After winter freshening your house with a deep spring cleaning can feel really good. If you’re ready to go beyond the basic weekly clean, pick and choose from these 14 deep-cleaning tasks, and get ready to enjoy your sparkling clean home.
1. Light fixtures, lamps and fans. Our manager in Lacombe, Sue, likes to keep things bright by cleaning her ceiling-mounted light fixtures. Ceiling fans and table lamps can also accumulate an amazing amount of dust over time. Get these fixtures gleaming with a soft microfiber cloth or duster. Also for those hard to reach light fixtures we recommend changing them over to LED light bulbs. You will never have to change a bulb again!
2. Windows and screens. Even a warm winter can bring dust, wind and dirt. Be sure to spend a little extra time cleaning the tracks of your windows. A vacuum without the head on it works well to get that dirt cleaned up without additional mess. For your windows, use an environmentally & pet friendly vinegar water solution to give them a streak free shine.
3. Tops of cupboards. Kayla, our social media person, says her cleaning task to tackle in the spring is the tops of the cupboards. The dust that collects there can be sticky with cooking grease, so add some dish soap to your cleaning water to wipe this dust up. Whitney, our bookkeeper, lines the tops of the cupboards with newspaper. “Next year there will be no cleaning required, just throw out the old newspaper and line it again!” she says.
4. Doors, knobs and handles. On my list is cleaning doors, especially our front door. With all the coming and going of our family this door really starts to look grimy after the big melt in the spring. Hot soapy water and a wrung out sponge does the trick. Then I take a scrub brush to the threshold. I also do the interior doors because it only takes a few minutes to go around the house giving knobs and handles a quick swipe. This little task can really make your space look cleaner.
5. Wall scuffs and dings. Using a damp, soft cloth and a bit of dish soap, or a product (we like Magic Erasers), swipe off scuff marks. Also freshen up walls and trim by touch up any dings, scrapes or chips with paint.Note: After speaking with Poison Control we have found that it is important not to use Magic Erasers on yours or even your child’s skin or pet’s paws. While it’s not harmful as a cleaner it can cause irritation to skin if used directly. If you, your family members or pets show sensitivity to household cleaners it’s a good idea to wipe up the residue after using these with a warm, wet cloth.
6. Tops of window frames. The baseboards are more likely to get attention during a cleaning spree, but what about the higher spots? Get out the stepladder and (carefully) get to work wiping away built-up dust and cobwebs from the tops of door and window frames.
7. Area rugs. Make area rugs fresh again by putting them outside on a nice spring afternoon. This will help with odors and sunlight is a natural germ and bacteria killer. Vacuum up where the rug was before replacing the rug and furniture.
8. Picture frames and mirrors. Clean the glass fronts of picture frames and mirrors, and wipe away dust from the frames. Don’t spray picture frames! Liquid can potentially get in and damage precious photos or artwork; use a barely dampened glass-cleaning cloth instead.
9. Upholstered furniture. Get out the vacuum attachments and vacuum upholstered furniture, including under and between cushions. Rotate sofa cushions when possible for more even wear.
10. Underneath beds and behind furniture. While you’ve got the vacuum out for the upholstery check out those hidden, tucked-away places where dust goes to hide. Any allergy sufferers in your household will be grateful for the extra effort!
11. Oven and range hood. If you want to avoid nasty oven cleaners, a thick paste of baking soda and water applied and left on overnight can do the trick — wipe it off with hot water the next day. Grease and dust tend to accumulate on and underneath the range-hood. Stand on a step stool so you can see what you’re doing, and clear away the gunk using warm, soapy water.
12. Inside kitchen drawers. On my to-do list this spring is inside the kitchen cupboards and drawers. How do all those crumbs get in there? I’ll remove everything and either wipe or vacuum the cupboards then put everything back. Kristina, our manager in Drayton Valley, reminded me that her nemesis is the junk drawer. See our earlier blog “Take The Junkdrawer Challenge” for advice on dealing with that drawer.
13. Laundry room dust. What is it about the laundry room? The areas on top of and around the washer and dryer tend to be some of the dustiest in the house. Vacuum around the appliances and wipe down the surfaces.
14. Vents and hoses. Having your furnace and vents cleaned this spring? Have these HVAC pros clean your dryer duct and hose. It is important to get it done, because lint buildup inside your dryer and hose can affect your dryer’s performance and potentially cause a fire. Don’t forget to replace your furnace filter! This should be done at least every six months. While we’re on the subject of vents, Kristina also reminded me that cold air return vents and bathroom fan covers are another place dirt and dust collect. These can be wiped with a damp cloth, or in the case of cold air return vents I use a brush attachment on my vacuum to give them an easy clean.
Tell us: What’s on your spring cleaning to-do list?
— Tamara Traub
Edit: This post was originally posted April 28th, 2015 but has recently been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.