The time has arrived for the obligatory spring cleaning. Of course you don’t have to do a deep cleaning of your house, but it does make a great ritual for welcoming spring and the ability to open the windows without losing $5 worth of heat. If you’re itching to freshen up your home and ring in spring, here are some tips to help guide your cleaning.
Shake out any old dusty mats, sweep the sand or salt remnants off the walkways and stairs, and tidy unwanted debris from the lawn and garden beds. Freshen up any outdoor furniture as well as the entrances and exits.
Nothing is better for celebrating the longer, sunnier days than cleaning the windows to allow for unfiltered sunlight into the house. To wash the outside of the windows, wait for an overcast day as it gives you a bit more time than a sunny day would to wash the windows before the streaks dry. Fill a bucket with cool water and a few drops of dish soap, then spray the outside of the windows with a hose. Wash the windows with either cloth or sponge mop on a pole, depending on the height. Rinse with water, then spray or mop the windows with equal parts water and distilled white vinegar, or a commercial window cleanser. Dry with a squeegee working from top to bottom and wiping the squeegee blade between passes.
Living areas and dens
Refresh textiles and furniture by dusting and washing anything that needs it. Now is a good time to move the furniture out of place and snag any dust or debris that accumulated over the winter. Tackle neglected stains in the furniture by steam treatment or using upholstery cleaners. Remove blankets and cushions and vacuum up any crumbs. Remove any extra clutter that isn’t used any more or that should be stored during the warm months and do a round of detailed dusting of books, décor, plants and electronics.
The next time you wash the sheets, set aside time to also attend to mattresses and toppers. Vacuum and shake out any debris. Spot clean with dish soap, an enzyme cleaner or other household products. Apply the product to a cleaning utensil or cloth to avoid saturating the mattress material with excess moisture. Hanging toppers outside in the sun will help freshen them, but you can also sprinkle baking soda on items that are too hard to transport, like big mattresses. Leave the layer of baking soda on the mattress for several hours or overnight and then vacuum to remove. If you flip the mattress, repeat these steps again.
Spring cleaning is also the prime time to get rid of unwanted clothing, especially if you plan to store your out-of-season items like heavy coats. You can thin out your warm season clothing as you bring those items into regular rotation.
Detail clean by tending to faucets, drains, grout and any hard-to-reach areas like corners, trim or ceilings. Remove dust buildup from the exhaust fans, cabinetry and lights. Toss old products that won’t be used anymore. Launder shower curtains, liners and rugs. Plastic liners can be put in the washer, but thin plastic may permanently crinkle in top-loading washers.
Dedicate spring cleaning to the appliances. Microwave a bowl of water with a bit of vinegar and some citrus slices to immediately freshen the appliance and loosen gunk. Use the self-cleaning function on the oven for baked-on gunk. If your oven doesn’t have that function, use a commercial oven cleaner on a day that you can open the windows for extra ventilation. Use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas in toasters and toaster ovens. If you’re still motivated, sort through the junk drawer.
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