The weather is getting warmer and our energy levels are rising – yes, spring is on its way! But in addition to making plans for socialising outdoors, we also need to factor in that all-important chore that awaits us all every year: spring cleaning.
Fortunately, you don’t need to devote an entire weekend of your life to getting your home spick and span for the sunny weather. And since we’ve already compiled an all-inclusive list to tackle your house from top to bottom, all you have to do now is dedicate a mere 8 hours of your life.
Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Plus you can pop in those headphones and practice your singing talents while completing our spring cleaning list.
The bathroom is first on the list! Vacuum and wipe those walls and ceiling. Clearing these surfaces every year of the barely visible grime that builds up spares you from the impossible-to-remove dirt that can accumulate year after year. Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls.
All throwing rugs need to go into the washing machine.
Wash all mirrors plus windows’ insides (using microfiber cloths won't leave lint).
For the shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks, rub with strong cleaning agents, then leave to take care of another task in another room. Give that agent about 20 minutes to do its job, then rinse everything from top to bottom, starting with the showerhead. Do the same with the toilet, moving from the tank’s top to the rim, bowl and base. And don't use the cloths you used in the bathroom anywhere else before laundering them in very hot water.
Last chore for spring cleaning the bathroom: After letting the cleaner soak, wipe the floor with a water-soaked mop on your way to the next room.
First for the bedrooms: vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings, and dust all surfaces. Don’t overlook switch plates and doors’ outer edges, where people tend to touch.
A good airing will reduce allergens and germs in mattresses. But if you don’t want to leave them outside, just remove all linens, open the windows (except in rainy weather), and leave the room to air. 30 minutes should do it, but it it’s not too cold outside, a few hours will be better.
The washing machine is next on your agenda. Once all the linens have been removed, wash them in order of what goes on the bed first (i.e. start with dust ruffles and mattress pads and end with pillow cases and throws). This allows you to put them back on the bed as they’re taken from the dryer. And always wash all winter bedding before storing them away for spring and summer, as moths and other insects are attracted to body oil, perspiration and perfume.
Window treatments are up next. For heavy drapes, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, or have them dry-cleaned; the dryer’s fluff cycle is fine for light drapes (pop them in with the dryer sheets).
Wash all mirrors plus windows’ insides.
Shampoo or steam-clean wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs. And since (proper) spring cleaning is only done once a year, why not get in a professional cleaner for this special annual treat?
Tackle the fridge and freezer first. Empty the contents and store them in a cooler. Then turn off the fridge and allow the shelves and drawers to heat up to room temperature before you wash them. Cold glass and ceramics tend to crack if they come into contact with hot water (move on to the next task while waiting for this). After they’ve warmed up, wipe with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and a litre of hot water. Rinse and dry. Wipe the door seals with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid, pluck out crumbs and other debris. Dry them well.
Degreasing cooking appliances is up next. Take off stove grates and other removable parts. Scrub them with soapy steel wool pads. If the grease refuses to budge, try letting them sit overnight in an airtight bag with a quarter cup of ammonia, then wipe them with a clean cloth the next day. Clean the oven, then the microwave. To remove stuck-on food bits from your microwave’s insides, put a microwave-safe bowl of water with some lemon juice inside and heat it to boiling for 2 or 3 minutes. The steam will loosen gunk, and the lemon's acid will help lift grease.
Clean the window treatments and wash windows’ insides.
Your cabinet- and fridge tops may be sticky from grease, so treat them to a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. This mixture can also be used in drawers and on shelves. Spray antibacterial cleanser inside the cabinet where you store trash. Remember the utensils drawer and the pantry, since they collect the most crumbs.
Sweep, vacuum and mop the floors.
Dust the ceiling fans, the tops of bookcases and shelves. Vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings.
Consider for a moment how much use you get out of your sofas and upholstered chairs. How often are they cleaned? And just because you can’t see the stains doesn’t mean there aren’t any dust mites present (these love to feed on skin flakes shed by humans and animal dander). Opt for renting a decent upholstery-cleaning machine or carpet-cleaning machine with upholstery wand to give your seating spaces that deep clean they require.
Give your light bulbs a wipe-down with a damp microfiber cloth (did you know that a dirty bulb emits 20% less light?).
Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.
Your spring cleaning ritual is nearing its end!
Clean and dust those electronics. Spray compressed air into crevices. Then, wiping from top to bottom, use microfiber or electrostatic cloths. Clean underneath all speakers, stereos, computers, DVD players and TVs. Be sure to wipe away from ventilation areas so you don't push dust back in.
Got a fireplace? Sweep it out!
Leave the carpet cleaning for last.
Finally, order in pizza for dinner as a reward for giving your home a proper spring cleaning!
For those small-but-important cleaning rituals throughout the year, we have these Clever home cleaning tips to make it even easier…