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16 Fall Cleaning Tips

by in Sep 2009
16 Fall Cleaning Tips
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Don't Miss Arrow Home Tips: Fall Chore Shortcuts

1. Clean painted woodwork with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of lukewarm water. No rinsing is necessary with this solution.

2. Clean vinyl shower curtains without taking them down by wiping them with a sponge dampened with white vinegar.

3. Clean windows with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water.

4. Plow or till the garden in the fall to expose both hibernating insects and weed seeds, which will then perish.

5. Dead leaves and needles on a shingled roof hold water and hasten the deterioration of the shingles. Sweep or hose them off in both spring and fall.

6. To maintain the wooden handles on your garden tools, occasionally apply boiled linseed oil with a cloth. Use just enough so the wood absorbs the oil.

7. Transfer boxed fertilizers or garden chemicals in your garden shed to plastic containers now, as their original cardboard packaging may deteriorate over the winter. Don’t forget to label the new containers.

8. For easy spring cleanup, try placing a sheet of nylon netting under the bird feeder in the fall, and anchor it with a few rocks. In northern areas snow will cover the netting most of the winter. In the spring just gather it up to clean up the husks.

9. In some areas, it’s illegal to burn brush. If you’re not going to dispose of brush once it’s cut, leave it where it falls. If you gather it into a pile, it won’t rot as quickly.

10. Make time in the fall to sow new grass where there has been excessive wear or damage. There’s less danger of disease and weed competition in autumn than in spring, and with adequate water the new lawn will establish itself before winter.

11. Place a small stake or other marker where you plant new bulbs in the fall. This will be helpful in the spring, when your cleanup activities might otherwise disturb the area.

12. Give your washing machine an annual cleaning by filling it with hot water, adding a quart of white vinegar, and running the machine through the wash and rinse cycles.

Updated Thursday, September 10th, 2009

2 Responses to 16 Fall Cleaning Tips

  1. Cristina Iniguez November 25, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    Dear Mr. Silva and friends from,

    Could you, please, use my daughters’ homes as ” before and after models” in your PBS THIS OLD HOUSE SHOW OR/AND IN YOUR YANKEE MAGAZINE?
    Both of my daughters are college graduates and have a full time job, but they have huge student loans, mortgage, one of them has a monthly car payment and the other has a car that needs new brakes and who knows what else.
    Thank you so very much!!!
    Cristina Iniguez

    • Brenda Darroch November 28, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Cristina,
      Tom Silva doesn’t see the comments left on However, you can find their submission guidelines here:,,20632744,00.html

      Good luck!

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