Gather your cleaning supplies
If you’re planning to clean the house, you have to be prepared. It’s best to have everything on hand before you begin y our spring cleaning. And it’s kind of a drag if you have to go to the store mid cleaning to get extra cleaner.
Just like every repairman has their own toolbox, professional cleaners always have their handy supplies tote. So it makes sense that before you take on the monumental task of cleaning your entire house, you go and put together your own cleaning caddy.
Below are a few essentials you might need for spring cleaning. Feel free to add more depending on what you need for your home.
A cleaning caddy, bucket, or tote. Depending on what you’re comfortable with, anything that will hold your supplies do great.
Cotton cleaning rags
A few lemons
Stainless steel cleaner
Have a plan
Whether your place is tiny or massive, spring cleaning can be a challenge and you’re probably not going to finish in just one day. It also takes a good amount of energy to get it all done. Having a plan is the most efficient way to spring clean your home.
List out every room of your house, without forgetting places like the utility room, laundry room, garage, and closets. Think about each task like cleaning the baseboards, the walls, the windows, and window treatments, as well as moving and cleaning behind and under furniture. Walking through your house or apartment and seeing what needs to be cleaned will make help you fill out that list.
It’s best to clean the room where you get things clean last. If you feel overwhelmed, schedule a few tasks each time you know you have spare time on the weekends or evenings. Think of spring cleaning as a long-term project. If you try to take on too much at once, you may end up giving up before you’ve accomplished everything on your to-do list.
Always clean from top to bottom
Just as you should clean starting from the tops floor down, you also should clean from the ceiling down to the floor. You don’t want all the trash going through a room you just cleaned or having dust fall down from the ceiling to your freshly clean floors. Use a vacuum with an extension hose to get cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans first. Then dust your furniture and other items before vacuuming all the dust and debris off your floors.
Get rid of unnecessary things
One of the first things to do and also the biggest part of spring cleaning is often getting rid of the clutter. There are a lot of ways to go about this, but perhaps the most efficient way is to sort the clutter into categories. Have a pile for keeping and relocating, one for things you want to throw out, and one for recycling. You can even have piles for reselling and donations. You can find inexpensive baskets and bins in all sizes at thrift stores or dollar stores.
Once you have your "to keep" items, think about how you can better organize them. Make sure they have a place to go and not just end up cluttering another room.
Clean room by room
The most efficient way to deep clean your house is to go room by room. Make cleaning checklists for each room to help you stay organized and remind you of the areas that require special attention. Feel free to bypass sections that have recently been cleaned and concentrate on portions of your home that have been neglected throughout the winter.
Get everyone involved
Once you have a list, assign each family member a job and make spring cleaning a family affair. This will help hold them accountable and give everyone something to do. Even small children can be valuable contributors. Assign chores that are age-appropriate so that everyone feels included. Put on some music and clean together, or set up a household prize as an incentive to get the job done.
Make a schedule so that no one forgets. You may even hang it on the wall or put it on the refrigerator door. You can use a whiteboard to display your chore schedule, and you can even color-code similar jobs.
Make your countertop shine
The type of material on your kitchen counters will determine how you clean them. Avoid using acidic cleaners on marble, quartz, granite, and laminated countertops, instead use hot water and a spritz of dish soap in a spray bottle. Using the spray, squirt the counter and wipe it down with a damp microfiber towel. You may also use hot water and dish soap on butcher blocks or concrete worktops. To clean your counters, spritz them with water and scrape them with a dish sponge or a brush with plastic bristles.
The sink gets cleaned too
Your kitchen sink may have more bacteria than your toilet seat, which is hard to believe. Because the form and substance of your kitchen sink affect how you clean it, you should always consult the manufacturer's care instructions before sanitizing. However, there are some fundamental cleaning suggestions that apply to all types of kitchen sinks.
Apart from cleaning your sink with dish soap or an antibacterial spray on a regular basis, the easiest approach to disinfect any sink after cleaning is to fill it with warm water and a tablespoon of bleach. After dipping a sponge in bleach and wiping clean the faucet and handles, let the bleach soak for at least five minutes. Rinse and air-dry the area.
Deep clean your oven
Cleaning the oven doesn't have to be difficult. While it may take longer than cleaning your kitchen sink after supper, there are a number of tips and tactics that can help the job go much more quickly.
