You are probably thinking, “It’s about time!” The long, cold, dark winter has finally passed. The weather is finally warming up. Spring is here! The days are longer; the frigid temperatures are gone, nature is alive with growing grass, flowers and leaves on the trees. Most people love this time of year. Spring is often thought of as a time of birth, and leaves most everyone in good spirits.
Oh, wait a minute; spring also brings something less pleasant to mind – spring cleaning. It’s not something we like to think about, and it can be a drudgery. But it’s something that must be done.
Here you will find 12 things that can help you tackle the spring cleaning as efficiently as possible so you can get back to enjoying the spring.
It can be easy to just look around the house and think, “how am I going to get all this done?” Set up a plan – it can be from one room to another, one type of task to another (vacuum, then clean glass, etc.). Whatever order works best for you, just make sure you have a plan that keeps you focused so you can get everything done.
11. Cleaning tools
If you’re going to clean, you’ll need to ensure the tools with which you clean are in good working order. Is the vacuum working properly or do you need a new one? Ensure the vacuum has a HEPA filtration system. Replace the bag, clean the dust cup, wash or replace the filters (whatever applies to your particular unit). Clean off your broom by putting it in warm, soapy water and letting it dry.
10. Washer & Dryer
While we’re setting up a successful spring cleaning with a schedule and checking the cleaning tools, let’s do the washer & dryer, as they will be important tools in the spring cleaning as well. Disinfect the washer by running it with hot water, then add distilled white vinegar and baking soda, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Restart the machine, let the water drain, then wipe it dry. For the dryer, you should clean the lint filter after every load. At spring cleaning time, use the crevice tool on your vacuum to clean deeper. Vacuum behind, under and around the dryer.
As soon as your countertops are installed, they should be sealed. Have them sealed again one year later, and of course clean up spills as soon as they happen. If water beads and droplets form, you know the sealing has been done properly.
To prevent the sun from drying the cleanser before you finish wiping, wash them on a cloudy day. Use a damp cloth or glass cleaner to clean the glass. Make sure you wipe down the frames and sills to remove all the dust. A scrap of carpeting does wonders for cleaning screens. For a deeper clean, remove screens, rub with kerosene, then wipe soap & water with a microfiber cloth, then rinse with a garden hose. Make sure this is done in a well-ventilated area.
7. Kitchen Appliances
You may want to use a specialty cleaner on the dishwasher first to ensure anything you put in it will get cleaned properly. Clean the inside as well as the outside of all the appliances. Remove any parts that can be removed (shelving or trays) and wash them. A sprinkle of baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar will clean the oven.
Plastic or vinyl shower curtains can be washed in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Use a good bathroom cleaner on the grout, letting it sit for 15 minutes and then scrubbing it with a stiff brush. To clean the drain, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar. It will foam and bubble. Let it stand for 15 minutes (longer does not work any better). Follow by running hot tap water for 15-30 seconds.
The sheets and comforter obviously need to be washed fairly regularly, according to the manufacturer’s label. While those are being washed, inspect the mattress. Use the crevice tool on the vacuum and pet stain / odor remover to clean, and some disinfectant spray after the cleaning. Let it air dry while the bedclothes are finishing up in the washer & dryer.
High-traffic areas should be done 3-4 times a year. Bedrooms can actually go 18 months between cleanings. This is one task people are usually comfortable hiring a professional to do. Area rugs need only be cleaned every 4 years – doing so more often will make wear & tear happen faster.
Hardwood floors should only be we-cleaned every 1-2 months (a lot of people think you should do this every week). Spot-clean them as needed. Put down furniture protection to keep them from scratching and ensure saucers or other protection is underneath plants to prevent water damage.
Scary as it may seem, you need to pull furniture away from the walls to vacuum under and behind it. This gives you a chance to vacuum around vents and ductwork as well. Use the upholstery tool do clean cushions. This is also the time to get those neglected areas like ceiling fans, doorways and the top of bookshelves and other high-up places.
1. Outdoor Furniture
Wipe down the outdoor furniture with warm water and regular dishwashing liquid (remove the cushions, of course).
With these tips in hand, you can tackle your spring cleaning projects efficiently. With the spring cleaning taken care of, you can get back to enjoying the things that make spring such a great time of year.
Happy spring everyone!