The birds are beginning to sing their sweet songs again, those of us living on backroads find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into the muck and mud and patches of weathered grass are beginning to surface beneath the melting snow. Spring is near, we think… fingers crossed. We even had a day that neared 70 degrees last week! Although we are back to the teens. Oy vey ?
With the change of seasons and warming of temperatures comes a sense of renewal, rejuvenation and the desire to freshen up our homes. For some of us spring cleaning is a yearly tradition of thoroughly cleaning the house (and it’s so satisfying right?!). As I write this, looking out our bay window all I can see are the smudges of my dog’s nose all over the center window. It can be easy to get used to the dust, dirt and grime that accumulates over the winter months. The thought of cleaning everything in your house from top to bottom can be daunting and overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it all at once. The benefits are so incredibly satisfying and refreshing. Today I’m sharing some strategies, products and tips for spring cleaning at home.
Spring Cleaning Ideas at Home
The kitchen is our haven for cooking and eating and it feels so satisfying when this space is clean. For me the stove, burners, sink and refrigerator are often the most neglected spaces. These utilities get a lot of traffic and in turn take a beating.
Start by removing food, crockery and home appliances from all surfaces. Use a multi-surface spray to wipe down all surface areas– be sure to get all the neglected crevices and corners. Remove burners from stove and wash in the sink and use a scrubby and cleaner of your choice to scrub away at grime, grease and staining. Repeat in your sink and oven. For fridge cleaning remove food from different areas one at a time. Use hot water and cleaner of your choice to wipe away any grime or grease. Check expiration dates and throw out old food. Return food to fridge in organized manner of your choice.
Kitchen cleaning Products:
- Meyers Multi-Surface Spray– We love Meyers! This is a great everyday spray for multi-purpose cleaning. You can use it to wipe down countertops, stovetop, sink, fridge, etc. It’s also a nice little touch before company comes over because all of the scents are amazing- clean and pretty without being overly strong. We love basil, rosemary and peony in our house! Their dish and hand soaps are wonderful as well.
- Bon Ami Powder – Have trouble stains out of your farmhouse sink? Or getting those pots and pans completely clean? Look no further than Bon Ami. For tougher stains, mix with water and let the paste sit for a bit. Use it on cookware, the oven, the sink, tiles, you name it and Bon Ami can probably clean it!
- Euroscrubby– I love my euroscrubby! This multipurpose scrubber is eco-friendly and dishwasher safe. It can be used on dishes, to clean the sink, refrigerator and stove. Just toss it in the dishwasher when your done and it’s like new! If you’re in Woodtock, they sell these locally at The Clover Gift Shop.
- Swedish Dish Cloths– These are another great eco-friendly, dishwasher safe, multipurpose cloth for wiping away grime and dirt and cleaning dishes. Great alternative to paper towels. Also sold at Clover.
- Scotch Brite Stainless Steel Scrubbers– these scrubbers are amazing for getting at that nitty-gritty grime in sinks, stoves and burners.
There is nothing better than fresh clean windows in spring to see the beautiful sunshine outdoors without smudges, cobwebs and critters. This one is best to do on a warm day with a partner or friend. Take out all your screens and get some rags and glass cleaner (we like Seventh Generation Free & Clear Glass Cleaner). Check out these eco-friendly and homemade glass cleaner solutions too. If there are two of you, one can focus on cleaning the window sills, outer edges, etc. while the other cleans the glass. Be sure to get critters, cob webs, smudges, bird poo and whatever else may have built up over the winter months!
I remember reading once that if you are going to clean one space before having company, clean your bathroom. No one wants to use a dirty toilet or see hair and scum all over a sink. Believe me, our bathrooms are sometimes neglected, but it is so satisfying to give this space a deep clean.
- Shower doors can feel impossible to clean- try 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar, 5 drops dawn and use these Geometry microfiber towels to scrub and rinse. You can thank us later 🙂
- Use a scrubby of your choice and bathroom cleaning product to scrub away at any mold/mildew buildup in your shower.
- Towels/Shower Curtains: clean and replace old and stained towels and shower curtains.
Clear the surface around your sink and use cleaner of your choice (make sure it’s something that works for the specific countertop) and towel/rag to clean sink bowl, faucet and handles. Be sure to get into all the hidden corners and crevices. Remove the drain and clean out any built up hair and grime.
If you have a vanity/medicine cabinet, go through the drawers and shelves, clean out any old makeup and unnecessary items. Wipe down all the drawers inside and out. Organize your makeup and skincare (these clear drawer bins are great). This is your reminder to clean your makeup brushes too!
Using a toilet bowl cleaner and scrubbing brush thoroughly clean the entire toilet. Be sure to get the upper corners where grime can build up. Also clean the outside of the toilet bowl and down under the base where cleaning is often neglected.
bathroom cleaning Products:
- Seventh Generation Bathroom Cleaner
- Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Method Tub & Tile Cleaner
- Bon Ami Powder – for scrubbing the tub and tile shower
Giving our bedrooms a nice refresh in the spring will make you rest easy all summer long. Take a look at sheets, pillows and comforters and decide if a refresh is necessary. Maybe you want to swap out your heavier linens for something a bit lighter (see our favorite sustainable and eco-friendly bedding). If your bedroom is carpeted, rent or invest in a carpet cleaning vacuum to give it a deeper clean. Carpet can hid a lot of dirt underneath the surface. Wipe down surfaces to rid of dust. And be sure to clean those out of reach/hidden areas like under the bed, corners and closets. In addition check and clean ceilings and corners for cobwebs and dust. This is a great reusable duster.
Spring cleaning is a good opportunity to go through your closet/wardrobe too. Make a donate/sell pile of things you no longer need or want and swap out any seasonal clothing items that you’ll be storing during the warmer months.
