How to Spring Clean Your Home
There is no time like the present to spring clean your home! If you are like me, the more time we spend in our homes, the more I feel the need to get things done in it. That includes spring cleaning it from top to bottom!
Spring cleaning for me means getting to the things in our home that do no necessarily make into the mix of the daily or weekly cleaning. The things that we consistently use but need their own special attention when it comes to cleaning.
There are a few different ways to approach spring cleaning. You can take it room by room, appliance by appliance or simply makes a list of what needs attention. My approach is to make a list. Instead of taking on the daunting task of cleaning the house from top to bottom, I break out the things in each room that need a deeper clean. It feels good when I can cross it off the list and move on to the next item!
However you choose to approach it, I promise it does not need to be overwhelming or truthfully even that time consuming (Um hello-get the family you are currently quarantined with involved!). I promise though, that there is nothing more satisfying then the feeling of a thoroughly cleaned home!
Here are the items that made it on to my spring cleaning list this month!
As one of the most used appliances in our house. This old girl has been in overdrive lately! Spillages and splattering just come with the territory of using it!
If you have a self-cleaning oven, use the self-cleaning function to remove the grime. Before staring it though, make sure to remove all the chrome oven racks from it and wipe up or vacuum up any loose crumbs or spillage. During the oven cleaning, take your chrome oven racks outside and scrub them with an SOS pad and spray them down with a hose. After the oven cleaning is done, take a soft cloth to clean up any remaining residue. If there are still a few left over baked on remnants, take a razor blade to them and wipe them up!
If your oven doesn’t have a self cleaning function, place a hot, wet cloth on top of burned spots to help soften the gunk. Scrape away remnants with a razor blade. Then scrub entire oven with a heavy duty oven cleaner and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Hopefully, before you start to notice an odor in your washing machine, disinfect it by running the special washer cleaning cycle on your machine with bleach or using a washing machine cleaner, like Afresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets . If you have a front loader, I also take a damp cloth and run it in between the rubber fittings at the front to get rid of any built up gunk and lint.
If your washer does not have a self cleaning cycle, add two cups of white cleaning vinegar to your detergent dispenser. Run it through a complete cycle. Run another cycle on the highest level and at the hottest water temperature, this time adding one-half cup of baking soda to the drum. When cycle is done, wipe inside drum of washer with a damp microfiber cloth
Note: After each and every washing cycle, leave the door of the washer open until the inside of it is completely dry. This drastically cuts down on smell and any mold that can build up on the rubber fittings.
You probably wipe down your refrigerator’s interior shelving on the regular already, but don’t forget about the rest! Pop out the door shelves and bins, and wash in soapy warm water to get rid of food bacteria and spillage. Now is also a good time to clean out any expired condiments and replace your box of baking soda!
For some reason, I find this so satisfying and so necessary! Remove the trash bags from the cans and then vacuum up any loose crumbs and dirt (make sure to the hit up the cabinet behind the pullout with the vacuum too!). From there, add dish soap to your cans and take them outside to rinse out with a hose!
Bar Keeper’s Friend is truly a friend. This product does a wonderful job of keeping our kitchen sink sparking clean! It gets the job done without being abrasive! After rinsing out your sink with dish soap and hot water, sprinkle with Bar Keeper’s Friend, wipe down with a wet sponge and rinse clean! Bar Keeper’s Friend is also great for your stainless steel pots and pans as well wiping away residue on the inside of a stainless steel dishwasher!
Nothing annoys me more then fingerprints on stainless steal! I know I am not alone! We love using the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Aerosol to keep our stainless steel looking like new! We have not found a homemade or better product then this. Then after applying the aerosol we use a (by “we” I mean my husband) an old soft t-short to wipe away clean!
Sticky kitchen grime is a mix of dust and grease that builds up over time and can cling to your kitchen cabinets. To effectively remove the grime, try Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream. It does a nice job cutting through the dirt and leaving wood moisturized. Pay attention and give special care around door and drawer pulls and other places where grease and fingerprint can collect!
Note: To cut down on built up grime, run the exhaust hood over your range every time you cook to keep grease from settling on your cabinets.
