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The Giadzy Guide to Cleaning Absolutely Everything, Week #4: The Laundry Room

Our monthlong series on spring cleaning tackles everyone's least favorite chore

Spring is here, and with the bright sunlight comes the inspiration to make everything in your home feel as sparkly and new as that fresh spring air feels outside. That's right: We're talking spring cleaning! To We're devoting the month to cleaning all the things you never think to clean, going room by room. These are the big-ticket, deep-cleaning projects you really only need to do once or twice a year – and when you do them, you'll feel like you're living in a brand-new home.
We're closing out the series with what can be the most daunting room in the house: that catchall place where laundry, cleaning products, and Christmas decorations all coexist. From greening your clean clothes to simplifying your storage, here's how to make this room sparkle.

Ditch the fabric softener. Though its sweet-smelling boost can be a tough habit to break, fabric softener coats the fibers in your clothes, building up over time and resulting in discoloration or a crunchy feeling. The product can also reduce the absorbency of the fibers, making items like towels and workout gear less effective. Instead, try reusable lavender sachets (look for them at Trader Joe's!) for an all-natural, calming scent. And for maximum softness, throw a few wool felt balls into the dryer to fluff your clothes as they tumble.
Have a home for everything. It's easy to feel like laundry is a chore when you're overwhelmed by clutter the moment you step into the room. Spend an afternoon designating a spot for everything, and you'll feel calmer and happier the next time you have to do a load. Organize your cleaning products, keeping the ones you use most often at the front, where they're instantly accessible. Recycle jam jars or mason jars for things like safety pins and loose buttons. Keep a small tray on top of the dryer for the loose change and miscellany you empty out of pockets, and have a box or basket nearby to collect lonely socks that come out of the dryer partner-less. 
Embrace multipurpose products. Every time we walk through the cleaning aisle, it seems like you need a unique product for every inch of your home. But in our grandmothers' day, just a handful of reliable cleaners could tackle any job. Simplify your cleaning arsenal with these all-purpose powerhouses:
     -Oxiclean is a less toxic alternative to chlorine bleach and is a great laundry boost for all fabrics ‚Äì including bright colors. It's also a powerful stain remover, especially for protein stains like blood or sweat. Apply it in a thick paste to icky grout around the bathtub or sink to brighten it in a flash, and soak your shower curtain in a tub full of hot water with a scoop of Oxiclean to remove soap scum or hard water buildup.
     -White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that's 100% safe to use around pets or babies. Diluted in a spray bottle with water, it leaves a streak-free shine on windows and mirrors. Run a 1:1 water-vinegar solution through a stinky coffee maker or tea kettle to clean it instantly, or pour some in the steam reservoir of your iron to loosen mineral deposits that may be getting on your clothes. And degunk your microwave by heating a bowl of vinegar and water until it boils, then just wiping the walls with a paper towel. 
     -Castile soap, a natural soap made from coconut or vegetable oil best known under the Dr. Bronner's label, can do everything from repelling ants to cleaning the floor. Use a drop or two to rinse fruit and veg before eating, use it as hand soap, or dilute it in a spray bottle for a gentle, all-purpose cleaner for those everyday spills.


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