Remove your oven racks and soak them for at least an hour in dishwashing solutions before scrubbing with a mild abrasive cleaner if necessary. After you've removed the racks, scrape away any food bits with a spatula. Then use an oven cleaning from the shop or make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the oven door and let sit for no more than 20 minutes before wiping clean.
Do it for your stove top too
Things can get nasty when food residue pours over the sides of pots and pans around your oven's burner heads. But it can be restored to its former shine. Start by soaking your stove grates in a non-toxic degreaser in the sink. Remove your burners and apply the same degreaser to your stovetop. Remove the grease and grime using a light scouring pad, then wipe clean with paper towels.
Scrub your grates and burner caps, as well as the burners themselves, with a nylon brush. Make sure you don't use any harsh cleaners or chemicals on your burners.
For glass stovetops, it can be as simple as just wiping them clean. But burnt-on food and oil often remain. Stovetop stains can be removed with baking soda and vinegar. Make a baking soda paste similar to the one you used on your oven, then use a spatula or a brush to apply it evenly over your glass-top stove.
Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and softly spritz the cooktop once you've spread the paste. Spread warm, damp towels over the burner once the area has been evenly coated. Remove the towels after 30 minutes and wipe down the surface in circular strokes.
Remove the stink from your microwave
If your microwave has stains and residue buildup, lemons can help give this workhorse kitchen appliance a thorough cleaning. Fill a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, and several tablespoons of vinegar, and stick it inside. Turn the appliance on high for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy, then let it cool for five minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe the inside and outside with a sponge.
The toaster need love too
For a lot of people, wiping the outside of the toaster and taking out the breadcrumbs is enough. However, you'll need to do more to properly clean your toaster. Make sure the toaster’s unplugged before you do any cleaning. Then start by washing and drying your toaster's crumb tray. Use a small pastry or basting brush to get into the hard-to-reach corners. Replace the tray once you've finished.
Wipe the toaster's exterior with a moist cloth and mild soap to clean it. If your toaster is stainless steel, a little vinegar will shine it up.
Clean your knife block
The easiest approach to preventing bacteria growth in your knife block is to completely clean and dry knives before storing them, but a more thorough cleaning once a year is also a good idea. Submerge the knife block in a mixture of one gallon of lukewarm water and one spoonful of household bleach for a thorough cleaning. Allow two minutes for the wooden block to soak in the mixture before turning it upside-down onto a dry towel to air dry entirely.
Restore your pots and pans
If you want to restore the appearance of your pots and pans, use baking soda. Fill the pot or pan halfway with water and bring to a boil for porcelain-enameled cast-iron cookware. Once the water has reached a boil, add two tablespoons of baking soda, stir, and continue to cook for several minutes. Then empty the pot and give the pan a good rinse with warm water.
Ketchup aids in the removal of tarnish from copper pots and other copper cooking utensils. If you come across really tough places, simply massage the red sauce over the surface and add a bit of salt to your polish.
Baking soda and water can also be used to clean nonstick frying pans. Simply pour a layer of water into the pan's bottom and sprinkle baking soda over it to make a thin paste. Allow the pan to sit for several hours before rinsing and washing it.
Give the dishwasher a wash
Even machines that are designed to clean items in your home require cleaning on occasion. This is especially true if you have hard water, which can lead to calcium buildup. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the empty dishwasher on the hottest setting after that. If you don't like the smell of vinegar, you can replace it with one cup of baking soda sprinkled down the bottom of your dishwasher and a hot-water rinse. Remove and disassemble your drain trap, then wipe it with a sponge or toothbrush and dish soap to remove any stuck-on food particles or mold.
Descale your kettle
You may also descale your electric kettle using vinegar. In your kettle, combine equal parts of water and vinegar until it is about halfway full. Bring the mixture to a boil, then set aside for 15 to 20 minutes in the kettle with the boiling vinegar-water mixture. Finally, drain the contents of the kettle and rinse it. If there are any remaining scales or dirt within the kettle, scrub them away with the rough side of a sponge.
The coffee maker also needs to be cleaned
While you should clean all removable parts of your coffee maker with dish soap after each use, you should also decalcify it with vinegar once a month. Fill the reservoir halfway with vinegar and half with water, then insert a paper filter in the machine's empty basket. Place your pot in the machine, "brew" the solution halfway, and then turn it off.
Turn the coffee maker back on after 30 minutes, continue the brewing, and empty the full pot of vinegar and water. Install a new paper filter and brew a full pot of clean water to rinse everything out.
