As warm weather starts to spread across the United States, people everywhere are opening up their windows to make their stale homes feel fresh and inviting. As you let in the fresh breezes and sunlight from the outdoors, you may start spotting all kinds of dust and dirt around your home. This is why many people start deep cleaning in the spring and early summer.
However, if you don’t start cleaning with a clear plan, you may find afterward that you missed major spots. When you have to keep going back to re-clean areas of your home, it can start the feel like you’re never going to be done cleaning. That’s where this guide comes in. Follow these household cleaning tips to spiff up the most important areas of your home and deep clean the areas that don’t get much TLC throughout the year.
Dust from Top to Bottom
Before we dive into cleaning specific rooms of the home, let’s talk about dusting. Almost every surface in every room in your home probably has dust on it. While it can be tedious to try to rid every inch of your home of dust, doing so can make your home look much cleaner. It can also help alleviate allergy symptoms that people in your home may have. With pollen counts rising as nature blooms again, allergy symptoms are hard enough to manage without the additional problems that dust can cause.
You have a few options for how you want to dust, including dry feather dusters, cleaning wipes, and microfiber cloths. Whenever possible, it’s better to dry-dust. Getting something wet with water or a cleaner can make it harder to get off of the surface rather than easier. If you need to get rid of fingerprints, try dampening a microfiber cloth with warm water.
When you start dusting, remember to start at the highest surfaces in the room and work your way down. This is one of the most important but most unknown household cleaning tips. Many people skip dusting the tops of furniture or the blades of ceiling fans, but the dust from there will inevitably fall off and sprinkle on the rest of the room’s surfaces that you’ve spent time cleaning. When you dust the highest surfaces, you’ll rid the room of dust and it will be dust-free for much longer. As you work your way down the surfaces of a room, remember to get every spot, including the undersides of shelves, handrails, picture frames, knickknacks, and television screens.
In the Bathroom
The bathroom is where you get yourself clean and ready for the day ahead, so ensuring that this room is sparkling and shiny is essential. It’s hard to feel completely clean in a room that isn’t clean itself. The bathroom also serves as a relaxing space for many people, where they can take calming baths or treat themselves to a cleansing face mask. It’s difficult to relax, though, in a grimy space.
The first of the household cleaning tips you’ll need to follow in the bathroom is to spray down your bathtub, sinks, and toilet bowl with a multi-purpose cleaner. Doing this first will allow the cleaner to break up any soap and oil that have accumulated. You can then circle back around to scrubbing down each surface later in your cleaning process. Remember to wipe down near the base of the toilet near the floor. This is where dust likes to gather and dribbles often land.
The next step to deep cleaning your bathroom is wiping down light fixtures, mirrors, and window treatments. Use a damp rag with a little vinegar to remove the build-up. Make sure you get any grime and gunk that is on the corners or around the edges of lighting fixtures and mirrors. If you have glass shower doors, be sure that you clear the soap scum and water spots off of them. Apply some warm distilled white vinegar to the spots, let it sit for about half an hour, reapply it if needed, sprinkle baking soda on top, and then gently scrub away the spots. One of the more secret household cleaning tips is that you can also remove buildup on glass shower doors with a slightly damp dryer sheet.
You’ve been focused on cleaning the surfaces of the bathroom, but now its time to look in the drawers and cabinets of the room. Over time, bathroom cabinets and drawers tend to get cluttered. Start by taking everything out of these spaces so that you can wipe them down and clear out any cobwebs that are there.
While you have a clear view of the underside of your bathroom sink, take this opportunity to check for any leaks in the plumbing down there. If you see any, be sure to contact a plumbing service to get them taken care of as quickly as possible. When you let leaks go on for too long, you start wasting money on your water bill and run the risk of water damage. Luckily, a residential plumber will likely be able to remedy any plumbing issues you have and get your bathroom in tip-top shape.
To finish off your deep clean of the bathroom, put any cloth curtains and bath mats in the washing machine. Check their care tags so that you wash them on the right cycle. You can likely dry them on low heat in the dryer, but take them out when they’re still a little damp and hang them in the bathroom to finish drying.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is probably a major part of your normal cleaning routine, so you may not need to do too much deep cleaning here. However, there are a few household cleaning tips that can help you get your kitchen cleaner than its ever been before.
Start your kitchen deep cleaning spree with cleaning out the fridge and freezer. Take everything out of them so that you can wipe off food debris and splatters from the shelves and inside walls. Remember to start at the top and work your way down. As you put your food back in the fridge, toss out anything past its expiration date. Wipe down the fronts of the fridge and freezer as well and disinfect the door handles.
