Spring is that wonderful time of year when your neighbourhood begins blooming with flowers again. Skies turn from angry grey to that beautiful bouncy blue and the air starts warming up enough to finally crack the windows open. Spring breathes life into longer days and a lovely fresh mood hovers all around. While many of us partake in some measure of Spring Cleaning our homes, others take it to the next level – like myself. To aid getting your home in spectacular shape this year, check out these ten items you might ordinarily over-look during your annual Spring Cleaning!
Grease build up accumulates over time from all the frying and cooking that goes on in the kitchen. And, it needs to be scrubbed away to preserve the life of your cabinets. Maid Brigade has a few cleaning solution options you can make at home to help get rid of stubborn, stuck on grease. Be sure to scrub and dry cabinets to avoid water streaks – don’t forget the inside of your cabinets! Remove glassware and dinnerware items and give your shelves a wipe down to get rid of dust.
Stop Top/ Oven
Depending on the type of stove you have, there are various products you can buy to help with cleaning melted, spilled over food. Or, if you’re like me, you can stick with good ol’ dish soap and water to get your stove top looking fresh and clean! If you have a gas range, remove the cast-iron burner grates and scrub them in your sink. Then, scrub around the burners to remove left over spills and crumbs.
The Kitchn has an awesome natural and effective way to clean your oven that stays clear of harsh chemicals and extremely high heat. Check out their DIY Natural Oven Cleaner! You’ll likely have all the ingredients already in your cupboards and all you’ll need to do is apply some elbow grease to get rid of sticky grime.
If you want to keep your clean clothes from smelling like they’ve been at the bottom of a damp hamper for the past week, it’s best to regularly run your washing machine through a cleaning cycle. Tide’s Washing Machine Cleaner is super easy to use and will leave your machine smelling fresh while removing residue.
Front Load Trick: Years ago, a Maytag rep taught me about the importance of leaving the door open after removing clothes from a cycle. When we first bought our front load washer I was warned that closing the door while it’s still damp or wet inside will create mold build up around the rim of the door. Front load washers close seal tight (unlike top load washers which allow air in with the lid down). So, leave your front load washers open until they’ve completely dried!
Baseboards/ Chair Rails/ Millwork
Millwork is beautiful, isn’t it? Just not when your wood is covered in a years’ worth of dust! I try to keep my baseboards and chair rails dust free by regularly wiping them with a wet wipe. If yours need a bit more attention, fill a bucket with warm water and a little dish soap. Wipe them down with a wet cloth and then immediately dry with a separate dry cloth.
Shower/ Bath Tub
Most of us don’t have the time to thoroughly clean our shower and tub as often as we should – especially when there’s more than one bathroom being used at home. So, now that you’re in spring cleaning mode, it’s a great time to scrub those tiles, shower floors and tubs!
Soap scum build up is gross and, at one time, meant using all your muscle strength to eliminate… But that’s not the case anymore. Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer does most of the work. It penetrates and dissolves soap scum so you can wipe it away with ease. Just don’t forget to clean the corners and grout between tiles.
Area Rugs and Carpets
Vacuuming and spot cleaning area rugs and carpet is fine and well throughout the year. But, when you’re doing a deep spring cleaning, it’s best to have a professional come in to get your rugs in tip-top shape. You can Google services in your area to research cost.
Alternatively, there are some great wet-dry vacuum cleaners on the market that allow you to thoroughly clean your carpets at home. Check out Fresh Home Guide to find the best one for your home!
Usually, I quickly vacuum each step to remove noticeable dust and crumbs and then hurry on to the next room I need to vacuum… There are just so many little nooks and crannies on a staircase, who has time for all that!? Well, no one really does, but it’s probably a good idea to get this taken care of now.
Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and wipe down hand rails and spindles (don’t forget to wipe the part of the step in between spindles). Then, start at the top of the staircase and work down, wipe each step and riser (including the corners!) before moving on to the next.
Sofas/ Large Furniture
Sofas: Remove seat cushions and vacuum away crumbs or relocate any hidden gems you may find. If your sofa is leather, clean it with a wipe like these from Weiman’s. If you have a fabric sofa, vacuum with the proper furniture attachment and spot clean as necessary. Then, fully move sofa from its usual spot so you can vacuum and/ or mop beneath.
Large Furniture: This includes media units, dining room tables and sideboards, bed frames and dressers. Move furniture a few feet away from their usual spot. Vacuum and/ or mop the area. Then, wipe the baseboard behind the furniture’s spot.
Dust seems to love accumulating on blinds and drapes – but now is their time to go! Remove drapes from their rod for washing. I usually wash all of my drapes on the gentle cycle in my washing machine and hang them to dry. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always take your drapes to a drycleaner to be done professionally. (*Please remember to read and follow the label on your drapes for specific washing instructions.)
Then, wipe down rod and the hooks that hold drapes in place. Next you’re going to wipe down the individual panels on your blinds. I like to be thorough and wipe each one (front and back) to get all the dust off. You can find many different ways to do it online, some promising to be “easy” or “quick.” Let me warn you that if you want this done properly, it will not be quick or easy. I prefer using wet wipes and go through quite a few but have found this the best way to eliminate stuck on dust. Another suggestion is to use an all-purpose spray bottle and paper towel.
Windows – Inside and Outdoors
Inside: Grab your favourite glass cleaner and a roll of paper towel (or newspaper, if you’re anything like my father-in-law!) and proceed to spray and wipe until you’re streak-free. This Old House offers a few instructions on how to clean windows like a pro. Just don’t forget to wipe down the window ledge as dust tends to build up there throughout the year.
Outdoors: If you’re a grab-the-ladder-and-clean-the-second-floor-windows type of person then, by all means, get at it! If you’re like me and absolutely dread cleaning the outdoor windows then I think you’re going to like Windex’s Outdoor Glass & Patio Concentrated Cleaner. This product connects to your hose so all you need to do is spray, rinse and let dry!