Winter’s almost over, and we’re ready to toss open our windows, let the fresh air in and—most importantly—get our homes and garages looking clean. RetailMeNot and Kelton Research find that 80 percent of us plan to spring-clean. Good work, people.
If you’re one of the four out of five, we’ve got advice from Nicole Heisey, the co-owner of Fancy Pants Cleaning Service. Heisey says Fancy Pants’ current clients are all about spring-cleaning, and it’s also the season in which her business get tons of calls from new clients. Sadly, Heisey can’t clean for all of us, so if you’re doing it yourself, she says that spring is the best time to clean windows—which our expert says everyone hates to do—under beds and behind headboards and furniture. She also suggests tackling whatever is dirtying your closets, oven and your heating and cooling vents.
If you want to get a clean routine going, here are Heisey’s suggestions on what to do when:
-Clean kitchen counters.
-Clean bathroom counters.
-Vacuum floors (should be done every three to four days depending on number of children and pets).
-Sanitize kitchen and bathroom floors.
Every other week:
-Clean toilets and showers.
-Dust all surfaces.
-Put a bleach-water solution on door handles—more often during the sick season.
-Vacuum ceilings for dust and cobwebs.
-Clean the inside of your microwave.
-Dust all baseboards and moldings.
-Dust ceiling fans.
Every three to sixth months:
-Reorganize and clean out closets and draws of unworn clothing and donate what you can.
-Clean windows and windowsills.
-Remove all sofa cushions. Vacuum pillows, fluff, replace pillows and vacuum entire sofa as well. If your cushion covers are removable, remove and wash the covers before replacing. If not, you may spot treat them for stains.
-Remove and clean all blinds and curtains. You can launder curtains, and dust and wipe blinds.
-Go through kitchen cabinets, trash anything old, and wipe off the shelves. This should also be done in the bathrooms.
-Empty refrigerator and clean the shelves, walls and drawers.
-De-clutter and get rid of anything you haven’t used in six months to a year.
DIY All-Purpose Soap
10 eco-friendly cleaning products we love
J.R. Watkins Orange Citrus Tub and Tile Cleaner ($4.11) at Home Depot
Clean bathroom surfaces, including ceramic tile, grout, chrome, fiberglass and porcelain, with this orange-scented, nontoxic and biodegradable spray-and-wipe cleaner.
Method Wood For Good Daily Clean Spray ($5.99) at Target
This is a nicely almond-scented, nontoxic, hypoallergenic wood cleanser that won’t damage even the fanciest of furniture!
Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, Free and Clear ($5.79) at Target
Long-lasting with a good foam, this unscented dish liquid made with plant-derived ingredients from the popular brand Seventh Generation contains a hypoallergenic and biodegradable formula. It won’t dry out your skin—no matter how many pots and pans you have to slog through.
Earth Friendly Products Ecos Ultra Magnolia & Lily Liquid Laundry Detergent ($22.80) at Amazon
This is a 100 percent natural detergent that contains coconut oil to soften your clothing without leaving behind a harsh residue that causes rashes against sensitive skin. The product has a sweet, subtle scent, contains no animal ingredients and is not tested on animals.
Mrs. Meyer’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner Lemon Verbena ($5.99) at Target
No, it still won’t make cleaning your toilet fun, but as the company says, this should make it “more bearable.” No chlorine, dyes or solvents are in this—just natural essential oils and plant-derived ingredients.
Honest 26-Ounce Multi-Surface Cleaner ($5.99) at Bed Bath & Beyond
A solid, all-around workhorse, Honest’s white grapefruit scented spray cleans counters, appliances, tabletops, and all sorts of other surfaces with its non-toxic, effective formula.
Zum Clean Sink and Surface Scrub ($8.77) at Vitacost
Sometimes you need the power of a scrubbing powder, and this VOC-free, ammonia-free, chemical-free, bleach-free powder is the jam. It really does the job!
Simple Green Naturals Glass and Surface Care ($3.98) at Home Depot
Ugh, those dreaded windows! Oh, well. At least there’s this nontoxic spray made with 100 percent naturally sourced ingredients available, so you’ll be seeing clear in no time.
Earth Friendly Non-Polluting Floor Kleener ($3.29) at Vitacost.com
Designed for laminate, hardwood, vinyl, linoleum, sealed stone, ceramic and porcelain, this non-polluting formula cleans without stripping, and then your kids and pets can safely play (and, um, eat) off the floor as soon as it dries.
Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Powder (2-pack for $14.39) at Amazon
Clean your dishes and silverware with a plant-based product that’s phosphate-free, biodegradable and safe for septic tanks.
Looking for sales on all things spring? Head to our spring deals page!