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30 Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Morgan McBrideApril 28, 2020

Spring is a perfect time to clean your castle. The sunlight is finally pouring in … and whew! It’s dirty in here. The change of season brings cleaning and organization to the forefront of your mind.

This isn’t a spring cleaning list for usual suspects in a weekly or monthly cleaning. These often-overlooked tips and tricks will make your home sparkle again.

Indoor Spring Cleaning Checklist

The inside of your home is a great place to start when spring cleaning, but it can be very overwhelming to know where to start. Use this checklist to identify the key areas of your home’s interior that might need a good cleaning.

Windows

Windows are one of the first things you see dirt on when it finally gets sunny, so it’s a must for your spring cleaning list. Fill a bucket with clean, cool water and a few drops of dish soap. Then, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows, top to bottom.

Finish with a vinegar and water spray. Don’t forget to wipe down the frames, too. Use a soft cloth to wipe off your blinds, and take down window treatments and run them through the washing machine if they are washable.

Ceiling Fans

Turning on ceiling fans that have gone unused for months can send dust particles scattering through the air and across your bedding and furniture, which is not what you want.

Put on a baseball cap (seriously!), and spray an old pillowcase with a vinegar and water mixture. Standing on a ladder, slip the pillowcase over each blade and pull back to remove the dust.

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher needs its own cleaning to perform to the best of its ability. To improve its efficiency, start by cleaning out the drain located in the bottom of the dishwasher.

With an empty dishwasher, place a cup of white vinegar in a container on the upper rack. Run through the hottest cycle. Finally, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run one more cycle.

Pantry

Spring is the perfect time to organize and reassess your pantry. Remove all items from the cabinets or shelves and wipe down the pantry area. Throw out anything expired or suspicious (onions growing hair, we’re looking at you).

Use a handheld vac to quickly clear the shelves of crumbs. Place multiple items of the same food together so you don’t lose track of things and make unnecessary purchases.

Washing Machine

Washing machines have a tendency to get grimy. You can run an empty load with 2 cups of white cleaning vinegar in lieu of detergent. Then, run a second empty load with 1/2 cup of baking soda in the drum. This will help eliminate odors.

While you’re at it, spray your surface cleaner of choice onto a soft rag and wipe down your machine. Wipe the top, sides, door and inside the lip of the door. Focus on areas that tend to collect moisture grow mildew.

Dryer Vents

The vents on your dryer should be cleaned once a year. Blockages in these vents can cause house fires, and spring is a perfect time to take the necessary safety precautions.

Home dryer cleaning kits are readily available with brushes designed for the task. The most important thing is to get all of the lint removed from the dryer itself before you move on to the venting.

Baseboards

Dirty baseboards can contribute to an overall look of neglect and shabbiness, even if everything else is clean. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt accumulates here.

Do your baseboards after you’ve finished the rest of your spring cleaning, as they tend to attract dirt from other housework. Scrub stray marks and dirt with dish soap and water. Finish with a dryer sheet to repel future dust.

Shower Curtains

It’s easy to overlook shower curtains, but, due to their proximity to water, they can really get gross over time. It’s important to clean them at least once a year to avoid build up.

Most shower curtains are washable, but check the label first. You definitely will want to wash the liner, too. Remove the rings before washing and add half a cup of baking soda into the machine along with the curtains.

Wash on warm or hot for best results. Do not put a plastic shower curtain liner in the dryer, but instead hang back up to dry in place.

Carpet

Carpeting is comfortable but can get very dirty. It’s best to deep clean it at least once a year. First, vacuum as thoroughly as possible. Move furniture out of the way and try to cover each section from three directions to get all the dust up.

Next, you can create a DIY carpet spot cleaner. Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar and apply that to any stains. Allow to dry completely and then vacuum up.

Finally, for best results, use a steam cleaner for a final deep clean. You can rent these machines at many hardware and big box stores. Follow their directions exactly and let carpets dry completely before moving furniture back in place.

Tub And Shower Drains

Tub and shower drains have a tendency to get clogged over time. In order to avoid it becoming an issue, clean them out once a year, especially if they are used by someone with long or thick hair.

You might need to use a screwdriver to unscrew the drain cover. Then, stick in your finger (gloved if you prefer) and remove any hair or gunk blocking the pipe. This is nasty, but will immediately speed up the draining of your tub.

Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist

Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning of the interior of your home, it’s time to move outdoors. This checklist is a great place to get started in spring cleaning your yard.

Patio Furniture

This one is simple and fun! You need to get that outdoor furniture looking sharp for all of the great parties you’ll be hosting over the summer. Using dish soap and water, scrub each piece, and then use a hose to rinse them off.

If you have cushions with covers, remove them and run through the washing machine. Wipe down any tabletops, accessories and decor.

Gutters

Full gutters are a common source of basement leaks, so keeping them clean is vital. This one is not optional, folks!

Get a good extendable ladder. Wear long sleeves and gloves. Reach in and remove as much debris as you can, and finish by flushing water with the hose through the downspouts. Make sure all downspouts are pointing away from the home.

Garbage Cans

This is gross, no doubt. But you’ll feel awesome when you can check this item off your spring cleaning list. Chances are things will smell better, too! Hose all cans and bins down thoroughly. Then dump out the water, dry the cans, and spray them with disinfectant.

