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Ultimate Spring-Cleaning Checklist to Give Your Home a Total Refresh



Spring is right around the corner, which means so is your home's annual deep clean. Not only is spring cleaning a great way to reset (that's what the season is all about!), but the yearly chore also gets rid of any accumulated dust and dander before allergy season reaches full swing. Cleaning your home from top to bottom may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable with our comprehensive checklist from Martha's Homekeeping Handbook, complete with advice from cleaning experts.

Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, create a realistic schedule and focus on one task at a time. You'll need several days for more involved projects, such as mopping floors and organizing closets, but in due time, you'll check everything off your list—and have a sparkling clean home by the end of it.


Restock Your Cleaning Supplies

Before starting your spring cleaning journey, you'll want to make sure you have all of the tools necessary to complete every task on your list. There are a handful of cleaning supplies you'll need, but your list will be largely dictated by your own personal cleaning methods. As a general guide, though, most spring cleaning kits should ensure they have the following:

  • Bucket

  • Clean microfiber cloths

  • Sponges

  • Reusable spray bottle

  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Duster

  • White distilled vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Dish soap

  • Vacuum

  • Mop


What to Clean in Every Room

There are some general cleaning tasks you should complete in every room of your house, from your attic all the way to your basement.

1. Clean Baseboards

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to clean your baseboards. "Although they're often overlooked, clean baseboards give your home the perfect finishing touch," says Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority. Baseboards can be easily cleaned with a vacuum with a bristled brush hose attachment to remove any dust; then, wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner.


2. Dust

No matter how much you try to prevent it, dust builds up in every room of the house. When dusting, work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings.

Don't forget to also dust your books and bookshelves. Take everything off the shelves, and brush them (along with the books) with a feather duster. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.


3. Vacuum

Go over all of your floors with a vacuum to get up any crumbs and loose dirt. "It's common to track the bacteria and dirt from your shoes across the carpet," says Stapf. "Not only can a buildup of grime break down your carpet fibers, but it can also harbor pollutants that may make you sick."


4. Mop

Although you likely already mop your floors regularly, it's a chore you should also add to your spring cleaning checklist. "Floors are one of the most exposed areas in our homes, which is why mopping them frequently is crucial in keeping your home clean" says Diane Amos, spokesperson for Pine Sol.


5. Shampoo Rugs

Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Oriental rugs, require professional cleaning.


6. Wipe Walls and Ceilings

Overtime our walls and ceilings build up with unwanted marks. To clean them, start by using a vacuum to remove dust. Next, tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won't mar the surface).


7. Reseal Grout Lines

The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer—it's best to apply it with a small foam brush.


8. Clean Upholstered Furnishings

Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum's upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.


9. Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware

Return dull knobs, hinges, and other metal finishes to their former glory with a quick polish. Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces, while pastes and creams are best for heavier work.


10. Wax Surfaces

Wipe wooden surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let the wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.

Additionally, vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.

How to Clean Blinds, Shades, and Curtains the Right Way


11. Clean Window Furnishings

Drapes, curtains, and blinds should also be tended to. "While we may not directly interact with them, curtains can accumulate dust and odors from around the home and need to be cleaned," says Stapf. "Give the curtains a little extra TLC once every season, but look at their material before throwing them in the washing machine. Some may need to be sent to the dry cleaners."


12. Wash Window Screens

Window screens get very dirty throughout the year. Clean them using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrubbing each screen with a brush. Once clean, rinse them thoroughly with water.


13. Clean Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are a hub for dust. "Your ceiling fan is a great place to start—just make sure you turn off the light bulb and let it cool before wiping them down," says Amos. "When it comes to your lamps, be sure to unplug those as it gives them time to cool off before starting the cleaning process."


14. Implement Fire Safety

Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year) and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.


Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Checklists

Now that you know which tasks are universal, add these room-by-room tasks to your master list.

Kitchen

Bathroom

  • Discard expired cosmetics and beauty products

  • Update first-aid kit

  • Deep clean shower

  • Wash bathmats

  • Deep clean toilet and sink

  • Wash towels and linens

  • Replace or wash shower liner

Bedroom

Home Office

  • Organize files

  • Clean computer

  • Organize office supplies

Outdoor Spaces

  • Scrub deck and patio

  • Wash driveway

  • Treat mildew

  • Check for damaged wires and connections on light fixtures

Utility Spaces

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