Good morning everyone! I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful spring day today! Just knowing that we are well into spring now fills me with dread. I think you know why – Spring Cleaning. That time of year that you dread all winter because it feels like it takes weeks to get everything clean the way you want it. I decided to compile all of the tricks and tips that I’ve found over the years for cutting the time and effort and present it to everyone to try to “tame the beast” that is Spring Cleaning.
The first step is to have a plan. It’s important to have a plan of attack to keep from getting distracted. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to get distracted by organizing when I’m trying to do my Spring Cleaning! Remember that organizing is different from cleaning. I’ll be addressing organizing tips in a future post, but for now try to ensure that you don’t get distracted.
This is where the second step comes into play – print out a list. This will not only help to keep you on track, but it feels wonderful when you get to cross each item off – knowing that you’re that much closer to your house being done!
The third step is to clean moving from room to room. This helps to cut the cleaning effort down into smaller chunks that can be accomplished much easier. It also makes it easy to keep from messing up the areas you just cleaned if you aren’t moving back and forth constantly between the rooms.
Here is my Spring Cleaning List going room by room for easy cleaning:
Spring Cleaning List – By Room
- Clean your faucets and shower heads: Helpful Hint: make sure to clean the faucets and shower head before you clean the shower, tub, and sink. This way, you won’t have to re-clean these items when any debris or cleaning products get on them from cleaning the faucets. To easily get rid of hard water buildup around the faucets, soak a paper towel in white vinegar, cover the faucet and let sit for at least hour. This will soften the hard water deposits and allow you to your normal cleaning agent and remove the hard water buildup. Another tip: for keeping your faucets shiny longer, after cleaning wipe down the faucet with waxed paper. The residue left by the wax will prevent water spots from appearing.
- Clean your sink, tub and shower: Replace shower curtain liners. Wash shower curtain. Don’t forget to wipe down curtain rod. I like to use Lysol Dual Action Cleaning Wipes since they have one side that is coarse for those tough spots. To clean your shower and tub, mix Dawn dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda into a paste and apply over surface. Let sit for ½ an hour and then scrub clean, paying particular attention to the high traffic areas, with a brush or scrubbing sponge. Time-saving tip: Fill a scrub brush with Dawn dish detergent and vinegar and use this to clean your shower walls. This will allow you to quickly and easily keep your shower sparkling clean each week.
- Clean your toilet: For hard water stains in your toilet bowl, use a pumice stone and scrub the stains until they are gone. Remove toilet seat and clean under the lid. Helpful hint: I suggest using toilet seats that you can remove for cleaning. This is what I have installed in all of my bathrooms and I am able to keep this clean in my weekly cleaning. You also want to remember to clean the toilet tank. Pour white vinegar into the tank and let sit for a few hours. This will allow any hard water deposits to break down in the tank and keep it fresh.
- Clean your upholstered furniture: You want to start by vacuuming the top, back and sides of each piece of furniture. Then move to vacuuming in all crevices and under the cushions (when possible). While you have the cushions off, give them new life and fluff them back to their original shape. To treat any stains, I suggest using Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover or Resolve Pet Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Foam. You’ll see these products recommended for several uses, which always comes in handy when a product can do double-duty for multiple surfaces.
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- Clean your mattress: Flip or turn mattress (if pillow top) and sprinkle with baking soda. Let sit for an hour and vacuum mattress. Tip: Add 8-10 drops of lavender oil to the baking soda before sifting over the mattress for a fresh scent that helps you sleep better. Don’t forget to vacuum the sides of the mattress and box spring as well.
- Clean your headboard and footboard: If you have an upholstered headboard and footboard, follow the same cleaning instructions as you performed on your mattress. For a hard-surface headboard and footboard, wipe them down with polish to remove dust and dirt.
- Wash pillows: The true support for a good night’s sleep needs a little love once in a while too. To wash your pillows use the hottest setting and add the following: 1 cup laundry detergent, 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup bleach, and ½ cup borax. Not only will this freshen your pillows, it’ll also remove that yellowing that can occur from sweat.
- Clean your blankets, comforters, and quilts: We all know how expensive dry cleaning can be. Sometimes, these larger items just need to be freshened and not actually cleaned. If that’s the case, simply hang them outside on a clothesline for the day to freshen them. I also spray mine with Febreese to remove any leftover odors and spot treat any stains that may have occurred. Try using Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover or Resolve Pet Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Foam. I’ve found both to work very well to remove stains from furniture and bedding.
