Hey everyone spring has sprung! I got the spring cleaning fever and thought I would warn you. I will be sharing what cleaning products and tools I use to get the job done. I will be focusing on spring cleaning methods using the vacuum cleaner and sharing cleaning and organizing techniques that save time. Follow through and let's get started!
Step 1: Tools and Cleaning Supplies
Here are the cleaning products and tools I use on a regular basis. I make an all purpose cleaner and window cleaner using vinegar and water. I make some cleaning products using soap nuts because it is recommended to alternate products. I use them for my laundry and will alternate with my home made version of laundry soap. I use peroxide and baking soda for cleaning boosters as well as Washing soda. I do purchase Lemon oil, bleach and essential oils. I do not use bleach very often; but sometimes it can't be avoided.
- Wool dust wand
- Mop with detachable mob head
- Mob bucket
- Hardwood floor duster
- Cleaning rags, old t-shirts, sponge,
- Cleaning brushes, long dryer brush
- Vacuum with cleaning attachments
- Cleaning apron
- Rubber Gloves
- Spray bottles
- 2 and 3 Tier step stools
- Cleaning basket
- Leaf blower or air compressor (optional)
All purpose cleaner
Step 2: Fresh Air
I used to always open the windows when I cleaned the house; even in the winter. I would shut off the heat and open all the windows and turn on some up beat music. I can't do this anymore because there is always someone home besides me; but I do, when I have the opportunity. It makes the house smell wonderful and the fresh air is nice to breathe.
Step 3: Refrigerator and Stove
Disclaimer: I am not a professional expert in how to maintain home appliances or how to clean. I am just a plain ole house wife that cleans my own stuff and share how I cleaned it here. If you use these methods, you do so at your own risk and responsibility. Please be safe and don't clean around small children.
Several years ago my husband was visiting his mother and her refrigerator was not working properly. My husband called a repairman and the man told him " The refrigerator is so old she will be better off buying a new one". After the repairman left . . . my husband took the refrigerator outside and used an air compressor and blew out all of the dust and thoroughly cleaned it inside and out. He brought it back into the house and plugged it in. It worked great for another four years. Dust and dirt is an enemy to most home appliances. If you keep them clean and free from dust particles you can use them for a few more years without replacing them.
I clean behind my appliances twice a year. Now that my husband is retired, he will help me take them outside and use an air compressor to blow out all of the dust and dirt from the unit and I will clean it. We do this once a year because we live in a dry climate and it is dusty. I think older homes usually have more dust because they were built differently than the new homes today.
We have owned this refrigerator for about four years but we have not removed the back panel since we bought it.Today I unplugged the electrical cord and removed the panel on the back of the refrigerator to see how dirty it was after four years. I was surprised it was not worse than you see here. I know this may sound extreme but keeping your appliances free from dust is can save you money in the long run. If an appliance was not working properly, I would try cleaning it like I have shown here before I called a repairman.
Today I used a long dryer brush to remove the dust on the coil section and around the inside edge and fan to loosen the dirt and vacuumed the area.
I cleaned it using a lint free cloth and replaced the back panel.
I cleaned the sides of the refrigerator and the floor.
I plugged the cord back in and pushed the refrigerator against the wall, leaving a few inches between the wall and refrigerator for air flow.
I cleaned the front and top of the refrigerator.
I cleaned behind my stove at the same time, pretty much the same method.This method is for the free standing stove. I don't know much about a built- in oven or if there is a way to clean around them.
Time saving tip: I use cooking oil on a cleaning rag to remove that sticky oily residue that you find on the top of refrigerators. I also use it (at times) for my stove top. The oil loosens the residue and the all purpose cleaner removes the loosened oil and dirt. I learned this tip many years ago and it has served me well.
I clean my refrigerator weakly just before I buy groceries because it is almost empty and easier to clean. I have a magnetic board on my refrigerator so it is handy to write down a grocery list as I run out of them.
I have owned a self clean oven in the past and when I cleaned the oven; I placed a cinnamon stick in the center of the bottom of the oven. It helped cut down the burnt smell in the house from the oven cleaning.
