Spring Cleaning 101
As spring blooms around us, it’s the perfect time to give our homes a refresh. But if you’re not sure how or where to begin, we’re here to help. Read on for our spring cleaning 101 guide, so you can enjoy a clean, clutter-free home in time for the warmer weather. Each task is simple and speedy: just take it room by room or appliance by appliance.
Dust and vacuum
Image source: Real Simple
Catch cobwebs in the corners of your ceilings with a feather duster or broom, then sweep or vacuum the floors around them. Use the handheld attachment on your vacuum to clean soft furnishings, from rugs to pillows to sofas. Spritz away any lingering odours with one of our Signature Finishing Sprays - they’re non-toxic and suitable for all surfaces and fabrics.
Wash and polish
Wipe around your baseboards, and other dust-prone moulding, and again, vacuum the surrounding floor. Next dust your windowsills and frames, touching up any chipped paint around the sills. To wash your windows, dilute some dish soap in water, before wiping down with a clean microfibre cloth. Spray the glass with a solution of white vinegar, then dry with another clean towel. Be sure to wash your walls as well, especially those with marks or stains, again touching up any chipped or discoloured paint after washing.
Deep clean household appliances
Image source: The Spruce
Deep clean your appliances and utensils, including your washing machine. To clean your machine, simply run a hot service wash (60º C or higher) at a high temperature, with no clothes in the machine, and in place of your usual detergent add a large cup of white vinegar or lemon juice together with some baking soda to disinfect the tub. You can use a similar method to clean your drains: pour down boiling water, add some vinegar and baking soda, cover the drain with a plug for a few minutes, then follow with more boiling water. Schedule a plumber or electrician for anything that’s out of your depth.
Target kitchens and bathrooms
Deep clean your fridge and freezer by removing all shelves, racks and storage containers. Wash these in a large basin or tub, wipe down all surfaces and sides, throw out anything that’s gone off, then put everything back. If you come across anything you don’t plan on eating whose contents haven’t expired (like tins and cans), consider donating them to your local food bank. Clean your utility room and bathroom cabinets in a similar way, disposing of expired cleaning products and/or medication and replacing old brushes and sponges.
Organise wardrobes and cupboards
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After completely emptying them, give all your wardrobes and cupboards a proper deep clean, hoover and wipe down, using the crevice function to target corners. Then organise your items into piles: KEEP (items you’ll continue to wear at least 30 times); REPAIR (items which need some TLC); STORE (items you’ll set aside depending on the season); GIVE (items you’ll donate or sell). Organise the items you’re keeping in helpful categories (style, colour, occasion, season), make sure your seasonal items remain visible and easily accessible, while storing out-of-season items in vacuum bags or airtight containers (we love these ones from Lakeland). If you come across items which you can’t easily repair or give away (like odd, holey socks), consider repurposing them as cleaning rags.
Wash and refresh linens
Wash and refresh your sofa covers, cushion cases, table cloths, tea towels, rugs, mats, drapes, and any other linens around the house. Then wash your bed linens, including any mattress covers, duvet covers, pillowcases and pillow liners, throws blankets, towels, and even bathrobes. If you’ve got a guest room, strip the bed down to the mattress and wash all the linens - this is particularly important if your guest room hasn’t been used recently. For crisp white sheets and soft bright bedding, check out our helpful how-to guide.
Clear away clutter
Image source: Make Space
Organise odds and ends, like stray socks and other knick-knacks, as well as your laundry essentials, into easily accessible caddies, baskets and storage buckets (we particularly love this one from Garden Trading, which uses sustainable bamboo). They’ll not only look much tidier, but also be easier to move around the house. Turn your dirty laundry piles into a laundry lover’s dream by sorting them into labelled baskets (darks, lights, colours, delicates). We recommend wicker baskets when it comes to long-term storage (check out John Lewis’ Willow Round Laundry Basket from their ANYDAY range), as these will allow the air to circulate properly and so keep your fabrics as fresh as possible.
Purify the air
There’s nothing quite like natural fresh spring air, so leave your windows and doors open while you clean to keep your spaces as well-ventilated as possible. We also recommend investing in some air-purifying plants, which, according to NASA’s Clean Air Study, can detoxify your home from airborne toxins, dusts and germs found in common household products, materials and even furniture. The species you choose depends on the space you’re purifying. To reduce unwelcome whiffs in bathrooms, English Ivy works well, but to maximise oxygen in your bedroom and improve sleep, try the Snake Plant.
And why not make your spring cleaning earth-friendly by making your own chemical-free cleaners with natural household ingredients? They’re great for allergies, save money, help reduce plastic waste, and reduce both air and water pollution. After all, though spring is green, (traditional) spring cleaning isn’t. Check out our top tips below…
Top tips for spring cleaning without the chemicals
Image source: Your Home and Garden
TIP #1: Sprinkle surfaces like sinks with salt, then rub down lemon, or add lemon slices to a bowl of boiling water to create a natural dirt-defying cleaning solution.
TIP #2: For dirty marks on soft furnishings and carpets, sprinkle on some bicarbonate of soda, then spray with warm water and vacuum dry (add fragrance with essential oils). You can also use bicarbonate of soda to clean surfaces (such as inside your empty fridge, or when wiping down bathrooms). Simply mix about 2 tbsp with 4 cups of warm water.
TIP #3: Mix about 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with 4 cups of warm water, then use with a soft cloth to wipe down an empty fridge or surfaces in bathrooms.
TIP #4: Aside from cleaning windows and your washing machine, you can use white vinegar as a natural all-purpose cleaner. Simply mix 1 or 2 cups with 2 cups of water. To reduce the strong vinegar smell, try infusing the solution with lemon slices or a few drops of essential oil. We recommend making a batch and storing in an empty spray bottle.
TIP #5: Try polishing with a microfibre cloth - they’re a super natural, non-toxic way to clean. They’re also very easy to use, and work well even with just water.
With our 101 spring cleaning guide, you can enjoy a home that’s as bright and fresh as the spring itself, and create liveable and clutter-free spaces for you and your loved ones.
Cover image by My Cleaning Angel