Spring Cleaning Help, Tips and Tricks
Deep cleaning can be exhausting - mentally and physically - and also a bit disgusting. You'll probably see some things you'll want to forget. So your brain can focus on other things while you clean, we've put in some legwork to help get you prepared for the big clean. And if you're particularly determined, you could probably get the deep clean done in a day.
Supplies and Process
Often you don't need to go to the store and clear out the cleaning section to clean your house. In fact, you probably shouldn't. Most of the time you can make do with a good multi-purpose cleaner and some common household items like bicarb and vinegar. There are sometimes when you may want specialty items, like if you have stainless steel appliances, or if you're dealing with mould - particularly grout or specific types of fabrics.
Generally, you'll want to follow a top down process, that is: declutter/tidy, dust, vacuum. The first - declutter - is not something to be overlooked and often has its own organisation to it. A good starting point is to have four different piles as you're going through: trash, donate, keep and storage.
You'll also want to clean top down, that is start with fans and end with floors and baseboards. This is because as you tidy and dust, debris will inevitably fall... so if you clean your floors first and then your ceiling fan you'll probably have to re-clean your floors.
When it comes to cleaning the kitchen, work around your grocery shop. If you have fewer things to take out, check dates for and reorganise, you'll likely move through the clean more quickly.
Fridge: Grocery shop timing is especially important for cleaning your fridge and freezer, as this is probably where the bulk of your foodstuffs live. You'll want to take out and wipe down all your drawers or shelves with warm soapy water -including the shelves on the inside of your door! You'll also want to wipe down the face of your fridge, paying particular attention to the handles.
As you're cleaning your fridge, you'll want to check and make sure everything is in-date. Otherwise, it goes in the bin. And, if it's something close to the use-by date and you're not sure you'll use it, either freeze it (clearly labelled) or see if a local food pantry or soup kitchen will take it.
Oven: This can be a big ticket item if you don't have a self-cleaning oven...and this is where a specialty product often comes in. The unfortunate consideration with a lot of the speciality oven cleaners is that they're toxic. If you'd like a friendlier solution and don't mind a bit of elbow grease, a mixture of vinegar, dish detergent and baking soda is a good homemade cleaning product to try.
Other kitchen fixtures to specifically target include:
- stove and stove hood (and the filter vents!)
- small appliances
- countertops, cabinets, shelves and drawers
Our living areas are magnets for dust, with or without carpeting. As everyone has a different style (and different homes) living areas have some of the most diverse cleaning considerations. A few commonalities for deep cleans include:
Fans and light fixtures: How often do you climb up on a ladder or stepladder and actually clean your ceiling fixtures? The answer is probably not often. A slightly damp microfibre cloth should do the trick to wipe down the dust.
Curtains & windows: Yes, your curtains should probably be cleaned as well. Cleaning curtains annual should keep them from rot. Remove any hooks before you wash, and check if the fabric should be dry cleaned. If you have glass doors, also clean out the tracks (this is where a Q-tip may come in handy).
Carpets: Cleaning carpets generally calls for speciality, heavy duty carpet cleaners. Steam cleaning is one of the friendlier options for the environment, especially if you spot clean anything major before the steam clean.
Upholstery: That couch may be showing its age, and you can only flip the cushions so many times. Bicarb is generally a lifesaver for cleaning fabric sofas. First you'll want to check the manufacturer's tag, as fabrics can only use solvent and not water based cleaners. If you don't have a vacuum cleaner other fabrics like leather or microfibre have different cleaning requirements.
With the bedroom, there's one big deep clean you should be doing. Your mattress! As with a lot of other fabric pieces, you can deep clean your mattress with bicarb.
As a rule you should also regularly flip your bed, wash your pillows (not just the cases) and change your sheets.
We've saved the best for last. The bathroom. Yes, you'll probably want to get on your knees with a toothbrush to clean the grout if you've got tiles. Mould, hard water, general grime and dust...it's all here.
- Shower head buildup: This may be a "trick" you've seen elsewhere on the Internet; put a plastic bag full of white vinegar (submerged) around your shower head and let it do its work.
- Bathroom fan: This definitely deserves a clean. Do it thoroughly.
- Grout cleaning: If you have bleach toilet gel it makes a good replacement for a bleach pen - really. Otherwise, you can make something homemade from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
- Toilet: If you have any particularly difficult stains in your toilet bowl and you know it's porcelain, try using a pumice stone. And it may be worth cleaning your toilet brush as well.
With bathrooms, there's also other elements to consider including:
- Shower curtain
While you may get exhausted just thinking about doing all of this, take it in pieces and break it up over a few nights or weekends if you need to. Generally this kind of deep clean you only need to do once a year and more often than not you'll end up saving some money because this kind of clean can help your big household items stay fresh with less wear and tear for longer.
If you're looking to take it one step further and plan to add a new lick of paint or renovate, you may want to check out our great low rate home improvement loans!
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