant antibacterial spray. "Put a dozen drops of lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint essential oil into 1 cup of water. Both are naturally antibacterial and won't dry your hands out like the ones with alcohol in them," suggests Haas.

They knock down pet odors and are natural, so they don't contain harmful chemicals. "It eliminates the odors and leaves an awesome scent," she says. Bonus time-saver: "It repels fleas!" In other words, in one easy step, you're cleaning, disinfecting and keeping unwanted visitors away.

Care for Kitchen Cabinets

Even though they're likely cleaned on a regular basis, every now and then, you should give wood cabinets an especially-thorough cleaning. Wipe them down with warm vinegar mixed with equal parts water to cut through the worst of the grease and grime without damaging the wood. While you're at it, empty out the inside of the cabinets and give them a wipe down with a paper towel. Make sure they're well-aired out and dry before replacing their contents.

And what about your trusty, hardworking coffee pot? It's not a bad idea to consider the one at the break room at work, too - when was the last time you really saw it sparkle? No worries. Busy mom Kim French has a trick that works like magic. "Lemon slices, ice cubes, and salt will clean unsightly coffee pots. Just swirl these items 'round-'n-'round your coffee pots for a couple of minutes, and any coffee residue, even if it is burned at the bottom of the pot, will dissolve. I used this trick many years ago when I was a waitress. Works like a charm!"

Fixes for your Faucets

If your faucet has a filter, remove and soak it in vinegar; this clears off any calcification and clogs that slow the flow of water and make it splutter in odd directions. Do this every few months to keep your shower fixture running smoothly, too.

Take a few minutes to plan out your spring cleaning strategy. Armed with some simple supplies and these great tips from moms in the know, you'll have your surroundings clean and inviting…with plenty of time to spare!

Content by Kimberly Morgan.