The Science Behind Spring Cleaning

Over the years, ‘spring cleaning’ has become somewhat an automatic ritual. You awaken from a winter hibernation of couch surfing the cold nights away; you turn off the heater, put out the fire and take a good look at the interior of your home which has been locked up for the best part of three months. But this incredibly important task is about more than just throwing open the windows and letting the sunshine in. Spring cleaning can have a postive impact on your health.

You see, between dust mites, bacteria laden sponges and chopping boards, the average washing machine and many other hot spots within the home, your house could be harmful to your health. To clean well is to clean healthily; and a solid spring clean could alleviate the symptoms of allergies, asthma and the occasional tummy upset. Here we give you more than one reason to get your gloves and your white vinegar out this spring!

The Washing Machine

Setting a lower temperature on your washing machine may be kind to your clothes, the environment and those with sensitive skin, however research has shown that potentially harmful bacteria in our laundry is not being killed off in low-temp washes. Yes, regular cycles will clean most fabrics but that doesn’t necessarily equate to your clothes being “hygienically clean”. Spring clean your washing machine by mixing ¼cup bicarb soda with ¼cup of water (this is essentially your “detergent”). Meanwhile, place 2 cups of white vinegar into the drum, close the door and set your machine to the hottest temperature. The baking soda and vinegar will naturally break up mineral deposits and any mould growth while cleaning and refreshing your washing machine. As for your clothes? For certain loads, consider using a high temperature cycle.

Clean your washing machine

Chopping Boards

It’s not exactly nice to think about, however, research shows a number of bacteria can be found on both wooden and plastic chopping boards when not cleaned properly. Plastic chopping boards should be sanitised in the dishwasher where high temperatures are used. However, to properly clean a wooden chopping board, scrub the board with soap and hot water then use a items such as white vinegar, lemon and salt to eliminate germs quickly. Rinse and dry your chopping board with paper towel. Remember like all kitchen essentials, chopping boards have a shelf life too. If yours looks to be past it’s prime, toss it out and purchase a new one.

Kitchen Sponges

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing food poisoning, you may have blamed it on undercooked food, however, it may well have been caused by the trusty kitchen sponge. You see regular sponges are renowned for containing a plethora of opportunistic bacterial pathogens, enough of which could be transferred from the sponge to your eyes or mouth to make you sick. While some suggest microwaving your sponge each day for 30seconds to kill harmful bacteria, we also suggest soaking your sponge daily in a solution of one part bleach/nine parts water. Of course replacing these frequently is also a good idea.

The Kitchen and Bathroom Sink

Sinks are brimming with germs, however a daily rinse with water and soap will help prevent a build up of bacteria. Of course if you’re spring cleaning and after an efficient, non-toxic solution for a solid clean of your kitchen and bathroom sink pour a pot of boiling water, a handful of bicarbonate followed by 125mL of vinegar down the drain. Some chemical drain cleaners can be extremely corrosive and dangerous (even their vapors are strong!) so you’re best to stick with a non-toxic solution.

Mattress and Pillows

In terms of your sheets, washing these in a high temperature washing cycle will get rid of dust mites as well as microscropic bugs. With your linen taken care of, it’s time to give your mattress some love! Flip this over (this should be done each six months anyway), and combine a few drops of your favourite essential oil with a box of bi-carb soda. Spinkle this on and give it a good massage into your mattress. Leave it for an hour before vacuuming the mix thoroughly off your mattress – a good vacuum will remove any dust mites too. Along with giving your bed a freshen up, it will help remove dirt and residue.


It’s the turn of a new season, so it’s highly likely you’re about to replace your toothbrush anyway, but for those who don’t update their toothbrush based on the season cycle, consider where you place your toothbrush each morning and night… Put it this way – did you know that micro organisms are expelled everytime the toilet flushes? So if your toothbrush is kept on your bathroom sink anywhere near your toilet, it’s highly likely some of those microorganisms will venture where you’d rather they didn’t. It’s important to keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible (tucked away in a vanity if possible!). It might be time for a new toothbrush after all. Gross but true.

Your Office Desk

How often would you clean your desk? If the answer is ‘not very often, you’re not alone. What this does mean though is that the average desktop contains a huge amount of germs. While most of these germs are harmless, it’s here where you’re more likely to spread and receive colds and flu. There’s no prizes for guessing that the germiest object on your desk is indeed the phone. Even still, it’s been noted that viruses such as the flu can survive for two or three days on desktops and keyboards as well. A packet of disinfectant wipes kept close at hand is helpful on a daily basis. During your spring clean though, combine water and vinegar, spray first on a paper towel and clean your desktop (and it’s contents) thoroughly!

Your Wardrobe

There’s no two ways about it, mould is horrible and it can spread really quickly too. It is, however, preventable with Damp Rid. To be anti-mould diligent, consider placing a number of Damp Rid in your wardrobe; and keeping your cupboard doors ajar when you’re not home so fresh air continues to circulate. Our anti mould products are excellent and can be put to good use at any given season.

Our spring-cleaning essentials include:

1. White Magic Sponges

10 areas of the house you can clean with the foam sponge:

  1. Erase set-in dirt around the kitchen
  2. Remove burnt on stains from your cooktop
  3. Remove grease stains from your oven door
  4. Polish your stainless steel including sinks
  5. Remove tea and coffee stains from cups, mugs and teapots
  6. Erase scuff marks from walls, floors and doors
  7. Cut through soap scum in your bathroom
  8. Polish your bathroom fixtures and fittings including taps, plug holes and shower heads
  9. Clean mildew off your walls
  10. Erase ground-in dirt on outdoor furniture
Spring cleaning tools

2. White Magic Clothes

The White Magic Bathroom Cloth is dual sided, ultra absorbent, has super reinforced stitching and is the perfect addition to your bathroom cleaning caddy.

3. White Magic Extendable Handy Duster

Attracting dust like a magnet, this handy cleaning aid is made from 100% split polyester yearn which creates an electrostatic force to hold dust. Designed to quickly and easily access hard to reach places, the head is constructed around a memory wire that allows it to be bent at any angle; the head also clicks onto a handle, which pivots 220 degrees.

4. DampRid

When DampRid’s white pellets are exposed to the air, they absorb excess moisture and dissolve into a brine (salt solution). They won’t dry the air to a level that damages plants, animals or clothing. The formula is non-toxic, septic safe and friendly to the environment. It’s safe for home, family and pets and is easy to dispose of after use.

closet tools

5. Exit Soap

A multi-purpose stain remover that is amazingly effective on the likes of biro, ink, permanent marker, blood, red wine amongst other things from shirts, suits, lounges, carpets and many other materials.

It comes in an easy to use stick that is perfect for the glove box, handbag, office draw and the laundry.

6. Telescopic Duster

This microfibre duster efficiently removes dust and deposits without chemicals.

7. Shower Cleaning Squeegee

Keep ontop of the household and clean as you go. Ideal for cleaning shower screens, mirrors, marble and wall tiles.


8. Odour Eliminating Home Spray

Made with Australian Certified Tea Tree Oil which kills mould, bacteria and fungi on impact, as well as Lemongrass Oil and purified water, this 100% natural product from White Magic freshens and cleans the air.

JTY2430 Air Purifying

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© Copyright Howards Storage World, 2016.

Accurate as at September 2016

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