Regardless of the amount of snow on the ground, I am jumping into Spring and starting by cleaning the entire house from top to bottom. A few weeks ago, something in me just clicked and I decided to do a full house overhaul. Cleaning, decorating, finally completing the honey-do list...I am going to get it all done. I have broken down Spring Cleaning into 5 weeks, cleaning 5 days each week with 2 days of rest or you know you can just call those your laundry days. Fucking laundry. I have pulled together my favourite cleaning tips and tried out the ones that are popular to see if they really work (spoiler alert - they don't).
I tried cleaning in two different ways, either room by room or by grouping like items together. While there is more instant satisfaction in cleaning a full room, it takes longer than cleaning like items all throughout your home. My recommendations below will be based on that approach, but if you prefer to clean room by room you can simply modify the list to suit that approach. It should only take you an hour or so each day, depending on what you are cleaning. Some weeks I combined items only because I had more time and wanted an extra day off. You could breeze through the entire list if really wanted to or if you really love cleaning (who are you???).
Start high and work towards the floors. You don't want to clean one area and then when cleaning an area above it and get dust (or whatever) all over the area you previously cleaned. Not that it happened to me when I cleaned the bathroom fan after cleaning the toilet the previous day. Nope, not at all.
Open the windows as often as possible. If you live in a colder climate you probably haven't had the windows open since September. As soon as it is sunny and above freezing crack those windows for at least a few minutes.
Week 1 - Ceiling Fans, Lights, Window Coverings, Windows, Mirrors
It is important to clean your fans so they don't recirculate dust throughout your home. It is especially important to give them a good cleaning after they haven't been used for awhile. I spray mine with a vinegar/water/grapefruit essential oil mix and then wipe off with a reusable cloth. I have always found this to be more effective than using a vacuum or just dry dusting.
Don't forget your bathroom fans. They can become quickly clogged with dust which makes them less efficient at removing moisture from the air. This could increase your chances of growing mildew and mold. Remove the cover and soak in the sink with warm water and castile soap. Remember to unplug the fan before cleaning. Spray a reusable cloth with your vinegar/water/essential oil mix and wipe down the fan. Once done, plug the fan back in a replace the cover.
My favourite recipe for cleaning mirrors and windows is a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar with a few drops of orange essential oil. Instead of a cloth I use old newspapers, which guarantees a streak free shine.
Week 2 - Walls, Dusting, Mattresses, Linens, Pillows
I try not to think about all the really gross things that are living on my mattress and pillows. I watched an episode of Oprah once and they showed the up close footage of someones pillow and I literally yelled BURN IT TO THE GROUND.
- Follow this recipe for mattress cleaner.
- Sprinkle on top of your mattress (sheets already removed, of course) and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Vacuum the top and sides of the mattress and then flip it over.
- Sprinkle more of your baking soda mix and let it sit again.
- Vacuum the top and sides.
- If your mattress allows you to sleep on either side then make sure that the side that was the top is now on the bottom.
If you need to replace your pillow consider alternative uses for them instead of throwing them in the garbage.
Week 3 - Appliances, Furniture, Toys, Toilets, Sinks, Front Porch
I have had a particular Pin in my Cleaning and Laundry board for awhile now and I was so excited to try it that I even gave up outside time on the nicest day of the year! There are so many rave reviews over cleaning your microfiber couch with rubbing alcohol and with those reviews comes pictures that show success. I tried it. Oh did I try it. I doesn't work. I scrubbed and scrubbed and when it dried it looked EXACTLY the same. All those blog posts tell you not to use water because that will just increase the number of stains you have. I have always used soap and water to clean my microfiber couch so I knew the secret to success is to clean the entire cushion each time you have stain. You won't get a water ring if you treat the whole cushion in the same manner. The 3rd option I tried was using my steam cleaner. It worked well but due to the inconsistent distribution of steam it was not consistently clean over the whole cushion. It also was really had to make it work on the vertical cushions.
Clean Your Microfiber Couch
- Mix castile soap and water in a reusable container.
- Dip a cloth that is a similar colour to your couch in the water/soap mix and start in one corner of the top cushion. Always start at the top cushion so you don't drip water on a cushion you have already scrubbed.
- Rub aggressively, it will hurt but it will be worth it.
- Remember to stop and hydrate with wine.
- Continue to keep the cloth wet and scrub until the entire cushion has been cleaned.
- If you see any of the previous water/juice stains coming through, continue to scrub until they disappear.
- Continue on to the other cushions.
- Once dry, fluffy the cushions up with a bristled brush or with your vacuum furniture brush.
Going forward I will clean my couch using soap and water and then once a quarter steam clean it followed up by soap and water.
Week 4 - Pantry, Cupboards, Doors, Knobs, Stuffed Animals, Car
Having your car on this list may seem out of place but it really isn't. The inside of your car can get really gross over the winter months, with salt build up and don't even get me started on what is on the floor in the back seat. Cleaning your car will ensure that you don't track any of that dirt back into your now clean house. Tackle it the same way that you would your house, starting at the top and working your way down to the raisin and rock filled floors.
Week 5 - Floors, Carpets, Baseboards, Furnace Filters, Air Conditioning
Baseboards can kiss my ass. Some people get on their hands and knees and scrub them with a toothbrush. I am not one of those people. I vacuum all of my floors (even tile and hardwood) and use the wand tool to get any dust/cat fur off of the baseboards. Then when I am washing the floor with my steam cleaner I wash the baseboards too.
Freshen up your carpets and break the static cling by using my carpet cleaner recipe.
What are your best Spring Cleaning tips?
Related Posts - Check them Out
Cast Iron Care for Really Busy People
My Favourite Uses for Essential Oils
Eliminate Toxins Hiding as Fragrance
photo credit: The Lonely Vacuum Of Space via photopin (license)
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