If you have a baby or toddler you know that EVERYTHING goes directly in their mouth. Try this hot tip- put all of your child’s toys in a mesh lingerie bag and and throw it in the washer. Voila! Clean toys that can go right into your kiddos mouth without a care in the world!
Couches have a tendency to get destroyed, especially if they are in use with a young family. They are tricky clean and often the best option is having them professionally dry cleaned, but this can be costly. I know our baby and dog have done a number on our couch and a professional cleaning is probably in order. But in the meantime, there are things you can do to freshen it up. Vacuuming your couch will get that accumulated pet hair and dirt. The chom chom roller is amazing for getting rid of pet hair on furniture. Remove the cushions to find any hidden treasures and give them a good fluff. We love our cordless Dyson vacuum! If your couch is pilling like ours you could try a fabric shaver like this one to give it a fresh look and feel. Some couch covers can be removed and washed at home, but be sure to read the instructions for your couch before doing this to ensure you do not destroy your covers.
During the winter our neglected porches collect grime, dirt and dust and need a nice deep clean so we can enjoy them all spring, summer and fall. Our porch is our favorite room in the house. We recently considered making it usable for all four seasons, but decided against it because opening that door come spring is just the most magical thing. We basically live out there during the warmer months so making it feel fresh and clean is essential.
Wipe down all surfaces with either a surface spray like Meyers that I mentioned earlier or a homemade solution (water, vinegar, etc.). Wash and clean linens and cushions. These outdoor spaces can get moldy so get rid of anything that has been targeted by humidity. Clean floors accordingly.
The mudroom tends to be one of the dirtiest rooms in the house and often the least likely to be cleaned. We often just accept that this is our dirty space, but giving this a yearly deep clean is so satisfying.
Wipe down surfaces, cubbies, shelves thoroughly with a rag and the multipurpose cleaner of your choice. Be sure to empty out these spaces first in order to get into all those hard to reach spots and get rid of any items you no longer need.
The Chilewich woven floor mat/rug is a great investment for your mudroom. It catches dirt and can be easily cleaned and shaken out with a sturdy latex backing. It’s also prevents curling and is nonslip. They are a bit pricey but will last a lifetime!
Maybe regular vacuuming happens weekly or daily if you are super on top of things, but often the deeper cleans are less routine and can be forgotten for months at a time. Here are some options for floor cleaners to get rid of all the salt, muck and dirt from the winter months.
Start by vacuuming (again we love our cordless Dyson vaccuum) and then do a once over with a floor duster. Make sure to get under beds, couches, and other furniture. Follow with a mop or steam mop, and wood floor cleaner. Make sure to look into your specific floor type first and do the research to use the correct products. Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner is a great eco-friendly option for tile, concrete, linoleum, vinyl, and laminate.
Tips for tackling spring cleaning.
Refresh Your Cleaning Product Inventory
Start by stocking up on all the products you will need to start these projects. There is nothing worse than feeling inspired to clean, setting aside the time and not having the resources to make it happen. Take a look at what you currently have, weed out unused/weathered products and invest in the things you need to ensure success!
Tackle one Space at a Time
If you’re anything like me you are going to suddenly feel inspired and just want to tackle it all at once. Who has time for that?! Try to pick one project to tackle at a time. Make a list of all the spaces you need to clean and set a goal for when you want to clean them. Whether that is one a day or week.
Maintenance is Key
Spring is a great time to deep clean but remember cleaning can happen all year long. If you maintain a clean house, it will make things so much easier for you in the long run. Choose products to do weekly/daily cleaning tasks and projects to stay on top of things. Then your annual spring cleaning will be much less daunting! Fly lady includes detailed cleaning lists for the different spaces in your homes. You can even subscribe to her email list to get daily/weekly reminders and cleaning schedules/tips.
Spring cleaning tips on Instagram
Instagram has some great cleaning accounts and tips for tackling these projects. For example the other day we saw a tip for soaking grime dirty dish towels in the sink with water, vinegar and dawn then washing machine with baking soda. Voila, your dish towels will be like new! Here are a few of our favorite accounts: gocleanco, going.zero.waste and makelifesimpler_.
Cleaning with Vinegar & Baking Soda
When in doubt, vinegar and baking soda! These two simple ingredients are your best cleaning friend and thankfully easy to keep handy in the kitchen. Here are a few different ways to use them for cleaning different areas in your household.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
When possible, use what you already have laying around the house to clean, whether that’s old t-shirts turned into cleaning rags or a homemade cleaning concoction with vinegar or baking soda. Before you buy something new, see what you can repurpose first and try to get rid of any old products in a responsible, safe manner.
Cindy’s Cleaning Favorites
Our lovely local neatnik, Cindy List, gave us a few tips and product recommendations from one of our favorite Woodstock shops, Woody’s. Look for her there on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- DampRids – Cindy swears by these unscented moisture absorbing bags that hang in your closet inhibiting mold and mildew. Vermont is humid during the summer and the crystals in these bags reduce the humidity to water, keeping your closets fresh and your clothing safe from the elements.
- E-Cloth – These e-cloths are great for any type of household cleaning- kitchen, windows, floors, bathrooms. They are durable and easy to wash and reuse!
- Bar Keepers Friend – This is a great go to deep cleaner for stoves, sinks, porcelain and more! It attacks grime, grease and stains.
- Geometry Microfiber Towels – These dish towels are Cindy’s favorite! They are sold at Woody’s but can also be found online.
- Chilewich Rug: Mentioned earlier in the mudroom section, the Chilewich rug is the best, sturdy, long-lasting doormat and easiest to clean. They also come in fun colors and patterns!
What cleaning projects are you excited to tackle in your home this spring? Have any tips to share for making the most of spring cleaning? Let us know in the comments.
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