It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning. Spring cleaning offers us a wonderful opportunity for us to clean out our homes and hit those spots that we normally overlook in our everyday house cleaning. And while it can sound like a daunting task, the truth is that spring cleaning gets a whole lot easier when you have a checklist to help keep you going. In addition to typical house cleaning chores and creating that donations box, here is a list of 20 big items that you’ll want to hit to get your home sparkling as the weather warms up. So open up your windows to let in some fresh air, and let’s get started!
Use a mini handheld broom or a clean paintbrush to wipe dust away from your baseboards, following up with a damp cloth and a mild detergent or specialized wood cleaner. Use a cotton swab to get into corners as needed.
You probably mop your wood or tile floors on a regular basis, but what about your carpet? This is a good time to shampoo your carpet. Since this is probably the biggest task on this list, so it’s best to set aside a day for it. First, clear all furniture out of the room to be cleaned, and then head to your local hardware store to rent a carpet cleaning machine. Next, treat problem areas with a carpet stain remover spray. Then follow up with a carpet cleaning machine that has been filled with specialized carpet cleaner. You’ll have to wait as long as 24 hours for your carpet to be completely dry.
- Window treatments
Now is a good time to clean your shutters, blinds, or shades as well as any curtains you may have. Shutters and blinds are best dry dusted with a microfiber cloth, with any spots cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent as needed. Cloth shades can be vacuumed with a soft brush attachment, and then spot cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent just as with shutters and blinds. For curtains, this is a good time to do a special load of laundry—just be sure to check care instructions first.
Don’t forget to wash less frequently washed pieces of bedding as well—including bedspreads, mattress covers, duvets, and even comforters and pillows. (You’re already washing your sheets and pillowcases regularly, right?) Go ahead and vacuum your mattress while you’re at it.
- Household linens
Finally, while you’re on a laundry kick, you’ll want to wash those other household linens that don’t see much washing, including blankets, pillow covers, tablecloths, linen napkins, and cloth placemats. As always, check the care instructions for each item before you throw it in the wash.
- Wood furniture
Caring for wood furniture need not be an arduous task here—just be sure to dust your wood furniture using a clean microfiber cloth and then to spot clean with a specialized wood cleaner as needed.
- Upholstered furniture
Then you have your upholstered furniture—leather sofas, chairs, tufted headboards, etc. Start by vacuuming these using a soft brush attachment. Be sure to get in the crevices here, removing cushions as you clean. To clean any spots, use a mild detergent (such as a dish soap and water solution) with a microfiber cloth, and refrain from using too much water. Note that leather tends to be easier to clean, and thus you likely won’t need to use detergent on spots.
Start by taking everything out of your refrigerator and freezer and disposing of any expired food items. (Defrost your freezer as you do this.) Then, remove your shelves and drawers and soak them in warm water and dish soap. Use a dish soap/water solution to wipe down the fridge’s interior, and remove any stubborn stains with baking soda. Go ahead and vacuum the coils while you’re at it.
Remove any removable parts from your oven and either wash them by hand or put them through the dishwasher. Wipe down the outside of the oven as needed to remove any stubborn stains and spills. Then clean the inside of your oven by removing the shelves and coating the inside surfaces with a baking soda/water paste (steering clear of heating elements) and letting it sit overnight. After 12 hours, you should be able to wipe out the paste with a damp cloth and then spray any baking soda residue with some vinegar to gently remove it.
- Washer and dryer
While you’re on your appliances, get your washer and dryer as well. For your washer, this means removing dispensers and clearing all soap residue, and then running your washer on the hottest, longest setting with one cup of bleach. Note: Let the washer sit with the bleach added for one hour before running. Then follow up with a cycle of just hot water. For your dryer, this means removing your lint trap and cleaning it thoroughly under running water, and then vacuuming inside the area where the lint trap resides. Wipe down the outsides of these appliances and vacuum behind them as needed.
It’s time to wash your windows from both the inside and the outside. (This includes those windows on your garage and front door!) This is best done by dipping a sponge in a mild window cleaning solution—such as ½ teaspoon of dish detergent in 1 gallon of water—and wiping down the window surface completely, then using a squeegee horizontally to wipe away the solution from the window surface. Follow up with a microfiber towel to dry as needed.
- Garage doors
Many homeowners don’t realize just the wear and tear that garage doors see during the winter months. This is why it’s such a good idea to include your garage door in your spring cleaning. This article has some great tips on inspecting your door, cleaning the tracks, making things run more smoothly, etc.
Guest post by: Maurine Anderson