Soap down the fridge
Begin by cleaning the inside of your refrigerator. Remove everything and discard any items that have passed their expiration date. Disposable goods, such as bins and shelves, should be washed in warm, soapy water. Then, using a clean soapy cloth, wipe down the interior. To remove stubborn stains, make a paste using baking soda and water. Wipe off the outside with soapy water or stainless steel spray, including the handles and door seals. Deodorize your refrigerator by filling an open container with dry baking soda and placing it on the bottom shelf after you've cleaned and dried all surfaces.
Wipe your mirrors clean
Half a cup of distilled water, half a cup of white vinegar, and one spoonful of cornstarch can be used to make a streak-free mirror. In a spray bottle, combine the ingredients and spritz the mirror with the cleaning solution. Then, starting from top to bottom, wipe the mirror with a microfiber cloth or crumpled-up newspaper in a broad "S" pattern.
Before you begin cleaning, use rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth to remove any particularly obstinate debris. Simply soak a corner of the towel in the alcohol and scrub the gunk off the mirror glass before cleaning the remainder.
Disinfect the trashcans
Even if you always use a liner bag, your trash receptacle gets pretty grimy. Start the task of cleaning your garbage can by emptying it, and removing any large pieces of food or particles you see in the bottom of the can. Then, rinse out the can using either a hose outside or your bathtub. Regularly use a sanitizing wipe or spray to keep the outside of the trash can free of food bits and drips.
Unclog the bathroom drains
If you detect a blockage in your bathtub drain or it's been a while since the drain was cleaned, simply use baking soda and vinegar to clean it. Just pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain. Allow the drain to clear the clog for a few minutes before flushing it out with hot water.
Scrub down your toilet
Begin by applying toilet cleaner to the bowl, and allow it to soak. If you’re using vinegar in place of toilet cleaner, simply pour a cup into the bowl. Quickly swish the cleaner around the bowl with a brush. While the cleaner soaks in, spray the exterior of the toilet with an all-purpose disinfectant. If the toilet is extra dirty, give it a preliminary wipe-down with paper towels and toss them in the trash. Next, use a scrub sponge to clean the exterior of the toilet. Pay attention to the base and floor around the toilet while you’re there. Once the exterior is clean, use a toilet brush to clean the bowl. Use a pumice stone to remove hard water rings or stains.
Get rid of the sediments on your shower head
Showerheads can harbor bacteria, so keeping them clean is vital. Fortunately, with the help of some white vinegar, showerheads can be kept fresh and clean. Fill a plastic bag halfway with white vinegar to begin. Then, drape the bag over the showerhead until the entire fixture is submerged in vinegar, and secure it with a piece of twine or twist ties over the shower head's neck. Allow the showerhead to soak in the vinegar for several hours unless it is brass, gold, or nickel-coated, in which case you should just soak it for 30 minutes.
Wash the shower curtain
Put a few bath towels with your plastic, fabric, or vinyl shower curtains in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. You can use any laundry detergent you want. Allow it to air dry before showering, though fabric curtains can usually be dried on low using the dryer. Spritz the curtain with a bleach-based all-purpose cleaner a couple of times a month to keep it cleaner for longer. Then simply rinse it off in the shower.
Brush down the grout
White grout picks up everything. But you don't need harsh agents like bleach to tackle dirty bathroom tiles. To make grout sparkle again, spray it with a top-tested grout cleaner. Let it set for several minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. You can also use a homemade solution of warm water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and one tablespoon of dish soap. And don't be tempted to abandon those hard-to-reach crevices and grout lines located behind the toilet. An extendable scrubber can help you reach these germy spots without back strain or bruised knees.
Wipe the tv screens
When it comes to cleaning your television screen, steer away from Windex and paper towels. Instead, use lint-free, soft microfiber towels. A dry cloth is ideal for cleaning your screen, but if that doesn't work, try a cloth misted with distilled water.
Stick to wiping the screen in one direction on the first pass to avoid streaks, then wiping it again in the opposite direction to avoid streaks. Pre-treated dusting cloths should be avoided because they may leave an oily residue on your screen.
You can include your accessories in your spring cleaning list
There's a strong probability that all of your jewelry, from your everyday items to those stately ones you only wear on rare occasions, might benefit from a nice cleaning.
The most tried-and-true, gentle way to clean fine jewelry is to do so at home using a solution of lukewarm water and some mild dish detergent. The milder the soap, the better. For extremely soiled fine jewelry that does not have fragile gemstones, soak the jewelry in the mixture for a few minutes. Always remember that delicate gemstones should never be saturated for more than a few seconds.
