I can see patches of grass, the sun is shining, and it is giving me hope that spring really is around the corner. With spring comes spring cleaning. I have some tips and a checklist for you today to make the process not such a dirty word (pun intended).
- Clean one space at a time. I usually try to do one room per day unless I have a lot of helpers. It is easier, mentally and physically, to only have to worry about one room at a time.
- I try to start at the top and work my way down. And yes, I scrub my ceilings. Luckily for me we have 8 foot ceilings in the whole house. We get fly specks and spider webs on them and in the kitchen it can even be a little greasy.
- Enlist some help! Sometimes I prefer to clean alone but now that my kids are getting older I have them do quite a bit. Figure out what jobs are appropriate for the age of each child and give them assignments. I recently was helping my sister move and she had some friends over to help us deep clean the house so she could put it on the market to sell. One of her friends said they have a group where they get together and clean each other's houses. I thought that sounded like a lot of fun!
- I ALWAYS play music. I have found I get my kids to work longer if I have fun music playing. And let’s be honest, I work longer too!
- Have a small tote with a handle to carry all your supplies. And of course, have your SteamMachine filled with water and ready to go!
All of the House
These are the places and items that most (if not all) of your spaces will need to have cleaned.
- Air vents. Our air returns get marbles, Legos, crackers, and other small objects in them as well as dust. Lots of dust! I remove the covers, take out the bigger stuff, then vacuum out the dust. Sometimes I even wipe them out. The heat vents also get vacuumed out. I stick the shop vac hose down as far as it will go.
- I wash the walls with a sudsy wet rag. I am always amazed at how much dust can accumulate on the walls. And if you have kids, smudges, food, and other…um…things can be there.
- Windows…. Confession: I have never washed the outside of my windows aside from hosing them off. But we do wash them on the inside. If you have kids, you know how quickly windows get fingerprints and smudges. Don’t forget the window sills and window tracks. The steam machine works great in the tracks. There is a squeegee attachment for the glass but don't use it if the temperature outside is cold or the sudden change in temp could cause the glass to crack.
- Curtains, draperies, and blinds will need to be taken down and washed (or dry cleaned). I don't have blinds anymore but when I did, I would take them down and either soak them in the tub or spray them off in the shower. Then I let them air dry before hanging them back up. My curtains get washed and dried and then I steam the wrinkles out after they are hung.
- If you don't want to wash your pillows in the washing machine, steam them! I do it all the time. I use the lint roller first and then steam them to freshen them up.
- Don’t forget your ceiling fans and light fixtures! I ache for those of you who have super high ceilings. Make sure and be careful if you use a ladder to reach them. Sometimes if you have really high ceiling you may need to hire it out.
- Don't forget the light switches. They are some of the most touched things in our home.
- I actually have “cleaning baseboards” on my little boy’s chore chart. He is suppose to do it every day upstairs. So our baseboards are not super bad. But they do get scuffs that I clean using the magic eraser. And after weeks and weeks of my little guy wiping the dust, it builds in the corners. Do you know what I mean? Whenever there is a ledge that you wipe, wherever the ledge meets a corner, the dust gets stuck. I have recently found that the best way to get it clean is my steam machine.
- Clean under the fridge and oven/stove. Yep. That means you have to move them. Sometimes the kids and I guess what will be under there before I pull it out. There is almost always marbles, hot wheel cars, rubber bands, pencils, cereal, and crackers. Oh, and of course…dust bunnies!
- Clean the coils behind the fridge. I just use a vacuum attachment to suck off the dust.
- The kitchen cabinets need to be emptied and washed out. Replace worn shelf paper/liners. And clean the tops as well. I use contact paper on the tops of my cabinets so all I have to do is pull off the old paper and replace it. Works great!
- Wash down small appliances. Make sure they are unplugged and use a damp washcloth. Again, I use dish soap. The base of our blender usually wins for dirties small appliance but they all need a scrub.
- Clean inside the fridge. If there are lingering odors, use lemon juice and baking soda. I actually leave some baking soda in my fridge at all times to absorb any smells. Also check the expiration dates on everything and throw away expired food. Don't forget to check those condiments!
- Clean out your oven. The oven door can be a beast but I used the SteamMachine and it was awesome!
- Clean your microwave inside and out. I stick a wet rag in there and microwave it for one minute. I let it sit there a few more minutes and then wipe it out. The steam from the rag will soften dried food. If odor is a problem add lemon juice or lemon oil to the wet rag.
- If you have a garbage disposal, pour bleach or lemon peels down it to get rid of odor. Clean your sink really well. Little known fact, in most homes it is dirtier than the toilet.
- Clean your dishwasher. Mine sometimes gets stagnate water on the bottom and turns orange-ish.
- Soak your shower head in vinegar if the holes get clogged with mineral deposits. If yours is not the kind that detaches, then fill a baggie with vinegar and use a rubber band to keep it in place around the head. Soak overnight and simply turn on the rise away the vinegar.
- Use a SteamMachine with a brush attachment to scrub soap scum off shower stall doors. Also if your shower floor (or tub) has a textured surface, the steam machine with brush attachment will clean it well.
- The SteamMachine with a scrub brush attachment also does tile grout well. I use to use an old tooth brush.
- You need to clean the bathroom fan. Take off the cover and scrub it in the sink. Use a rag or duster to clean the inside and then replace the cover.
- The counters and cabinets need to get wiped down really well with a soapy wash cloth.
- The toilet can get scrubbed on the inside with a pumice stone to get any stains out. The area where the seat attaches to the toilet bowl has always been a tricky spot for me. When it comes to cleaning I pretty much hate any crack or crevice. When I got my SteamMachine I tried it and all sorts of stuff came out!
- Move the couch and other furniture and clean under them.
- Take the time to condition any leather furniture and to clean any upholstery. The steam machine has an attachment for upholstery!
- Vacuum in between cushions and save any money found to go in your chocolate fund.
- Clean TV remotes and electronics.
- Clean your computer and don’t forget your keyboard, and mouse.
- Organize your desk top and drawers.
- Get your filing cabinet in order. I usually have a tote full of things that need to be filed that I have collected over the past months. I sort it on the family room floor while watching a movie after my kids go to bed.
Laundry & Utility Room
- Clean your washing machine. I wipe the outside really well. I also clean the inside of the lid and where you pour the bleach. It gets super dirty (which seems weird since it is a machine that gets things clean). The SteamMachine has been the fastest and easiest way to get those tight spots clean. Look! It even got the junk out from the lettering on the bleach thing!
- Clean behind and under the washer and dryer.
- While you are back there, vacuum out the dryer hose. It can be a fire hazard if lint gets built up.
- Did you know that just taking the lint off your lint trap is not enough? It gets a filmy build up due to the scent added to dryer sheets. Clean the residue off of the lint trap with a toothbrush and soapy water.
- Clean or replace the furnace filters.
- Clean under the bed. I usually take the mattress and box spring off so I don’t have to try and move the whole thing. I prop the mattress and box springs up against the wall and vacuum my little heart out.
- Flip your mattress if needed. Ours is a pillow top so we don’t flip it but we rotate it.
- Steam clean your mattress to kill and dust mites and to keep it fresh!
- Wash pillows and other bedding. I wash my pillows and bed spread almost as often as I wash my sheets.
- Organize your closets and donate clothing you no longer need (or in my case, that no longer fit).
- Move any other furniture and clean well under and behind.
Here is PRINTABLE to remind you of all the places to clean. You can pin it for reference later or print it and hang inside your cleaning supply closet.
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