Spring Cleaning: The Ultimate Guide
Welcome spring by giving your home a good deep clean. Our handy guide breaks down the must-do chores by: Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos (once-a-year tasks perfectly suited for spring), Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips (fix-ups and repairs for the outside of your home), and Room-by-Room Cleaning Tips (decluttering and cleaning tips for specific rooms).
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Spring is the perfect time to do a good deep cleaning in your house or to do an apartment cleaning marathon. In an addition to a deep clean, work these chores into your cleaning schedule this spring and be ready to face warmer days with a house that sparkles. Before you tackle your deep cleaning, make a cleaning list tailored to your home and needs.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Wash 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 and cleaning expert. Water and a microfiber cloth will clean windows more effectively than chemicals.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Sliding Door Tracks
Sliding glass door tracks probably aren't the first spots you'd think to clean, but you'll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season gets into full swing. Smallin suggests scrubbing the tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish with a wet sponge.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Overlooked Surfaces
You may overlook these surfaces on a daily basis, but once a year, give your baseboards, door frames, and walls a good thorough cleaning. Wash them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Deep-Clean Carpets
To maintain a new carpet's warranty, you may need to have it cleaned professionally every 12-18 months, Smallin says. Otherwise, you can do it yourself by renting a deep cleaner or buying a professional-style model designed for home use.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Clean Under Furniture & Appliances
Grab a partner and move your sofa and chairs, roll up area rugs, then vacuum the floors. Move your kitchen appliances away from the wall as much as you can. "In some cases you can pull them out enough that a vacuum hose will reach," Smallin says.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Freshen Furniture
Restore smooth leather with an upholstery cleaner and conditioner. Use a suede brush to perk up nubuck leather. For wood furniture, use Smallin's recipe to make your own all-natural cleaner and polish: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle; shake well and spray onto a microfiber cloth.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Refresh Window Treatments
Curtains and draperies aren't typically dirty enough to launder. Instead, go over them thoroughly with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. "To remove dust from sheer curtains, put them in the dryer on low with a fabric-softener sheet," Smallin says.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Dust Light Fixtures
Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust fixtures and bulbs you can reach. For ceiling fans, skip the ladder and use an extendable duster. To clean grimy bulbs, lightly dampen a cloth with vinegar and wipe. Caution: Be sure bulbs are cool to the touch and your hands are dry. Tackle light fixtures before cleaning the rest of the room, so any errant falling dust doesn't rain on your clean room parade.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Get Organized
Pick up and eliminate clutter in each room before you start cleaning. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by clutter, designate some organizing “power sessions” in your spring cleaning schedule. As you declutter, equip yourself with a few boxes for sorting: a box for garage sale items, another for items to donate, and a garbage bag for items to toss. Put away the things you are keeping in their rightful places and rooms.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Make a Wardrobe Transition
Storing what you aren’t currently wearing or using in a tucked away place will help streamline your closet and keep seasonal essentials at the forefront. Put away gloves, winter clothing items, and boots so you'll have plenty of space for spring clothing. Always label bins and boxes so you know where to find your winter gear next year.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos: Safety Inspection
Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Perform all required safety checks. If you don't own a fire extinguisher, purchase one. Learn how to use it, and keep it in the kitchen. You may also want to purchase one for your garage.
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Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips: Exterior Paint
Spring is the perfect time to freshen the face of your home with a new paint job. An updated color scheme can take your house from forgettable to the best on the block. The average exterior paint job lasts 10 years, so make sure it's done right. If your house doesn't require a full paint makeover, consider a touch-up, which can prolong the life of your siding and trim.
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Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips: Power Wash
Having your home's exterior and windows power-washed won't just make your home look sharp, it also will prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on grime. If you're not comfortable deciding whether your home's exterior can handle the force that pressure-washing nozzles exert, hire a professional to do the work.
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Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips: Gutter Maintenance
When you consider that your roof's drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water a year from your house's exterior and foundation walls, you can see why it merits a semi-annual inspection. Clean and repair gutters and downspouts every spring before heavy rains begin and late in autumn after leaves have fallen.
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Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips: Seasonal Change
Store seasonal items at the return of spring. Say goodbye to shovels, salt, scrapers, and other winter gear, and bring out garden tools and potting supplies. Also consider servicing your snowblower before storing it for spring.
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Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips: Outdoor Furniture
Clean and repair furniture for your deck, porch, or patio. Use outdoor spray enamel to touch up chips on painted outdoor furniture.
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Room-by-Room Cleaning Tips: Bedrooms
Devote a little bit of your spring cleaning efforts to giving every room in your home a thorough cleaning. In the bedroom, rotate and flip mattresses. Wash blankets and comforters, or take them to be cleaned. Wash mattress pads and bed skirts. Wash or dry-clean rugs. Clean pillows: send them to a professional cleaner, hang them outside in the fresh air, or freshen them with the air (no heat) cycle of your clothes dryer
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Room-by-Room Cleaning Tips: Bathrooms
You may scrub your bathroom every week, but now it's time to battle clutter and toss old and expired products. Go through your medicine cabinets and safely discard any outdated items. Replace worn bath mats, shower curtains, and liners, or wash and dry shower curtains and liners.
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Room-by-Room Cleaning Tips: Kitchen
In the kitchen, take time to declutter your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and drawers. Wipe them out and install fresh shelf paper. Store or donate equipment you don't use, such as small appliances or cookware. Discard stale spices or expired items. Clean the refrigerator and freezer. Vacuum the cooling coils under or behind your refrigerator.
Next Slideshow Cleaning Hacks to Add to Your Bag of Tricks
Cleaning Hacks to Add to Your Bag of TricksBe a better and faster cleaner with these clever ideas that use why-didn't-I-think-of-that tools and creative techniques that help take the work out of your chore list. So tuck these ideas into your bag of tricks and consider your home cleaning done.Begin Slideshow »