The Lazy Person's Guide to Spring Cleaning
It’s in the air: the sense of a new beginning and warmer, lighter days that make you want to shed your winter skin and let the outdoors in. But after a long winter (we’re looking at you, East Coasters) and lots of time spent indoors, your place likely needs a deep, thorough cleaning. If you enjoy a spick-and-span home as much as the next person, but shampooing carpets and taking a toothbrush to grout lines is not likely to happen anytime soon, then follow our below guide for getting your place in shape for spring—in a matter of minutes.
Attack high-traffic areas with a more thorough vacuuming than you would normally do—about 30 seconds per section. On area rugs, peel back the corners and give the undersides a once-over as well. Spot-treat any stains, taking extra care in stubborn areas. To remove odors, generously sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, let sit for a few hours, and vacuum.
Go over your panels with a lint roller to remove large pieces of dust and debris. Vacuum panels using hose or brush attachment. If you're feeling ambition, take a steamer to drapes starting from the bottom and moving upward.
Remove loose seat and back cushions and take a vacuum's hose to the furniture frame to pick up crumbs and dust. Wash or dry-clean slipcovers according to manufacturer’s directions.
Dust electronics with a soft cloth. Take a coffee filter to your television screen to absorb dust that may otherwise just get pushed around on it’s smooth surface.
Wash mattress covers on the highest setting, adding in a cup of white vinegar to further clean. While the cover is in the wash, cover the mattress top in a light dusting of baking soda to draw out odors and dirt. Leave on the baking soda when you remake the bed and vacuum it up next time you change the sheets.
Soak stove knobs, gills, and pans in warm soapy water while you tackle other items—it’ll make them easier to scrub. If you have one, run the self-cleaning oven cycle; otherwise, use baking soda mixed with a little water to mop up spills and grease on the inside. Cover your oven’s bottom with aluminum foil (being careful not to cover any vents) to prevent future build-up.
Disinfect your sink with a spray bottle of white vinegar followed by a spray of hydrogen peroxide (don’t mix though—use vinegar first and the hydrogen peroxide second). Run an empty dishwasher with Dishwasher Magic to kill bacteria. Cut odors from your garbage disposal by running with with cut lemons, salt, and ice. Zap sponge bacteria by popping in the microwave for 1 minute.
Remove stubborn water stains on glass doors and fixtures with a cut lemon or lemon oil. Used dryer sheets with a few drops of water also work to clean glass doors. Clean your shower curtain liner by throwing it in the wash with some towels.
Spot-clean walls using a Magic Eraser. Run a vacuum over baseboards to pick up dirt and dust. Take a dust cloth to vents and using a broom—cover the bristles with a cloth (secure with a rubber band) and use to get into stubborn corners where the ceiling meets the walls to take care of cobwebs and dust. Run cleaning wipes over light switches and door knobs.
- Wipe down the blades of ceiling fans to get rid of dust before turning them on after a long winter. Otherwise you’re looking at a shower of dust and dirt.
- In general, clean top to bottom so any dust, dirt or grime that comes off a fan, wall, or counter lands on a floor that has yet to be tackled rather than one that will need a second cleaning.
What easy spring cleaning tricks can you recommend? Share with us in the comments!