Vodka is also a great cleaning solution for your accessories. Soak gold and silver jewelry, but never delicate pearls or precious gems, in vodka. Then use a clean toothbrush to loosen any debris.
Freshen up your wardrobe
If your spring and summer clothes have been tucked away all winter, you can get rid of any musty smells with a homemade cleaning spray. Simply put vodka into an empty spray bottle, then spritz it onto clothes to dampen it. Let it sit, then wash the garment as usual.
If the smell still lingering, try leaving a plate of baking soda in the wardrobe overnight to absorb odors. If there’s an improvement, but the smell’s not gone completely, you can repeat this with a fresh batch of baking soda.
Deep clean the mattress
In addition to cleaning your linens, make sure you're giving your mattress a good cleaning a few times a year. Once you strip off your bedding, you should vacuum the top, sides, and underside of your mattress. Then, mix one cup of baking soda with a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl and shake the fragranced baking soda evenly over the entire mattress through a strainer. Leave on for a few hours before vacuuming the baking soda off the mattress.
You can also remove any stains on the mattress by mixing a paste of baking soda, salt, and water. Rub the stain with the paste, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then wipe away with a damp clean cloth.
Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. The UV rays can kill off mold, mildew, and even bacteria. So take advantage of the sun's power and get your mattress outside for a sunbath. Three or four hours in the sun is enough to allow your mattress to air thoroughly but six hours is even better. Just make sure you bring it in well before dusk so dampness doesn’t seep in.
It's a great time to clean the fireplace
If you’re wrapping up your fireplace for the season, you’ll want to remove all the ash to help keep your home clean. The easiest way to do it is with a shovel and a non-combustible container like a metal trash can. Remember to always wait until the ash has completely burned out. Sometimes it’s safest to wait around 48 hours after the last fire before fully cleaning the ash out.
When getting rid of soot, it's best to get help from a professional. However, you can take some steps to make your fireplace generally cleaner while you wait for a professional cleaning appointment. You can remove grates or andirons and take them outside to clean with an old cloth and a wire brush. Avoid using water on metal, as it can accelerate corrosion and isn’t necessary. If your andirons are extremely dirty, you can use brass polish for brass andirons, or vegetable oil and steel wool to attempt to polish them.
Gas fireplaces and some wood fireplaces use glass doors in front to keep the fireplace safer. The easiest way to clean fireplace glass is to remove it from the fireplace and take it outside. This helps reduce the possibility of spreading ash or soot on your carpet around the fireplace. look for specialized gas appliance cleaners or make your own mixture with a vinegar cleaning solution. Regularly cleaning your fireplace glass will keep it clear and improve the overall look of your fireplace.
Ammonia can be harsh on bricks, especially older bricks that may already be worn down and fragile. A common household item you can use to clean bricks gently is dishwashing detergent. It’s effective for cleaning bricks and is gentle enough for even aging brickwork.
Everything from the hard-to-reach spots in your firebox to the top of the chimney is best handled by a professional. Not only are these areas challenging to clean, but they can also be dangerous.
Dust the ceiling fans
It's a messy job cleaning the muck off the blades of your ceiling fans. So, before you begin, cover the floor beneath the fan with a drop cloth or an old sheet, covering an area roughly twice the span of the blades. Then dust ceiling fans, hanging and recessed lights, moldings, and other surfaces with an extension duster. Make sure to start your cleaning here, from top to bottom, so you don’t have to vacuum your floors twice.
A popular trick to clean your ceiling fans is to use old pillowcases. Try putting a pillowcase over the blades, and then carefully slide it off. This method will pull the dust and debris back inside of the case and you won't end up with dust everywhere.
Wash the windows
The best way to wash your windows is on a cloudy day, using a microfiber cloth. Since cleaners like Windex dry more quickly on warm windows, washing them in direct sunlight can cause streaks, as can wiping down your windows with paper towels.
Start your window cleaning by sweeping dirt from the window frame with a brush or vacuuming it up with an attachment. If your window screen looks a little grimy, pop it out and wash it with hot, soapy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let dry before putting it back.
Restore your walls
Keeping your walls free of greasy fingerprints, dust and stains is as easy as wiping them with a damp microfiber cloth. If that doesn't work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid. Be sure to start from top to bottom, and don't forget to wipe the door frames and baseboards too.