Cleaning windows might be the quintessential spring cleaning activity. But it certainly isn’t the easiest household chore. However, doing all the windows in the house at once, means you can enjoy the rest of the year without that nagging feeling that you really should clean your windows!
Wait for an overcast day and start on the shady side of the house, as direct sun can lead to streaks. Start by removing window screens. Use warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid and scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly. From there, raise blinds and shades and wash windows with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to clean ledges and dividers.
Believe it or not, with a no shoe rule in the house, wood floors should only be wet cleaned once a month. Again, we have not found a better product then the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray. After a thorough sweep, simply spray cleaner on floor and wipe up with a clean cloth. In between cleanings just sweep floors and spot-clean as needed.
Area rugs should be deep cleaned once a year. It is actually recommended every few years if they do no see a lot of foot traffic. Clearly that is not the case in this household! We send ours out to the professionals for an annual cleaning. When the rugs are taken up, we either deep clean vacuum our pad or replace it if need be. To treat spillage and stains in between cleanings, spot cleaning with club soda is still one of the best options. Otherwise, consider this top rated carpet stain remover.
Take survey of the throw pillows in your bedroom, living room and bedroom. Remove outer covers and take pillow inserts outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. Use a lint brush or lightly vacuum pillow covers to clean. If they need further cleaning, look at the care instructions and consider sending them off to the cleaners!
For upholstered furniture, remove cushions and vacuum them with upholstery attachment and then vacuum the base of the furniture before returning cushions! Again, for deeper cleaning consider arranging an appointment for the the professionals to come on in and clean your furniture. For the furniture our furry little friends seem to take over, I really need to do this a few times a year!
Take everything off the shelves, and wipe them down with a microfiber cloth. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth and dust off other object surfaces before returning them to the shelves.
Sheets might get washed on the weekly but don’t forget to throw the mattress pad into the wash from time to time too. As for the mattress? You can give it a good clean too! If you have a garment steamer, steam the mattress to kill dust mites near the surface (I know, ewww!) Afterwards use your vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean the top and sides. After vacuuming, use a disinfectant spray like Lysol.
I know, I know! Just about as tedious as window cleaning but it goes much faster! For an over the counter tile and grout cleaner, look for a product with a neutral “pH” on the label. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pour 1/4 cup baking soda into 1 gallon of water and mix well. Then use a toothbrush sized brush (or literally a toothbrush!) to clean the grout!
Note: If you have a shower curtain, now is a good time to take it down and throw it in the wash. Also replace the shower liner or throw that in the washer with some bleach!
Spring Clean Essentials
Of course before tackling any spring cleaning task in your home, it makes sense to take inventory of what cleaning products you have and those that you need! And not all cleaning supplies need to necessarily be store bought. There are also common household items that crossover well into DIY household cleaners. For those, I am linking to a resource for all their uses!
Rubber Gloves-To protect your hands when using harsher cleansers and also for use when cleaning oven racks, dishes and bathrooms!
Microfiber Cloths-What I love about these cloths is they do not leave any lint behind like paper towels or feather dusters sometimes can.
Sponges-Two sided sponges work best. One side for cleaning and one side for scrubbing
Toothbrush or Tile And Grout Scrub Brush-For hard to reach places and for cleaning grout
Vacuum-With attachments for cleaning furniture, shelves and windowsills.
Store Bought Cleaners:
Bona Floor Cleaner-For wood floors
Bar Keeper’s Friend-For stainless steel sinks
Folex Instant Spot Remover-for carpet and fabric stains. This stuff works so well!
Parker and Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream-For wood cabinets
Mrs. Myer’s Everyday Cleaner-A wonderful environmentally friendly multipurpose cleaner that uses all natural ingredients. It is safe on all non porous surfaces. Effective and smells so good!
Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets-For cleaning and freshening up your laundry tub
Wieman Stainless Steel Cleaner-For stainless steel appliances and surfaces.
Windex-For windows and glass surfaces.
For additional spring cleaning projects, head to this post here on cleaning out kitchen cabinets and drawers and this post here on cleaning out closets!
Photos by Jules Kennedy
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