- Clean your washer: You want to prevent that musty smell from affecting your clean clothes so it’s important to clean your washer as well. To clean a top loading washer, set it to the longest setting on HOT and add 3 cups of white vinegar either directly into the washer drum or into the dispenser. Let that sit for half an hour once full and then let the cycle run. For front loader washers, again use the longest setting on hot and add 1-2 cups of white vinegar to the dispenser until full and let it run the cycle. After the cycle has finished, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside of the drum and you’re finished. Wipe down the top, sides, and front with a rag soaked in a mixture of vinegar and hot water.
- Clean your dryer: Wipe down the inside, top, sides, and front with a rag soaked in a mixture of vinegar and hot water. Clean out lint collector in dryer and soak the filter screen in the vinegar and hot water mixture, scrubbing it with a sponge. Use either a vacuum attachment or a large lint removal brush to remove any remaining lint in where the trap was removed from in the dryer. Unhook the dryer hose from the back of the dryer by pinching the metal rings to release and vacuum the interior of the hose as much as you can, then reattach to the dryer. Finally, vacuum around the back, sides, and underneath the dryer.
- Clean your refrigerator: Scrub the top and sides of your refrigerator with a mixture of salt and club soda. I suggest you do one shelf or drawer at a time, this way you only have a few food items that you need to move while cleaning and you don’t have to worry about foods remaining cold while cleaning. Wipe down all shelves and drawers in refrigerator and freezer using a mixture of a few drops of Dawn dish soap, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and vinegar mixed with hot water. Throw out any expired food items in refrigerator and freezer. Vacuum refrigerator coils in the back as well as condenser coil behind the toe grille using a vacuum cleaner attachment. Tip for Stainless Steel: To clean the outside of your stainless steel appliances, spray with Pledge and let sit a few minutes, then wipe clean.
- Clean your pantry, cabinets, and countertops: I know, it’s a tedious job and nobody likes to do it. Fill a soap dispensing palm brush with Dawn dish soap and scrub the fronts of cabinets, drawers, doors, and countertops. Then just wipe with a wet paper towel after to remove the soapy residue. To make it easier when cleaning the inside of the cabinets and pantry, just clear out one cabinet or shelf at a time, scrub them clean, and replace everything. This will keep the job from feeling too daunting.
- Clean your microwave: We know how bad our microwaves can get. To loosen everything up and allow for easier cleaning, fill a bowl with vinegar and a few lemon slices and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe the microwave out with a damp cloth and everything should clean easily.
- Clean your dishwasher: Remove the bottom rack from your dishwasher and wipe down the interior with vinegar. Clean out your food trap and filter before replacing the bottom rack. Then pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher. Add 1 cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher and run on a light cycle set to Hot.
- Clean your oven: Save cleaning your oven for last to be able to avoid the fumes and not interrupt your forward progress. For self-cleaning, follow the steps in your stove’s manual. For all other ovens, first remove your oven racks. Then, fill a spray bottle with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water and spray over inside of oven including the inside of the door. Next, sprinkle baking soda over all surfaces, but pay special attention to those stuck on areas. Then, sprinkle a layer of coarse salt over the baking soda. Let sit for a few hours, then take a scrubbing sponge and scrub the oven. By this point, you shouldn’t need to expend a lot of energy as everything should be pretty loosened, but you may need to hit those coated areas a little stronger.
- Clean your stove top: If you have a gas stove top, you want to remove the burners and soak them in a sink filled with hot water and vinegar. While the burners soak, use a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and a few drops of Dawn dish soap to make a paste and coat the areas with stubborn stains or stuck-on food. Allow to sit 15 minutes and then scrub with a sponge or toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. For glass cooktops, clean off any loose debris with a wet sponge. Then dampen the entire surface and sprinkle Barkeeper’s Friend over the entire cooktop. With a damp sponge, scrub the Barkeeper’s Friend in circles across the entire surface. Rinse sponge and wipe surface clean with wet sponge and dry with a dry cloth, buffing as you go.
Windows and Doors-
- Clean the inside of your windows: For sparkling clean windows on the inside, mix 3 drops of Dawn dish soap, 1/3 cup of vinegar and 2/3 cup of water into a spray bottle. Spray mixture on windows and wipe with a microfiber cloth to avoid lint left behind by paper towels. Remove the screens before you clean the window wells. Use a magic eraser or a sponge soaked in vinegar and water. For those hard to reach crevices or the track in the window, use a foam paint brush soaked in the vinegar and water mixture.
