I hate cleaning. Bathrooms…gross! Laundry…never ending! Floors…somewhat pointless w/ kids! It’s a dirty job and honestly, I’d rather someone else do it. So it’s kind of strange that I enjoy spring cleaning, but there is something very satisfying about the deep spring clean. It feels less like a chore and more like a way to usher out winter and usher in warm weather and sunshine.
For me, introducing a bunch of chemicals into the house just doesn’t give it the clean, fresh feeling I’m looking for. So here are few tips, tricks and product recommendations I’ve learned along the way. I’m sure you all have your own favorites you’ve discovered in the store or in conversation with your grandma. I hope you’ll share them with us.
- All purpose cleaner – it doesn’t get more basic than water and white vinegar. If I had nothing but these two ingredients, I think I could successfully clean most things in my house. I fill a spray bottle about 1/2 way with white vinegar and the rest of the way with water. This works on most surfaces and is just about the only thing I use on my kitchen counters and table. It’s also great for windows, stovetops and the inside of the microwave.
- When I really want my kitchen sink to sparkle, I sprinkle it with baking soda and let it sit for awhile before scrubbing it with a scrub brush and rinsing it clean. This is great for tackling stains and anything stuck on and it also works in the garbage disposal if you add a little white vinegar.
- If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, try a mixture of 2 tablespoons of mild liquid dish-washing soap (I like Ivory or Seventh Generation) mixed with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. This is a great solution for many of the jobs described above and also works great on scuffed up walls (if they’re painted with an eggshell, semi-gloss or high-gloss latex paint that can handle a little water).
- Although, I love the smell of Method’s almond dusting spray, I’ve discovered that a simple microfiber cloth is the best way to keep dust at bay. Many dusting sprays contain oils or oil-like substances that actually attract more dust and cause build up. Rather than spend my money on dusting sprays, I spend it on a big pack of reusable dusting cloths. Good for the house and the environment.
- If you’re willing to invest a little money in something to help green clean your home, I highly recommend a steam cleaner. I use mine every week to clean my floors with nothing more than water. The one time investment has saved me a lot of money on floor cleaners over time and it’s incredibly easy to use. You can add white vinegar to the water for extra cleaning power, which is especially effective when using it to clean the carpets. The smell fades away as the carpet dries.
- Another great carpet cleaning tool is baking soda. I dump a box into an old cheese shaker, sprinkle it all over the carpet and couch then let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. This is a great deodorizer and helps loosen and lift dirt from the carpet and couch surfaces.
- White vinegar comes to my rescue again in the bathroom. It’s great for disinfecting and removing stains from the toilet bowl, but you do have to let it sit for awhile so do this when you know the kids won’t be running in to use the toilet. It’s also great for removing hard water stains in the shower.
- I’m terrible about wiping out my oven regularly so when it’s time to clean it I usually need more than soap and water. I’ve found that baking soda works really well at loosening stuck on food and making it easy to wipe out. I sprinkle the inside of the oven with baking soda and dampen it with a spray bottle of water. Let it sit, then wipe it clean (using a little elbow grease).
Overall, the products I use are relatively basic and inexpensive and they get the job done. If I’m not using something homemade, my go to brands are Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer’s. I also keep a bottle of Method’s Almond squirt + mop floor cleaner on hand for special occasions. It gives the hard wood an extra shine and leaves a light, pleasant smell behind.
Now that I’ve shared how I clean here’s my Spring Cleaning To Do List:
- Clean the inside of the oven.
- Clean out the fridge and freezer and wipe everything down with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water. Vacuum the vent.
- Wipe down the fronts of the cabinets with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water and clean out and organize the cabinets. (I know there are things I never use that I can sell or giveaway. I’m pretty sure I still have two rice steamers from our wedding that I’ve never used.)
- Wipe down the walls, focusing on areas with scuffs and stains, with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water.
- Clean out our closets making room for warm weather clothes and shoes. (I actually started this a few weeks ago and finished last week.)
- Vacuum the carpets and couches using baking soda first to lift the dirt. Then steam clean using a mixture of water and white vinegar.
- Clean the windows inside and out with a mix of water and white vinegar including vacuuming out and wiping down the window trays where dirt has accumulated.
- Wipe down the baseboards with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water.
There are a lot of other things I’d like to do and probably a lot of things I’m forgetting, but this is a pretty big list to get me started. I’m hoping to tackle a few things each week so I’ll be finished with everything by mid-April.
Do you spring clean? What’s on your list?