Spring Cleaning 101

Tomorrow is the first day of spring (YAY!) which, in my house, means it is time for spring cleaning. Getting your home clean and refreshed doesn’t have to take up your entire weekend. Just devoting a few hours to tackling and completing some spring cleaning tasks will get your home looking great and ready for the warmer beautiful spring & summer months. Get a jump on your spring cleaning by focusing on some essential chores I’ve listed below. And, feel free to comment below with your own spring cleaning tips & tricks. Now let’s start wishing for some beautiful spring weather!


Ackerman Kitchen by Joan Schindler

Shine Your Stainless Steel: To keep your stainless steel bright and clean, use a light mist of wax-based aerosol spray. Wipe down the surface of the appliance with a clean, lint-free cloth. Avoid using cleaners with bleach because these cleaners will cause the surface to dry out and lose some of the luster. Remember, don’t use anything abrasive, like Scotch-Brite pads, that can scratch and ruin the appliance’s surface.

Clean Painted Walls: To clean your painted walls, first try just using a clean cloth or sponge and water. If that doesn’t work, dip the cloth or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid.  Still can’t get that stubborn stain out? Try applying a few drops of soap directly onto a wet cloth or sponge. You could also apply a little soap right onto the stain. If you decide to use a stronger cleaning product (i.e. Formula 409), just remember they have harsh solvents in them and can soften the paint surface.

clean101541997.jpg.rendition.largestDe-clutter your wardrobe: Go through your closet and remove items that you no longer wear, that are beyond repair, or that don’t fit anymore. Donate gently worn items to charity where they’ll get a second life. Go green and consider adding damaged garments (if they’re made of an absorbent fabric) to your rag collection where they’ll replace wasteful paper towels. Organize the items remaining in your closet according to type (i.e. blouses, pants, skirts) and color. Starting your morning each day with an organized closet makes getting dressed a breeze!

Wash the Windows: Be sure to pick a cloudy day to wash windows. “If it’s too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry too fast and you’ll have streaks,” says Donna Smallin, author of Cleaning Plain & Simple. A good DIY window cleaning solution can be made by combining  ½ cup of sudsy ammonia (which is a specific type of ammonia), 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 gallon of water. Got any sliding glass doors? Clean the sliding glass door tracks before the nice weather and outdoor entertaining season hits. (You’ll be thanking yourself when you notice less debris getting tracked inside!) Smallin advises scrubbing the tracks with a dry toothbrush to loosen dirt and then using your vacuum hose attachment to remove it. Finish by wiping with a wet sponge.

Clean the “Often Forgotten” Spots: In the daily rush of life, we often miss some spots when doing our routine cleaning and chores. Make sure to get to and clean your home’s baseboards, door frames, blinds, crown molding, and windowsills. Wash them down with a soft sponge and some dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.

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Dust Light Bulbs: Believe it or not, dusting your light bulbs can help extend their life expectancy and efficiency. Before cleaning, change any light bulbs that have burned out. Unscrew light bulbs and polish the bulbs with a soft cloth dampened with water. Be careful not to get the metal screw base wet! To reach and clean the bulbs in recessed ceiling fixtures, use a telescoping lamb’s wool duster.

Deep Clean Carpets and Rugs: For synthetic carpeting, you can rent or buy a rug cleaner/ shampooer/extractor – a machine that cleans the fibers and removes traces of soap using hot water. Open windows and let air flow to help carpets dry. Be careful! If you have wool carpets or rugs, or any that are valuable or delicate, always contact a professional for cleaning

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Clean the Inside of the Refrigerator: uh-oh. Nobody likes this chore! Here is how to make cleaning out your fridge more manageable.

  • First throw out old food.
  • Wash the interior with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water. Wash removable shelves and drawers in the solution. Make sure to allow glass shelves to warm up to room temperature first. If you don’t the warm water may cause the cold glass to crack.
  •  Loosen hardened spills by wetting the area with the above solution, allowing the residue to soften.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub all those nooks & crannies.
  • Vacuum or brush dust from underneath and behind your fridge.
  • Once your fridge is looking refreshed, keep it streamlined and organized for good by organize food in clearly labeled baskets and/or containers.

Sources: MarthaStewart.com, HGTV.com, House Beautiful, and BHG.com

PS- Willing to devote some more time to spring cleaning? For some more in-depth cleaning guides, check out these room-by-room spring cleaning check lists.

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