Trim Your Trees

The perfect time to trim trees is in the beginning of spring – just as new growth begins to grow in. Identify any dead branches and trim them away. You can also remove any branches that hang over or near the roof of your home, or branches that are not aesthetically pleasing or well placed.

Siding

Homes with vinyl siding need to be cleaned to look their best. Use a hose to spray and rinse off your home. You can create a mixture of 70% water to 30% white vinegar and rub that on with a cloth if mold or mildew is present.

You can also rent or borrow a pressure washer, but be sure to verify with the manufacturer of your siding before doing this – some do not advise using power washers.

Mailbox

Your mailbox is one of the first things that establishes your home’s curb appeal. Take a moment to give it a refresh. Use a soapy rag to thoroughly wipe down the inside and outside of the box as well as the post.

If there are stubborn stains, use a scrubby brush (but not anything with metal bristles) to loosen and wipe away the grime. If mold or mildew is present, use white cleaning vinegar to help kill it and keep it from returning.

Flower Beds

Before you start planting new spring flowers, take some time to clean up your flower beds. Pull any weeds growing in your current space. Use a tiller or your hands to loosen and break up the soil. Apply fresh soil and then plant your flowers. Finish off with a fresh layer of mulch, which will help your plants retain water.

Fire Pits

A fire pit can be a huge asset for any yard, but can also become really gross and messy. At least once a year, scoop out all of the ash and debris. You can even use a scrub brush to get it clean. Remove any grills or grates and clean them in your sink or with the hose.

Patio Or Deck

Patios and decks take a major beating from the elements. Take some time to get them clean. Use a pressure washer to clean them off and then inspect thoroughly for any damaged areas that may need repairs.

Grill

Jump into cookout season with a good-as-new grill. Clean out any old charcoal and dispose of it. If you have a gas grill, remove burners from the supply line and use a dry wire brush to remove any blockages to the burner’s gas ports.

Clean grates with a long-handled wire brush. Wipe the outside of the grill clean with a damp soapy cloth. If you have a fabric cover, consider giving it a run through the washing machine.

Other Spring Cleaning Tips

Want to do even more spring cleaning? Here are some additional ideas that you might not think of as part of your spring clean-up list.

Declutter Your Space

One of the best things that you can do for your home’s interior is to declutter. An organized home is generally more attractive than an overcrowded one. Decluttering also gives you a better idea of what you already own, so you are less likely to buy things that you don’t need. Decluttering trends like the KonMari Method can help make your home feel cleaner and less chaotic.

Swap Out Your Clothes

A change of season is a perfect time to do some serious closet pruning. Rotate your winter clothes out and move your relevant pieces to your closet sightline. Donate your stragglers that haven’t been worn in a while or that collection of bridesmaid gowns hiding in your closet.

Refresh Your Decor

Making updates (both big and small) to your home decor can make a significant difference when it comes to making your home feel fresh and renewed for spring. Focus on the room or space that you use the most and try to make a few small changes to make it more functional and beautiful. If you’re still feeling inspired, move on to more rooms!

Bring In New Plants

An easy way to bring life, style and that springtime feeling into your home is with plants. Houseplants not only add vibrance to your living space, they can also potentially help to purify the air in your home. If you want more than one plant, get a variety of styles – such as mixing tabletop pots, hanging plants, and potted trees for a layered, interesting look.

Swap Out Art

Have a frame that you’re tired of looking at? Swap out the photos or art inside to change the look of the space. You can also consider rearranging your hanging art and creating a gallery wall for a new look for a new season.

Rethink Your Lighting

Another great way to make a room feel lighter and ready for spring is by literally making it brighter. Assess the lighting in your space and aim for at least three different options. Overhead lighting, task lighting, table lamps, floor lamps and wall sconces are all options.

Clean Off A Surface

Many homes have a surface or two that becomes a dumping ground. Take this as an opportunity to clean it off and put everything away. Then develop a system to keep it from getting junky again and maintain your new, clean look.

Those Home Repairs You Have Been Putting Off

If there are repairs that need to be made to your home, this is the time to make them. Walk your property and make a list. Classify each item as something you can DIY or as a job that you need to hire out. To save money on specialized repairmen, consider asking neighbors if they need any similar work done – you might be able to negotiate a group discount.

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

Take a few minutes to get your cleaning supplies inventoried. Pull bottles that you have all over your house – all bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry, garage, or anywhere else – and put them in one pile. Throw away anything expired or questionably old. Trash or use any almost-empty bottles and put back only what you will really use going forward.

A New Coat Of Paint

A great way to make a home feel clean is with fresh paint. Be sure to get a sample of the color (or colors) that you like and test them on multiple walls. Paint spots next to any molding, flooring or unmovable objects. Check the samples out multiple times in morning, noon and nighttime lighting before committing to a color.

The Bottom Line

Spring cleaning can be super overwhelming to think about. The tips in this article should help you create a to do list that will keep you on-task and productive with your cleaning up. Be sure to keep reading for more of Rocket HomesSM Homeowner Tips.

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    Morgan McBride

    Morgan McBride is a DIY-lover and home decor enthusiast living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been blogging at CharlestonCrafted.com alongside her husband since 2012, where they empower their readers to craft their current home into their dream home through the power of DIY.