Spring Cleaning and Upkeep Checklist
Spring cleaning brings about a sense of accomplishment and tranquility. It gives us the opportunity to reset and maintain the beauty of our homes. It also keeps us safe. Things like vacuuming the dryer vent, decluttering garages, and replacing batteries are just some of the ways we can reduce fire and health risks by spring cleaning.
Our motivation to clean after the first spring breeze might be a result of biology. Since a lack of sunlight produces more melatonin in our bodies, we are sleepier in winter. Our desire to deep clean in the spring might just be a result of the burst of energy we get from the increasing sunlight.
When the days get brighter and your desire to spring clean grows, you might be wondering what exactly spring cleaning means. For starters, it’s much more labor-intensive than regular cleaning. You have to reach high and low to get every spot and a lot of items have to be moved, replaced, or thrown away. Set aside at least two full days’ worth of time to get it all done.
Prepare yourself for the deep clean with cleaning gloves, bleach, vinegar, dish soap, microfiber towels, scrub brush, vacuum, sponge, glass cleaner, and baking soda. Let’s dive into the list below for detailed instructions for the spring clean.
Check and Replace
Every year, there are a number of items around the house that you should check for functionality. They’re listed below.
- Lighting – Replace any burnt-out bulbs. Consider replacing them with LED bulbs for a longer lifespan and lower energy costs. Dust off every lightbulb, especially the ones outside that accumulate more dirt over time. You can recycle light bulbs, too!
- Smoke detector – Check the battery strength of every smoke detector in your house by pressing down on the test button. If the sound is non-existent or weak and not as piercingly loud as it should be, replace the batteries.
- Carbon monoxide detector – To test your carbon monoxide detector, look up the manufacturer’s directions. Not only do you have to check the battery levels, but you also have to check if the detector is accurately detecting carbon monoxide. This requires a test kit.
- Other battery-powered items – Replace batteries on remote controls, toys, security systems, garage doors, flashlights, etc.
Dust, Dust, Dust
It’s time to grab the stepping stool for some serious dusting. Spring cleaning dusting is far more work than what you’d do on a normal day, but it is important. Too much dust can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and irritated eyes.
Using a microfiber dusting cloth with an extender, wipe down every inch of ceiling fans. You’ll want to hold something underneath to catch the dust bunnies that will fall as you do this. After that, move on the ceiling, baseboards, curtain rods, and walls. Before doing the walls, remove any hanging decor (if possible) and dust them.
Other places you’ll need to dust are entertainment centers, lamps, blinds, plants, bookshelves, furniture, and around window and door frames. If there are items on surfaces, remove and dust them before returning them to their place. Now you can truly breathe in that fresh spring air.
Windows, Doors, and Walls
Things we touch often build up grease and grime over time. This is especially true for doors, windows, and walls with porous surfaces. Using hot, soapy water, wipe down every inch of them. When you’re done, rinse them with a damp cellulose sponge. Finish windows off with glass cleaner.
Take special care to clean doorknobs, door frames, screens, and the tracks the windowpanes slide on. You can use a vacuum to suck up any debris in the tracks before wiping them out.
You might have to do some additional maintenance. Check for tears in window screens, broken locks, and gaps between the window and the wall. Door hinges may need to be tightened or oiled to stop squeaking noises. Touch up scuffs and permanent stains with paint.
Cabinets, Drawers, and Pantries
For a deep clean, remove everything from cabinets, pantries, and drawers and clean or dust those items, especially the bottoms.
When you tackle the pantry, throw out any expired products and unnecessary items. That old, stale box of cereal can go. So can that strange can of mushrooms that’s been there since the kids were born. Check the expiration date on yeast, baking soda and powder, flour, and coffee beans. Once you’ve cleaned it out, return the items with an organization system in mind.
Treated wood can be cleaned with a gentle cleanser like a vinegar and water solution. Use a microfiber cloth so too much moisture isn’t left sitting on the wood.
Dust and clean appliances and check them for functionality. This includes the humidifier, radio, TV, clocks, microwave, and any other small appliances in the kitchen like the coffee maker or air fryer.
Run a cleaning cycle on your washing machine and dishwasher using a cup of vinegar to disinfect and deodorize them. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean the garbage disposal. Vacuum out the dryer’s vents, traps, and drum and replace the air filters on your air conditioner and heater. Doing these things will get rid of possible dangers caused by unmaintained appliances like mold and fire.
When you’re ready to tackle the kitchen, start with the oven. Remove the racks and wash them thoroughly. Use a special oven cleaner or a homemade cleaner with vinegar and baking soda for the interior. Let the cleaner sit for as long as the label suggests or for 1-2 hours if using a homemade solution
Once you’ve cleaned the inside of your oven, wipe down the exterior using hot, soapy water. You can scrub grates with a baking soda paste if you have a gas oven. Pull the oven out and clean the area behind it. Don’t forget to wipe down the sides of the counters that are now exposed with the oven pulled out.
Lastly, deep clean the range hood. Scrub it with a brush using a baking soda and water paste. Wipe it away and finish it off with an additional wipe down using vinegar and water or a cleaning spray.
