Spring Home Clean Up List

Spring cleaning is a time to breathe new life into your home. Use this comprehensive checklist to help get the job done.

Clean floors – Sweep or vacuum. Mop hardwood or tile floors for a fresh finish. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, and replace if necessary. Purge pantry, refrigerator and shelving – throw away expired items and organize what remains.

Clean the Windows

Clean windows are a sign of a healthy, well-maintained home. Streak-free windows let in more sunlight, which brightens and freshens interior rooms. And they also help reduce the amount of dust and dander in your home, especially before allergy season hits.

Use a cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove grime. Start at the top of a window and work your way down, swapping out the cleaner and microfiber cloth when necessary. Be sure to dry the windows immediately after cleaning to prevent streaks.

If you have huge picture windows, consider using a professional squeegee method called “the snake.” Begin in one upper corner and lower the squeegee horizontally across the window, then pull up to the opposite corner. Repeat the process on all sides of each window, then touch up the edges with a cloth.

How often you wash your windows will depend on the conditions in your area and your home. If you live in a damp forest, for example, or near the ocean where salt glazes windows, you may need to clean them more frequently.

Clean the Screens

After a long winter of keeping their doors and windows shut, window screens can become dirty and dusty. Luckily, it’s easy to keep them clean.

First, you’ll need to lay the screen flat on a surface and vacuum it using a brush attachment. You can also use a spray bottle of water and mild soap to scrub both sides of the screen. Then, rinse it off with a garden hose on a low pressure setting. Be sure to not use a power washer, as this can damage the screens.

You can also make your own homemade cleaning solution with a bucket of warm water and a few squirts of mild soap or vinegar. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before letting the screens dry. Once they are dry, you can re-install them in the window frames. You’ll love how much fresher the air will smell as a result! You can even add a few drops of essential oils for a more pleasant scent.

Clean the Light Fixtures

Light fixtures set the mood for each room in your home, but they can also collect dust and grime that dulls their luminosity. A little bit of regular cleaning can keep them clean, but a deep clean can eliminate grime and grit that cake on over time.

Wiping away dust is usually all that’s required, but stubborn or sticky grime may need a gentle solution like mild dish soap. You can test a small area for compatibility with your fixture’s finish before using any cleaner.

It’s also important to take precautions when working around electricity. Always turn off the switch to the fixture and unplug it from the power source (ideally at the breaker box), to prevent shocks and to avoid mixing electricity with cleaning solutions.

When you’re removing glass globes or shades, firmly support the piece by hand and remove the screws or clamps holding it in place with the other hand. Once you’re able to dump out loose dirt and dead bugs, you can use a mixture of warm water and soap to wash the fixture.

Clean the Toilet

There are few household chores more groan-inducing than cleaning the toilet, but it is one of the most important. Not only does it remove unsightly rings and stains, but regular toilet cleaning also eliminates harmful germs.

Start by coating the interior of your toilet bowl with a specialized cleaner, according to the instructions on your product. Then scrub away stubborn stains with your toilet brush.

Next, squirt the toilet tank lid and flush handle with disinfectant spray, making sure to get into the corners and cracks. Make sure you remove any fabric toilet lid covers and seat rugs, which are great places for microscopic splatters to hide.

After letting the cleaner sit for a minute, use a paper towel to wipe down the toilet’s exterior, including hard-to-reach spots like the back of the base and underside of the toilet seat. If you’re worried about your hands coming into contact with harsh chemicals, consider wearing rubber gloves. Just remember to sanitize them afterward to prevent the spread of germs. It is also a good idea to put your sanitizing supplies in a separate tote or bucket from your regular cleaning products, to avoid accidental mixing.

Clean the Bathroom Fan

A clean bathroom fan is essential to keeping the rest of your house smelling fresh and eliminating potential mold, mildew or rot problems. It’s a simple task that shouldn’t take up too much of your time, but it’s important to do regularly-about twice a year.

Before starting the cleaning process, you’ll want to make sure the fan is turned off at the circuit breaker for safety reasons. Once it’s off, you can remove the cover and wash it in a sink full of hot water and mild dish soap. Once you’re finished, rinse the cover and allow it to dry completely before re-attaching it to the fan.

Once you’re up on your stepladder, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush or crevice attachment or an electrostatic duster to dust off the fan blades and recessed housing. You can also use a can of compressed air or cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to get to any tough-to-reach spots. Don’t submerge the fan in water though, as this can cause electric shock when you plug it back in.