Step 4: Window Air Conditioner
We do not have central air but if you do, I have read that the filters should be replaced monthly. I have helped my daughter clean her home many times and if she did not have a new filter; I vacuumed the one that was in her return air vent.
To clean a window air conditioner all I did was open the front of the air-conditioner and removed the filter and vacuumed it. I also ran it under warm water and thoroughly dried it with a lint free cloth. I vacuumed and cleaned the front and sides of the air-conditioner and put the filter back and closed the front.
I did not get pictures of this process because we removed the air conditioners last fall and have not put them back into the window.
Step 5: Washer and Dryer
Some front load washing machines are prone to mold in the front rubber seal and in the back hose section, in the front panel, and some sort of water trap in the bottom of the washers. If you have a front loader I would recommend you to make sure mold is not growing around the rubber or in the hoses. Some people mentioned to check the back of the soap dispenser as well.
There are class action lawsuitsfor some of them and some companies have a recall notice out on them. I believe the models are from a couple of years ago but I am not sure. I called about mine and there is no recall for it. The manufacturer told me that in their Manuel is a cleaning section on how to clean it to maintain it. They told me to put 1/4 cup of bleach in the drum of the washer and wash it in hot water on the longest cycle at least once a week. I washed mine on the soak cycle several times today using bleach and hot water.
Day 2:I noticed that the bleach treatment is working and will do it again tonight. I will do this a few more times and after seeing the results today I am sure this method will remove all the mold in my washer. If it fails I will come back and share the method that did work. I have read where people recommend leaving the door open when not in use but I don't recommend this because a child could climb into the washer.
I did not clean behind the washer and dryer because we will be doing that in a couple of months. I have a stackable washer and dryer and it is not easy to move. Basically I clean them the same way I cleaned the refrigerator. We will be taking them outside in a couple of months and blow them out with an air compressor this time; because we will be re-placing my floors.
Step 6: Furnaces and Filters
I usually clean our furnace in the late spring and fall when the gas is turned off and the pilot is not lit using the vacuum but it is not an easy task. You would be surprised how dirty they get. Our furnace was not working properly and kept shutting off so I called the repairman. I watched the repairman remove the inside metal box and asked him if I could vacuum inside real quick while he had it opened and the gas was off. He did not mind. Fortunately I already had my cleaning products and vacuum right there because I had been cleaning. I did a quick job but it was still way better than ever before.
Cleaning the furnace in the late spring and fall is best. We don't have that stale dusty smell in the fall when we first turn on the furnace anymore.
Step 7: Air Purifiers
Our air purifier was making a static noise and I was afraid to use it. My husband took it to the shop and removed the front and back panel and blew it out with the air compressor. He cleaned the filters and the case and put it back together and plugged it in. It works perfectly. I have used my leaf blower when my husband is not home to help me.
I clean my air purifier case and plates the first of every month faithfully.
Step 8: Office Computers
Computers are often neglected when it comes to cleaning them. If you want your pc to last longer, I recommend keeping them free from dust. I have always vacuumed the exterior of the older models and my husband has always used the air compressor to blow the dust out of the interior by removing the side panels. We have always had great success with this method.
Step 9: Hardwood Floors
I use vinegar for cleaning my floors because it will not leave a soap residue that dulls the natural shine.
I love my wood floors! They are easy to keep up.
For best results I vacuum them or use a dust mop. (no broom)
I add 1 cup of white vinegar to a bucket of hot water.
I wring the mop out thoroughly so it is damp and mop the floors.
Owning a vacuum robot certainly is a plus for saving you time cleaning the floors. My sister loves hers. For deep cleaning I have used a small light weight vacuum with attachments that has a strap that fits over your shoulder. They clean fairly well.
I prefer mops that have a removable head so they can be washed in the washer after every use. I usually wash them separately. I always have extra ones so they can be washed together. I run my fingers through the stands to straighten them and let them air dry so they last longer.