- Clean the outside of your windows: There are a few methods you can use to clean the outside of your windows. You can go old school and use a regular glass cleaner and either paper towels or newspaper to clean them or you can use a spray cleaner that you attach to your garden hose like Windex Outdoor Glass. I tried this method this year and it worked pretty well, but I had a lot of streaking afterwards for the first day. The method I’m going to try next year is using Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner Plus Rain Repellent and some paper towels. It is supposed to keep your windows sparkling clean for months so I’m anxious to see how it works.
- Clean window screens: This is a great recipe to efficiently clean your window screens. Mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda, with 4 cups of water and a few drops of an antimicrobial essential oil (like clove, cinnamon, or thyme) in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray your screens to dissolve the dust and dirt and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris.
- Clean your drapes: Remove drapes and launder. Wash them following directions if there’s heavy dirt or stains. If they are just dusty and need to be freshened, place them in the dryer with a wet towel for 15 minutes on fluff setting and hang them back as soon as they are done
- Clean your blinds: This is an easy hack to cleaning your blinds. Take a clean sock and dip it in a water and white vinegar mixture (50:50 mix). Put the sock on your hand like a hand puppet and clean both the top and bottom of each slat at the same time for the fastest clean yet.
- Clean your walls and ceilings: The easiest way to clean your ceilings and walls without having to drag a step ladder around from room to room is to use either a microfiber mop or a Swiffer sweeper with a microfiber cloth. Soak it in a mixture of hot water and vinegar and wipe ceilings first and then walls from top to bottom preventing pushing dirt farther up the wall, making you clean the same area twice. Plus, this allows you to use your new best friend – gravity – which lets everything fall to the ground so it can be cleaned up when you’re ready to do the floors. Tip: If you have a textured ceiling, use a feather duster instead to remove the dust and dirt.
- Clean your baseboard trim: This is a tough one on the knees sometimes so it’s my least favorite thing to clean. Use a magic eraser that is dampened for the fastest, easiest method so you give your knees a break sooner. Once you clean the baseboard, take a dryer sheet and run it along the cleaned section to keep dust and dirt from collecting again. Plus, it keeps everything smelling wonderful!
- Clean your carpeted floors: Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda mixed with a few drops of essential oil. Let sit for an hour and vacuum. To treat stains, use Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover or Resolve Pet Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Foam. Time-saving Tip: Keep your greatest focus on the high traffic areas since these will be the spots with the most stains and dirt. When vacuuming, save your energy by moving each piece of furniture a little to the side of its normal position and vacuum where it rested, then when finished simply move it back. For carpeted stairs, a good trick to try is to use a rubber dish glove and run your hand over the stair and along the creases and edge to bring any dirt up so it’s easier to vacuum away.
- Clean your hard-surface floors: The most important step to getting your floors clean is to remove as much of the dust and debris before washing as possible. I absolutely love my microfiber duster mop! It’s so easy to slide around the floors and it grabs EVERYTHING! We have 2 cats that shed like lions, and the duster mop picks up enough fur to be able to make a third cat! The next step is to get your floors clean and shiny. I’m a big fan of using the Shark Steam Mop for linoleum, vinyl and tile floors. It’s fast and easy and requires very little effort. For the hardwood and laminate, I prefer using Bona Motion Spray Mop and their cleaners. They dry without streaks and again require very little effort.
Psst. If you enjoyed this post, check out my post that gives Tips on Making Your Own Cleaning Products by clicking here.
I hope you enjoyed this thorough list of Fast and Easy Spring Cleaning Tips! As an added bonus, I’m also including this list of the top 15 items that people most overlook when Spring Cleaning their homes.
15 Cleaning Steps Most Often Overlooked:
- Change the air filters for your HVAC system.
- Vacuum all vent covers and heat registers to remove dust and debris that could prevent them from working as efficiently as possible
- Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries
- Check fire extinguisher dates/fill levels
- Sharpen knives and sanitize cutting boards
- Clean your coffeemaker
- Clean your garbage disposal
- Dust artwork
- Vacuum lamp shades
- Wipe down outlet covers and light switch plates
- Dust all light fixtures and ceiling fans
- Sort through medications and toiletries and dispose of expired items
- Check first aid kids for expired medications and be sure to restock items as necessary
- Shake out, vacuum, or wash welcome mat
- Wash and sanitize inside and outside of all trash cans
I’d love to hear some of your go-to Spring Cleaning tips and tricks as well so please share them by commenting below. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family so they can lighten the workload of Spring Cleaning as well!
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