The time of year you either love, or hate. Spring cleaning has always been the same since the idea started: the time to do the things you are too lazy to do more than once a year. But, some actually love doing spring cleaning and the things it entails. Some may even not have a spring cleaning because they just do these things as they see it needing to be done.
I commend those people, for I absolutely, without a doubt, hate deep cleaning. But over the years I have had to learn that it isn’t about loving it or hating it – its about standard of living. I refuse to live in a dirty house, so it must be done.
If you haven’t thought of any, here are some ultimate spring cleaning tips to consider.
Nobody gives pressuring washing enough credit anymore. Plus, nobody thinks that the outside of the house needs to stay clean. I mean, that is why they call it the outside for a reason. Let nature do its thing. But nature also brings bacteria, mold, and bugs when you don’t want it. This amazing machine can do so much you wouldn’t think of to sanitize and clean the outside of your house.
Pressure wash the outside surface of your house to remove mold/mildew build up, cob webs, bee/wasp hives, and pollen/allergens. Pressure wash your driveway for curb appeal, the back patio and pool deck, the fence or even the outside of your car for a quick clean.
And these babies aren’t that expensive either, so easy to use with a hose hookup, and is actually fun to use if you like the satisfaction of watching dirty surfaces just melt away (I know I do!) It just depends on how powerful of one you want, and whether gas or electric. I have just a mid grade, light duty electric one that you can find here.
Move and clean under all large furniture
Like your bedroom furniture, couch, etc. So many allergens, hair and dust that has traveled from vacuuming around them and from the air vents throughout your house has them settle in these areas. Plus, bugs find their resting places here, and that’s the last thing you want to think you’re sleeping over at night.
Plus, you never know what junk, food and missing things is hiding under large, heavy pieces of furniture. Cleaning under small, trapped areas can relieve bacterial causing odors as well.
Microfiber/Old Tees instead of sponges
Throughout the year you will go out and buy more sponges than you can count. You probably use them for dishes, scrubbing the shower, tub, and counter tops. Sponges aren’t cheap, if you think about the number of uses you get out of one, and how many come in a pack. They hold so much bacteria, as their job is to that rightfully so, but then they eventually pile up and stay there after time and then you just spread them around your house.
I throw my sponges out after two weeks, clean in the dishwasher in between, and still depending on the duty it was used for I might just throw them out after one use.
But then I learned about the Microfiber cloths. Now, I know what you’re thinking: what is the difference if either one gets the job done? I’m not going to change my habit of sponges for a piece of fabric. This is all true, but in fact, microfiber is great for cleaning because they are more absorbent and have a positive charge, which attracts negatively charged dirt, germs, grime and grease – and this is without any cleaner used! The only downfall to these is that you will need to wash them separately or with lighter loads since they do attract dirt and hair very easily.
So you can use these for just about everything you do around the house: washing and drying dishes, wiping down counter tops, dusting surfaces, cleaning the windows, wiping down the shower, tub or toilet, or spot treating the floors. Ultimately, they’re long lasting and inexpensive – keeping your house bacteria and germ free as you use them without spreading them.
Another thing you could do – if you have unwanted, stained or old T-shirts – is to cut up pieces to use for dusting, polishing wood furniture, cleaning windows and for light clean ups. They’re as easy as throwing in the wash and can be reused several times for tasks such as those.
Snake your drains (Drano-free!)
My house has old pipes, so using harsh chemicals and liquids could be quite damaging in the case of having older plumbing. And it’s just harmful for the environment, period. So I’ve made it a point in my household to have these little drain snakes in each bathroom. The job isn’t the most appealing, but again if you’re one for satisfaction jobs – this is a big one after you notice how much stuff gets into your sink drains.
These little plastic snakes have spokes going in the opposite direction, so when placing down in the drain and pulling up it catches literally everything in it’s path. And I’m talking everything from mold to gross clumps of toothpaste that stuck to hair from days ago.
Do this weekly or monthly and you’re guaranteed to have less clogging issues throughout the year!
Top to bottom cleaning
Cleaning your entire home is a step-by-step equation in itself! And to do it properly, there are steps to be taken, otherwise you’ll be doing the same steps over and over. And that’s not efficient. So when you’re cleaning, start by cleaning from top to bottom, that way, say you’re dusting the blades of your fans, the dust that falls will fall to the floor and the floors are the very last thing to clean.
Spray off/wash/wipe off those window treatments
Once a year I make a point to do this: spraying off the blinds on all of the windows in the house. You would not believe how dusty those get especially if you don’t use them each day. Nonetheless, dust that carries through the house gets trapped on these and if not wiped clean regularly, they can become very stuck to the point where they need to be scrubbed off with soap/water. And that’s what I do once a year, and light dusting them in between with a dry Swiffer.
It’s really easy to take your blinds down, spray them off with a hose and allow them to hang dry for a day or two outside. It’s makes the world of a difference with dust.
Buff up those cabinets
Those kitchen cabinets, or bathroom cabinets, where cooking grease and oil drips and splatters each and every day. Or even if you have pets that rub themselves up against them, spreading their oils and pet dander which eventually cakes onto those surfaces. And your own skin and oils that collect from the same area you touch and reach to open over time.