Degunk the flat iron
If you're noticing white mineral deposits or a sticky residue on the bottom of your iron, it's probably time to clean it. The most effective approach to de-gunk your iron is to use toothpaste. Simply dampen a clean towel with water and a small amount of white toothpaste, then scrub the soleplate's surface while it's cool. After that, wipe it down.
A paste produced with table salt and distilled white vinegar can also be used. Scrub the soleplate with your paste, then wipe it clean with a clean towel moistened with water.
Maintain wood floors
Believe it or not, vinegar is the best cleaner for hardwood floors. Make a solution by mixing a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Start by sweeping the surface to remove any dust particles. Then fill a bucket with the homemade vinegar solution and begin cleaning using a flat mop with a microfiber cover. Make sure you don't get your wood floors too wet, as water can remove the finish or potentially cause warping or deterioration.
Even though you might think you should mop your wooden floors every week, this chore could ruin them. Instead, you should only wet-clean them once every one to two months and spot-clean as needed. Then make sure you use trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage and use furniture protectors to avoid scratches.
Deodorize old shoes
Fill two socks with baking soda, tie them off at the top, and slip one sock into each shoe. Let them sit overnight. To get rid of odor-causing bacteria and fungus, spray the shoe's interior with disinfecting spray like Lysol. You can also sprinkle foot powder or baking powder inside and let it sit overnight. Dump out the powder in the morning. Be careful when using baking soda with leather shoes as repeated applications can dry them out.
Clean the carpet
Use a portable carpet cleaner with a rotating brush to refresh your carpets in between deep cleanings. Sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer on your carpet to remove pet scents. Work the baking powder into your carpet with a gentle brush and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Using a new bag or a clean dirt cup, vacuum the baking powder from the carpet.
Less-trafficked parts of your carpet only need to be cleaned once or twice a year, and every 18 months for the bedroom. For higher-traffic areas, the most often you'd need to bring in professionals would be three or four times a year. But if you see that your carpet's dirty, you probably should have it cleaned for health reasons.
Wash out the washer and dryer
Try running a hot cycle with vinegar to clear out the filth, mildew, and other dirt residues that might have accumulated in your washer. Start by running an empty, usual cycle on hot, replacing the detergent with two cups of white vinegar. Then brush the inside of the machine using a mixture of about a quarter cup of vinegar and a quart of warm water. Finally, without detergent or vinegar, run one more empty, regular cycle on hot. To help clear away the buildup loosened during the first cycle, you can add half a cup of baking soda to the drum.
Your dryer also has to be cleaned on a regular basis. You can do this by wiping down your dryer drum with a microfiber cloth and an even mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Make sure to clear off the lint that has accumulated in your lint trap's mesh screen. Remove the lint trap and vacuum the area using a crevice attachment to accomplish this. The mesh should next be cleaned with a toothbrush soaked in warm, soapy water. Allow the trap to completely dry before reinstalling it in the dryer.
Don't forget the car
Consider your vehicle to be an extension of your home. Give your car a thorough post-winter wash to help it last longer. Remove the carpets and mats from the vehicle and vacuum any accumulated dirt and dust. Then give them a good wash with car shampoo and clean water to remove any hardened salt and mud accumulation. You should also wipe the inside panels with warm water and an all-purpose cleaner. Clean the mirrors and windows with a glass-friendly household cleaner, and declutter the glove compartment.
Make cleaning fun
The best way to spring clean is by having fun doing it. Having fun will make it easier for those of you who loathe it. Start by turning on the speakers, opening the windows, and letting your favorite music carry you away. Even the most unpleasant activities, like scrubbing the toilet, can be made enjoyable with the right music. Take some time to create the best playlist of your life before you begin your spring cleaning fun. Put those oldies on there that take you back to high school, and your house will be clean enough to make your mother proud in no time.
Nobody wants to scrub the walls or wash the curtains, but there's nothing like a little fun to boost your spring cleaning drive. Plan a family reward after everything is finished if you truly want to boost motivation. Maybe it'll be a movie night or a backyard camp out. Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel will encourage everyone in the family to work together to complete the spring cleaning.
Though it is fun to have the whole family involved, whiny family members and resistance are anything but. Assign your kids age-appropriate tasks like cleaning out their closets or choosing 5 toys to donate to charity. If your spouse isn’t so excited about their assignment, give them the power of choice and ask them to choose two or three jobs to oversee. Letting family members choose tasks instead of telling them what to do can help ease their reluctance towards joining the family cleaning team.