Step 10: Carpets
Before we removed our carpets; I vacuumed them thoroughly before I cleaned them. I very seldom cleaned them with carpet shampoo. It is my opinion that carpet shampoo leaves a residue that allows dirt cling to the fibers in the carpet. I could be wrong but I have had great success not using carpet cleaner unless they were really bad.
Frequent vacuuming will keep your carpets cleaner longer.
Removing your shoes at the entry doors helps a lot.
Placing industrial rugs outside at the front and back doors helps.
I also place them inside at the front and back doors.
I use industrial rugs that do not have deep designs in them.
I vacuum them when I vacuum my floors and when they get dirty; I place them over the yard fence and hose them down. They are usually dry before sun down.
I have a blower that I use to blow off the porch and sidewalks the day I clean. It helps keep my house floors cleaner.
Step 11: Blinds Window Coverings Windows and Sills
Before I clean the inside windows, I clean the higher areas first. Light fixtures, cob webs, Ceiling fans, crown moldings and the top wall sections above the windows.
When I wash the indoor windows I clean the window sills, curtains, and curtain rods. I have tables or a piece of furniture in front of the windows so while the window area is free from these objects I clean the walls, switch plates, baseboards and floors.
Cleaning blinds is not a fun task. I have replaced some of my narrow blinds with the wider ones because they are much easier to clean. I try to clean them on both sides weekly; using the vacuum cleaner brush or the wool dust wand. I rarely need to wipe them with a cleaning cloth since I began using this method. Once in a while; I will use an all purpose cleaner because something splattered on them. It only takes a few seconds to clean them though.
When I wash the outdoor windows in the spring and fall I will clean the window screens with a garden hose.
Before I wash the outdoor windows; I spray them with the garden hose. This method reduces scratches because dirt gets trapped between the cleaning cloth and the window and scratches the glass.
I clean the outdoor lights at this time because I already have the 3 tier step ladder outside.
Step 12: Fabric Surfaces
I schedule vacuuming the couch, chairs, and pillows on a weekly basis.
About once a month I will put my comforter in the dryer on air only (no heat) and it helps remove any dust particles in the fabric.
I wash my comforter twice a year unless something gets spilled on it.
Step 13: Rotation Cleaning and Organizing
I have used the rotation method most of my adult life. I have always had a weekly cleaning schedule until the last few years. I am retired now and I do not have the energy to clean like I did a few years ago. I have reduced my cleaning time and have changed my cleaning day according to how much energy I have.
My method worked like this:
I alternated my start area. One week I started upstairs, the next cleaning schedule I started down stairs, I started at one end of the house one week and the other end the next time. Sometimes I started in the middle. This method allows you to deep clean more often and get through your whole house in a month or two. It reduces the time needed for spring cleaning.
One week I would pay close attention to (above the head areas), the next schedule I would detail the areas that were eye level, shoulder level and so on.
If I had the energy to deep clean; I would deep clean "the closets" but not clean the guest room, or bag dusting that week. I might omit cleaning the bedrooms and deep clean all of the bathrooms.
I washed clothes during the week and folded laundry while I was watching TV or sitting. I did this to organize drawers as well. When I was visiting my daughter we would watch her iPAD while we organized the closets or other areas of her home.
I bought groceries and ran errands during my work week.
I cooked double on Thursdays so I did not have to cook on my cleaning day. I think it requires less time to cook two entrees than to cook one everyday.
If I scheduled a deep clean I would have my husband take the kids on a days outing. It worked perfectly for me.
Your list might include:
Oven and range
Windows and screens
Light fixtures and ceiling fans
Bedding and Blankets
Closets (January is a good month to organize closets)
Walls and switch plates
Step 14: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
The house is totally clean and now I can relax, take a nice hot bath, watch a movie and sleep soundly knowing I got her done. I hope these tips give you inspiration to start your spring cleaning schedule.
I wish to thank contributors for making this website the best DIY on the internet. Thanks for stopping by and do have a splendorous weekend!
Runner Up in the
Spring Cleaning Challenge