Is your home in need of a good deep cleaning before you do a full home clean-out? Follow these spring cleaning tips (that are honestly perfect to follow no matter the season) and make your home sparkle again.
Make a Checklist
The cleaning gurus at Molly Maid smartly suggest that you make a detailed checklist of what needs to be cleaned. Think of this as your game plan. Walk around your home and take note of everything that needs to get done. That way, you won’t forget anything and have to backtrack later.
Gather Your Arsenal
Your mission is to eradicate filth. And to complete your mission, you’ll need the tools and supplies necessary to get the job done right.
Here are some suggested supplies to get you started:
- Paper towels
- Microfiber cloths
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- All purple cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Baking soda
- Floor cleaner
- Carpet freshener
- Furniture polish
- Scrub brush
- Hot water
Start from the Top Down
This is a rookie mistake many people make when spring cleaning their home. If you sweep and mop the floors and then clean off shelves, walls and ceilings, you’re just going to make another mess for yourself. That’s why it’s important to start at the top and work your way down.
Safety first! For this first step when you clean harder-to-reach places, you’ll probably need a ladder. Be very careful to keep your balance while climbing and when at the top of the ladder. It’s also a very good idea to make sure someone else is in your home with you in the unlikely event you accidentally have a fall and are injured.
Start by taking a broom and knock all the cobwebs and dust that’s accumulated. You’ll be surprised how many there are! Then, using a duster or a microfiber cloth, wipe away all the dust on light fixtures and ceiling fans. Next, you’ll need to get a spray bottle filled with water, Windex, or white vinegar and spray down the blades of ceiling fans, and wipe clean with paper towels or a cleaning cloth. And voila! You’re ready for the next step.
Pro Tip: While you’re up there, make sure to check the batteries in all your smoke detectors!
Windows, Window Sills, and Baseboards
Following our top-down approach, we’ll now focus on the windows. First, dust off the window sills. Then, spray them down with your window cleaner and wipe them in a circular motion until they sparkle. It’s as simple as that.
Pro Tip: When you’re completely done with the inside cleaning, take your ladder outside and clean the outside surface of the windows. They are likely a lot dirtier than the inside panes!
Shelves, Bookcases, and Doors
Moving right along, you’ll now focus on the mid-range surfaces. Dust off shelves (this is a great time to take everything off them and hit them with some cleaner and some wood polish!), sanitize door knobs and handles and reorganize bookshelves. You can also use this time to add a little decorative flair by rearranging knickknacks, photos or books around a little bit. A change in scenery can give your home a fresh look.
Baseboards, Carpets, Rugs, and Floors
This next step will be different depending on your home’s unique setup. If you have baseboards, sweep or dust them off and, if needed, clean them with warm soapy water from your bucket and dry them off with a dry cloth or towel. If your baseboards are wooden, spray some wood polish on them for a nice shine.
Rugs and Carpets
Time to move on to the floors! If you have carpet or rugs, sprinkle them with baking soda or carpet freshener. This will release the odors, soak up any lingering moisture, and help release dirt particles embedded in the fibers. Wait 15 minutes. This would be a good time to have a glass of water (or wine!) and take a little break.
Now we’re ready to vacuum. Before you get started, make sure that the vacuum’s lint trap or bag is empty and that any HEPA or other filters are clean and free of any blockages. Thoroughly vacuum the carpets and rugs and make sure to empty the vacuum when it is full. You’ll usually want to vacuum the same surface two times.
Depending on how much of a deep clean you’re planning on doing, you might want to rent a carpet steamer (or use your own if you have one). They’re relatively inexpensive to rent from a hardware store, supermarket, or grocery store, and you can buy the cleaning solution needed at the rental location. If you decide to go this route, follow the instructions on the machine, and allow your carpets to thoroughly dry (this can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day) before walking on them or placing any furniture on top of them.
Hardwood, Vinyl, and Tile
You’ll treat each of these surfaces a little differently. For all of these surfaces, you’ll want to remove all rugs and furniture from the room, and sweep up any debris visible on the floor. You will then need to go over the flooring with a vacuum.
Next, we mop! Fill a bucket with warm soapy water (depending on the surface, there are custom cleaning solutions you can use specifically designed for hardwood, tile, parquet, and vinyl. But a general floor cleaner is usually safe for most floors) and a mop. Now you’re ready to get to cleaning those floors! Make sure to regularly check how dirty the mop bucket’s water is and change it accordingly.
Watch your step and be careful not to slip on the wet floor. If there are other people in your home while you’re cleaning, warn them that the floors are wet so you can avoid an unexpected trip to the doctor.
Allow the floors to dry completely before placing furniture and rugs in these spaces. This reduces the likelihood of mold or mildew forming and prevents water damage to your furniture.
If you have hardwood floors, this would be a great time to wax them to give them a beautiful sheen. Follow the directions on the waxing solution carefully and make sure not to start the process until the floors are completely dry.
Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen and bathrooms are often the toughest item on the cleaning checklist. For this task, follow all spring cleaning tips above, but add a few more steps.
This is pretty straightforward. Remove everything from the counters, wipe off the outside of appliances with a wet rag, and thoroughly clean all counters, the tops, and sides off the stove, and–if you’re feeling adventurous–clean out the fridge.
If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, set it to that setting. Be forewarned that it will get hot in the kitchen while it’s cleaning (self-cleaning ovens can reach temperatures of 600+ °F) and can take up to 6 hours to complete.
If your oven doesn’t have this feature, you’re in for a long messy process. You’ll need to remove the racks and scrub them manually using soap and water. If the oven is exceptionally dirty, we recommend using a spray oven cleaner. If you go this route, make sure you use a cleaner that is specifically designed for ovens and be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle of cleaner to the ‘T.’ Make sure to wear thick kitchen gloves and a mask, as oven cleaner is highly toxic and can harm you if you don’t strictly follow the safety instructions on the product.
Start by removing your shower curtain. If it is washable, wash it in the washing machine according to the washing instructions label. If it is white, make sure to put a cup of bleach in the bleach reservoir (if it doesn’t explicitly state not to on the label!).
While your shower curtain is in the wash, remove all items from the shower. We suggest laying down a towel on a table in another room for this step to keep the mess to a minimum. Spray the entire shower with a bathroom cleaner. If your bathroom has a window or air vent, now would be the time to open them. Let the cleaner sit for 15 minutes.
While the cleaner sits, clean the outside and inside of the sink and toilet. Make sure to wear gloves, especially if you are using a harsh or bleach-based cleaner. Scrub the inside of the toilet with a scrub brush and then flush. Wipe the outside surfaces with a clean dry towel.
Now scrub the shower with a scrub brush and rinse all surfaces with water. Then allow it to dry, dry your shower curtain, put all your toiletries and curtain back where they belong, and you’re done!
Extra Tip: Need More Help with Your Spring Cleaning? Hire a Junk Removal Service in New Jersey
As you deep clean your home, you may come across items or junk that you no longer want or need. If this is the case, consider contacting an experienced junk removal company like Junk-a-Haulics! We offer home and estate cleanouts, basement clean outs and more.
Click here to learn more or schedule a junk removal service in New Jersey today.