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6 spring cleaning tips and tricks to make the annual chore easier than ever

Spring brings sunshine, blooms, green grass — and a reminder to clean.

As you embark on your spring cleaning, TODAY contributor Elizabeth Mayhew has some tips and tricks to make it easier — and more effective — than ever.

1. Toss your hairbrushes, combs, sponges and plastic toys in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

The quickest way to clean these odds and ends is to put them in the dishwasher. Burner grids and knobs, hairbrushes and combs, toothbrushes, plastic utensil organizers, sponges, dish racks, plastic toys can all handle it!

2. It’s best to clean your windows on a cloudy day.

If it's too sunny, your cleaning solution will dry too quickly and you will have streaks. Cleaning your windows is the top spring cleaning must-do to rid your windows of winter grime and let the sun shine in.

RELATED: How often you should clean your windows — and the right way to do it

Start by vacuuming the sills, screens and window frames with a dust brush. Then clean windows with a squeegee with a sponge attachment dipped in a bucket of warm water with a squirt of dish-washing liquid. Start at the top left corner and drag the squeegee to the right drying the scraper after each pass. Remove any remaining water on the edges of the window with a damp, wrung-out chamois.

3. Put lemon oil on shower doors to prevent buildup.

To keep your shower doors sparkling, try this trick! Rub 1 teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month, which causes water to bead and roll off. You can also try Rain-X Original Glass Treatment, a car-care product which keeps rainwater off your windshield.

4. Take off those shoes before walking through the door.

Stop dirt in its tracks: 85 percent of dirt comes in through your front door. Encourage your kids to take off their shoes the minute they walk in the door and store them in baskets or shoe organizers in closets.

5. Clean wood furniture with this DIY cleaner.

Clean your wood furniture with this easy homemade solution. Mix ½ teaspoon olive oil and ½ cup of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto a microfiber cloth.

RELATED: No straight lines! Here's the 1 pattern you should make when vacuuming

6. Disinfect your sink with three ingredients.

Use a product labeled as an EPA-registered disinfectant — or make your own!

To disinfect, clean your sink with soap and water first, then spray a mist of vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide and let air dry. (Don't mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together. Dpray 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. This prevents water buildup, which deters mold and keeps the sink looking clean longer.

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