Start Your Spring Cleaning with these Tips and Checklist
Why Do We Do Spring Cleaning?
Warmer weather is on the way, which means it’s the season for a time-honored tradition: spring cleaning. Tackling a whole-home clean can seem like a big task, but it’s well worth the time spent (and it’s often easier than you think). Doing a big clean once a year can help you catch areas that maybe didn’t get cleaned so well during the other 11 months, and the end result of a totally tidy home is a satisfying way to start your spring. Read on for all our tips for a home deep clean, plus a handy spring cleaning checklist to help you as you go.
Where Should You Start Spring Cleaning?
Every home is a little different, but most spring cleaning routines will either work top-down or bottom-up. The approach will be the same either way, but sometimes it can be easier to haul your supplies upstairs at the start of the day, and descend gradually throughout. We’ll assume you’re going top-down for this year’s spring cleaning.
Starting at the top of your house means your deep clean will probably begin with B&B’s: bedrooms and bathrooms. Give all bed linens a thorough washing, including pillows and comforters. Flip the mattresses – this is a job that’s definitely easier with multiple people – and don’t forget to vacuum the insides of closets and wardrobes. You may also want to move beds away from walls to dust behind them, and get any high windowsills, shelves or ceiling fans while you’re up there.
In bathrooms, empty any trash bins and collect them outside – more on that later. Spray down hard surfaces with cleaning spray or a baking soda-vinegar mix; toilets, sinks, showers, tubs and tile floors should all get the clean treatment. Make sure to get the handles on your sinks, toilets and taps too. Mirrors can get surprisingly dirty and overlooked, so give them a wipedown with glass cleaner, and make sure to check any linen closets while you’re tidying up.
If you have hard water deposits on showerheads or on the taps in your tubs or sinks, one of the best solutions may be in your pantry. White vinegar can help dissolve calcium deposits while you’re tackling other cleaning tasks. Fill a zip-top plastic bag with vinegar and rubber-band it onto showerheads or taps, then let sit for half an hour. Thoroughly rinse or spray down with water once you’ve removed the vinegar bags.
What’s the Best Way to Clean the Kitchen?
With food prep surfaces and appliances, the kitchen has many opportunities for deep cleaning. Start with your appliances. Your oven may have a self-cleaning setting, where it uses the highest possible heat setting to remove buildup. Using the self-cleaning setting can be smelly and may produce smoke, so open a window or two before starting.
Otherwise, remove stovetop grates and spray them down with cleaner, clean the inside of your microwave and thoroughly spray and wipe down all countertops and the sink. Clean your dishwasher – yes, even dishwashers need to be cleaned – by removing and rinsing the filter (you’ll likely find it under the bottom arm) and then spraying and wiping down the interior of the dishwasher with vinegar. Check the drawers of your kitchen for clutter you can get rid of.
You can even empty out the crumb tray on your toaster – it may slide out of the back.
What Do You Clean in the Living Room?
In the living room, remove cushions from couches and chairs and give them a thorough vacuuming and fluffing. Dust on top of surfaces like the mantlepiece or television, then vacuum under heavy furniture, or move them to get access to the carpet or floor underneath. Rugs can be vacuumed or taken outside and shaken. Any wood items can be touched up with a little bit of wood polish to bring out a spring shine.
How Do You Clean a Basement?
How low can you go? If your home has a basement, this is the last stop on your indoor spring cleaning journey. Replace your HVAC filter and vacuum out the area around your furnace – it can get surprisingly dusty. You can also vacuum out your dryer, making sure to get the filter area, and can run your washing machine with a load of homemade vinegar and baking soda cleaner. Spring cleaning is also a great excuse to clean and discard any other odds and ends that may have accumulated in your basement in the last year.
What Are Some More Spring Cleaning Tips?
There are a few more places to clean that might be hiding in plain sight…often because they’re in the way we’re seeing what’s dirty in the first place. As part of your cleaning, vacuum or dust any lamps and light bulbs, including recessed bulbs. It may be helpful to do this before vacuuming furniture or floors to avoid getting dust on anything you’ve already cleaned. Give windows a spray with cleaning liquid and wipe them down, and use the gentlest setting on your vacuum to give curtains a dusting. If your vacuum doesn’t have a setting gentle enough for curtains, you can give the curtains a good shake first and vacuum up any dust second.
Use disinfecting wipes or spray to hit any touch points in your home, like doorknobs, light switches, drawer handles and cabinet pulls. And last but certainly not least, wipe down your phone – phones are something we handle every day, but often overlook when it comes to cleaning.
Make Your Patio Perfect for Summer
With warmer weather coming in, that means it’s also time to get ready to spend more time on the porch or patio. We’ve got you covered there, too…check out some cleaning tips to get your patio ready for summer.
Finish Up Your Spring Cleaning
Remember when you took your trash cans outside? Spray them down with the hose and some soap to get them extra-clean, then let them dry completely before they go back inside. As a final step, empty your vacuum and replace the bag if it’s a model that uses vacuum bags, and discard any thoroughly soiled sponges and rags.
It can take a day of organization, but there’s nothing better than a home that’s clean from top to bottom. While you’re on your cleaning spree, track your progress and everything you need with our handy checklist below, and shop all the cleaning supplies you’ll need for a whole-home clean. For more tips and how-to inspiration, check out The Fresh Lane.