With a microfiber cloth, soap and water, you can easily buff up and sanitize those cabinets like new. They won’t be sticky and slimy, and will actually appear brighter and shinier afterwards. The ones in your bathroom as well, especially if you have those in your household that tend to forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Eek!
Wash those windows (not just Windex!)
After time of using Windex, those chemicals will eventually just become caked on and soon or later not look very clear and shiny as the product promises. Once a year it’s a good idea to clean your glass windows with a gentle soap and water, or even a little vinegar to help strip the cleaner.
Another tip: instead of wasting paper towels, again you can use a microfiber cloth to shine up those glass windows, or use an old trick of cleaning them with newspaper. I don’t know why this works, but it does – and it works very well.
Re-caulk/seal where needed
The caulk around your house may sometimes need replacing. Especially if they are frequently getting wet. This can cause mold and mildew build up, and eventually may never come off with beach or soft scrub, no matter how hard you scrub it. Fortunately, it is very easy to remove caulk, with the use of a removal tool and now it actually comes in a liquid form.
Personally, I like the actual tool because it’s quicker and easy to use in order to remove all of the old caulk. And it’s also very easy to place it, with no experience needed.
For the caulk, 100% silicone is the way to go when it comes to caulking in areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, sinks and showers. The silicone is resistant to mold the most.
Cleanse your dishwasher
You would never think, right? Wrong. Your dishwasher needs the love as well after it has done the dirty work of cleaning off caked on spaghetti sauce. A lot of dishwashers come with a cleaning cycle – run that every six months – and even wipe down the inside with gentle soap, vinegar and water for an extensive removal of bacteria.
Polish up that oven
If you never do this, you are probably one of those with burnt stuck on pieces of grease, grime and food particles in your oven. I know I’m guilty of it, too. But when you’re baking that cake and all you smell coming from your oven is the stench of something on fire – it’s probably your oven telling you it’s that time.
Sometimes it requires actually scraping off the stuck on charred mess, and most of the time a lot of the grease stains and color never actually get removed completely. But if you at least scrape out the excess food pieces and and grime built up every six months to a year – your oven will thank you.
Recently, at my mom’s house, I noticed she had oven liners at the bottom of her oven. Genius! Perfect for the lazy oven cleaners in all of us, because who really wants to sit there and scrape off burnt old food and grease?
Clean out/wipe out that refrigerator
Once a year it’s a good idea to go in, take everything out (maybe throw out that expired ketchup you’ve been hoarding), and wipe off the inside. Doing this removes collected bacteria, food and odors in your fridge. Generally, I will use a microfiber cloth, vinegar and water, and wipe down the shelves, walls and floor of the fridge.
Cleaning the fridge also includes the freezer, don’t forget!
Bring the life back into your carpet
I’m not talking a regular old quick vacuuming of the carpet. Give your carpet a little love, whether it’s an entire room or just an area rug. I use a high traffic foam sprayer to lift dull and lifeless carpet from high traffic areas, and it leaves the carpet smelling fresh and clean.
Generally, I will spray the area and allow the foam to sit for at least 10 minutes. Then, with a clean scrub brush (a long handled scrub brush works best for this so you use more elbow grease in a larger area) scrub the area with the foam in all directions. Don’t just scrub in the direction that the carpet falls – you’re trying to liven those fibers back up, so scrub against where it falls. Now, either with a deep cleaner vacuum or allowing the carpet to dry for 6 – 12 hours before vacuuming with a normal dry vacuum, you will then vacuum like normal over the treated area in all directions.
I just recently got the Shark Rotator Lift-Away True Pet for Christmas after our 10+ year old vacuum croaked, and let me tell you – with two hairy, shedding dogs and having to dust mop 3+ times a week before, it’s been three days since vacuuming last and I am sincerely impressed!
Clean out/Reorganize the closets
Get rid of clothes you don’t wear, boxes, trinkets, old sheets, or simply junk you don’t need anymore. Reorganizing your closets frees up space and reduces clutter around your entire house. It also reduces the amount of objects for dust, dander and allergens to cling onto that travel throughout the bedrooms.
Vamp up the washing machine
If you have a newer model of a washing machine, then your washer probably has a ‘cleaning’ cycle already installed. Utilize that every 6 to 12 months. If you have an older washer (like me), fill up your washer with hot water, some baking soda or a small amount of bleach and let the washer finish its cycle.
Doing this flushes out the settled leftover dirty water and residue from dirty laundry over time.
Wash your pillows (not just the cases!)
When I moved in with my husband and noticed his sleep pillows the first time I ever washed our bedding… I was mortified. They were stained a yellow, orange color. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Sweat, oils, skin, dander and bacteria can and will go through your pillow cases and into your pillows themselves. Wash them every 6 to 12 months on a gentle cycle.
Give your walls a fresh coat
This is so easy to do it’s almost cheating your way into giving your house a tiny makeover with a good excuse. A fresh coat of paint covers any odors that have soaked into the old paint on the walls (or at least I have noticed it does), it brightens the room since the sun fades paint over time, and is overall a good way of having a fresh start to spring cleaning.