Next, turn your attention to the sink. Use a disinfectant or bleach solution to kill any bacteria lurking inside your sink’s basin. This is especially important if you cook raw meat a lot, as the germs from it tend to end up in the sink. While you’re focused on the sink, take a look at the drains and plumbing system there. If your sink tends to get backed up, you may need to invest in drain cleaning for it. While there are DIY methods, it is often best to leave that to the professionals. They’ll use techniques that don’t harm your plumbing system and give you a sink that functions more efficiently.
The next area of your kitchen that needs some deep cleaning is the stove, oven, and microwave. Scrub down the stovetop, vent, and range hood with a mineral oil to get rid of the film. Then, use warm water and dish soap to remove the oil. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, you can make a DIY cleaner with baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar. Allow that to sit for a few minutes and then scrub at it with a sponge or non-abrasive brush. Round off your kitchen cleaning frenzy by cleaning out the microwaves. One of the best household cleaning tips for this is to mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a cup of water and microwave it on high for five minutes. The boiling solution will release a vapor that coats the food debris in the microwave, making it much easier to wipe off.
In the Laundry Room
Even though you use the laundry room to clean your clothes, many people forget to include laundry rooms in their list of spaces to deep clean. Start by wiping your laundry machines and countertops with a damp rag to remove dust and lint. Then, toss empty detergent bottles, loose dryer sheets, and any other outdated cleaning supplies or items in the trash. Organize your remaining supplies so that you can more easily access the items you need.
One of the best household cleaning tips is to sanitize your washing machine once a year. This can help remove any detergent that’s been building up or mold that started to grow. Use a vinegar solution or multi-purpose disinfectant to clean the rubber seal around the machine’s door and inside the dispensers. Run the washer on a self-cleaning cycle or with hot water and a little bleach if your machine doesn’t have self-cleaning capabilities.
Remember to clean your dryer’s lint trap filter and vent as well. Clogged dryer vents are a fire hazard and it is often best to have a professional clean out the vents and ducts for you. You can likely clean the lint trap yourself. While you should be removing lint from the lint trap after every load of laundry, you can still deep clean it once a year. Use a vacuum to get any lingering lint out of the trap and out of the space where it sits in the dryer.
While you’re in the laundry room, remember to clean off and take a look at any other appliances and systems in that room as well. Many laundry rooms also house the hot water heater and feature ductwork that connect to your home’s HVAC system. Be sure that your hot water heater is in good shape and that you clean off any vents for optimal functioning. As you’re thinking about the HVAC system, now is a good time to consider replacing any outdated filters or having a heating service professional do a check-up on the system. With regular maintenance, your system will last longer and run more efficiently.
In the Garage
From the laundry room, make your way into the garage for a deep cleaning session. Remember to follow one of the most ubiquitous household cleaning tips and declutter the space before you do anything else. This is the perfect opportunity to evaluate whether you really need every item in your garage. Toss broken equipment, old cleaners, half-finished projects, and anything else that doesn’t serve a purpose. Clean off any of the equipment you’re keeping, such as air compressors that woodworkers and craftsmen use. You can lengthen the life of items like this with regular cleaning and maintenance.
With the space cleared out, you can now sweep the garage flooring. Use a broom to sweep out leaves, dust, and mystery dirt or gunk that’s accumulated in the corners. By getting everything out now, your garage will stay cleaner for longer. Bring all of the items that you cleared out back in and start organizing them in a sensible way. Try to utilize the vertical space in your garage by investing in sturdy shelves or systems to hang items from the ceiling. This can help keep the floor space clear and uncluttered.
While you’re in the garage, remember to clean off any gunk or dirt on the garage doors. Be sure to get the outsides of the doors, which the whole world sees, as well as any unsightly stains on the inside. If your garage door is having issues opening or closing, take the time to call a garage door repair service. They can get your garage door functioning properly again and rid you of any troubles you’ve had with the system.
In the Outdoor Spaces
The outdoor spaces of your home need just as much attention as the indoor. One of the simplest household cleaning tips for the exterior is to spray down everything with a hose. Make sure to hit any patios, decks, porches, playground equipment, and lawn furniture. You can even rent or invest in a power washer to remove build-up on the side of the house and on decks for completely clean surfaces.
This is also the time of year you’ll want to clean out your gutters. As you remove the leaves and debris from your gutters, take a look at the state of your home’s roofing. Check for loose or broken shingles, leaks in the roof, and any indication of the gutters pulling away from the roof. If the roof is looking worn or you see any problem areas, you may need to contact a roofing service for repairs. It is important to get these repairs done sooner rather than later so that the overall condition of your roof doesn’t worsen.
There are a lot of areas in your home that need to be cleaned and this is not a comprehensive list. As you deep clean your home, keep in mind the important household cleaning tips, like clearing out clutter before you clean and going from the top down. By using these household cleaning tips, you can get your home sparkling by the time summer starts.