The CDC has special guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing the inside of a refrigerator. Start by removing all of the items inside and throwing away any expired food. Wipe down any containers for the items you’re keeping, especially the spouts of condiment bottles.
Remove the shelves and drawers and wash them with hot, soapy water. Use the same to wipe down every inch of the now-empty fridge. Once you’ve done that, make a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 gallon of water to wipe down the inside of the fridge again. This will kill off any remaining bacteria.
Dry off the interior, shelves, and drawers completely. Don’t leave any moisture inside. Now you can return everything to its place.
Lastly, if possible, pull the refrigerator out and clean behind it thoroughly. Don’t forget the sides and the top of the fridge. Most importantly, vacuum the coils on the back. This helps keep the refrigerator cool more efficiently.
Cleaning the bathroom requires the most elbow grease. Start by throwing the shower curtain, bath mats, and towels into the washer. Replace the shower curtain liner with a new one.
Using a strong cleaner like diluted bleach breaks down scum and sanitizes surfaces. Thoroughly scrub every inch of bathtubs, showers, sinks, grout, and floors. Dust and wipe down walls, baseboards, wall décor, countertops, cupboards, and faucets. Reseal grout if necessary.
When cleaning the toilet, use a toothbrush to scrub the hinges and other hard-to-reach places. Remove the seat for cleaning, including the screws, before reattaching. Using a bleach solution, wipe down every inch of the toilet on all sides.
Soak the showerhead in a bag of vinegar overnight. Only soak it for 20 minutes if your showerhead has a finish on it. The vinegar will break down calcium deposits and get rid of germs.
Remove everything from the medicine cabinet, shower caddy, and storage areas. Throw away expired medicine, makeup, and unused items. Wipe down the inside and outside of storage areas before putting items back.
Lastly, flip off the circuit breaker and remove the front of the bathroom vent and clean it. Vacuum the fan blades and remove as much dust as you can from the motor and other crevices. Replace the vent cover.
At this point, all of your windows, walls, furniture, and wall hangings have been dusted and cleaned. Every surface in every room should be wiped down, mirrors should be cleaned, and fabrics washed. These include sheets, curtains, blankets, towels, and furniture. Sanitize every electronic device, light switch, doorknob, and handle in the house.
Maintaining your mattress is important for extending its lifespan for as long as possible and keeping you healthy. Starting one side at a time, vacuum and spot clean the mattress with a solution made from laundry detergent, dish soap or enzyme cleaner, baking soda, and water. Once the spots are dry, sprinkle the mattress with baking soda, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it again. Flip and rotate it from its original position before putting on fresh bedding.
Take out everything under beds and throw away junk. Vacuum or sweep thoroughly before returning items underneath. Organize desks, shelves, end tables, and surfaces. Clean pet cages, bowls, and food containers. Tidy up clutter and open windows to freshen rooms. Since the dusting is done, you can fully appreciate that spring breeze.
Remove and take stock of everything stored in closets, if possible. Donate or throw away clothes or other items you no longer use. Generally, you want to get rid of any clothing item you haven’t worn in one year, unless it has sentimental value, of course. Wash winter items like gloves before storing and throw away mismatched socks that haven’t seen their other half in a long time.
Once the closet is empty, vacuum and dust every inch. Wipe down walls, baseboards, and surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda or deodorizer on the carpet before vacuuming and shampooing. For hard floors, sweep and mop thoroughly.
This is your opportunity to reorganize. Before returning items to the closet, group similar objects together. Use containers to seal away winter clothes and photo albums. Arrange items in the closet by putting the least used items in the back and the most frequently used items at the front.
Spring cleaning the garage might be the most daunting task, but it relieves a lot of stress when your garage is organized. It also greatly reduces the risk of fires, chemical spills, injuries, and pest invasions. Before beginning, open the doors to let fresh air in. Choose a sunny day with little to no breeze for this job.
Starting in one corner, throw out garbage and collect recyclables. Use a tag to mark items for donation or selling. Once trash and junk have been thrown away, take everything out of the garage and organize them into three groups: donate, sell, and keep. Gather every trash can in your house outside and wash them, leaving them out to air dry.
Once the garage is empty, thoroughly sweep it out (some people use leaf blowers). Dust or vacuum every surface like shelves, lights, and walls. Check for damage in the doors, foundation, vents, and any signs of a pest invasion. Call an exterminator if you see signs of pests.
Cover oil stains with cat litter and scrub it out with dish soap and a wire scrub brush. Wash the walls, floors, ceilings, and surfaces with a sponge mop. Let the garage dry out completely before bringing items back in. Fans will speed up the process.
Once you’ve deep cleaned everything else in the house, finish up with the floors. Shake out and wash rugs and mats, laying them out to dry. Hard floors should be thoroughly swept and mopped. Carpets should be vacuumed and shampooed. Move furniture, if possible, to clean the floor underneath. Finish up by washing the baseboards with vinegar and water or a gentle cleaning solution.
When the job is done, your house will have much lower health and safety risks and you will feel rejuvenated in your fresh space. The intense cleaning and organizing may be tiring, but it will greatly reduce stress and open up your schedule to enjoy the warmer months to come. Happy Spring!