The Green Spring Cleaning Guide

Happy Spring! Now that winter is officially over, many of us are using the increasingly warmer days and boosted energy to give our homes a good deep clean. After a long season of staying indoors and keeping windows closed, it’s the perfect time to freshen things up. Plus, I always feel lighter and calmer myself after the house has been scrubbed and everything in it’s place.

The best part about this guide is that all you need is vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and water. Not only will your home be clean and organized, it will be free of harsh chemicals.

Kitchen

  • Take everything out of the pantry, fridge, and freezer. Wipe down shelves with vinegar and water. Toss expired and yucky food and put things back in their proper places.
  • Toss broken or mismatched tupperware or any kitchen items.
  • Scrub the sink with a paste made of baking soda and water.
  • Run a few lemon wedges through the garbage disposal for a fresh scent and clean blades.
  • Give stainless steel pots and pans a new life by scrubbing with half a lemon sprinkled with salt.
  • Scrub the stove and backsplash with a vinegar and water solution. For stubborn grease, splatters, and cooked on food, use a paste of baking soda and a little water. Wipe clean with vinegar and water.
  • Wipe down cabinets and handles.
  • Letting vinegar sit on the faucet for about 20 minutes will help to rid of hard water buildup.
  • Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of trash cans.
  • Run an empty dishwasher with just vinegar to clean it out.
  • Follow the master oven cleaning recipe: Remove oven racks and wash separately. Make a paste of baking soda and water and coat the interior of the oven (really rub it in!) Let it sit overnight. Using a damp cloth, wipe out all of the baking soda. To remove extra baking soda and finish the cleaning, spray with vinegar and wipe away the remaining grime. Replace oven racks and enjoy a clean oven.

Bathrooms:

  • Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and use a rubber band to tie it over the shower head, making sure it is being soaked in the vinegar. Let sit for an hour or two before removing and cleaning the shower head.
  • Use vinegar and water on every surface in the bathroom: mirrors, floors, the base of the toilet. It will clean everything and get rid of any urine smell (useful for those of use with small children!)
  • Use a lemon to get rid of hard water stains on faucets and shower doors.
  • Baking soda will clean bathroom sinks, toilets, and tubs to it’s white glory without the bleach. Scrub with a paste and finish up with vinegar.
  • Wash floor mats and shower curtains. Plastic shower curtains can be cleaned with vinegar.
  • Spray vinegar onto bathroom tile, focusing on areas with mildew. Let sit before scrubbing away. For stubborn dirt and grime, scrub with a baking soda and water paste.
  • Unclog a bathroom drain by filling with vinegar and baking soda and finishing up with boiling water.
  • Toss expired makeup and beauty products (yes, they expire!). Also, let go of items that you don’t use (for example, that face creme that made you break out but you haven’t thrown away because it’s practically full).
  • Organize! Give everything a place and rejoice at the millions of bobby pins that will turn up.

Living room:

  • Return items from around the house that end up in the living room (clothes, toys, etc.)
  • Wash blankets and pillow covers.
  • Vacuum the couch cushions, don’t forget to vacuum underneath the cushions as well as the couch.
  • Return DVDs to their proper place. I highly recommend tossing plastic DVD covers and storing DVDs in a CD case instead, it saves so much room!
  • Wipe down blinds with vinegar and water. Launder curtains if they are machine washable.
  • Dust everything: Ceiling fan, shelves, knick-knacks, electronics, tables, pictures. Everything.
  • Move the furniture around so that you can vacuum or mop underneath those big items.

Bedroom:

  • Wash the comforter, duvet cover, and any decorative pillow covers.
  • Wash your pillows. Cotton or polyester fill pillows can usually be machine washed, check the manufacturers washing suggestions. Down pillows need to be hand-washed in the sink with a gentle detergent and pressed dry with a towel before being left to air dry.
  • Wipe down blinds with vinegar and water and wash any washable curtains.
  • Clean the windows with vinegar and water.
  • Dust everything: Ceiling fan, dressers, shelves, knick-knacks, electronics, tables, pictures.
  • Vacuum or mop under the bed.
  • Put away winter items (wash them first!) and take out clothing for warmer weather.
  • Less in more in the bedroom. Keep nightstands clear and keep only what you use in the bedroom. Everything else can find a different place. The bedroom will feel calmer.
  • Use the KonMari method: Take out all of your clothes. Go through them one item at a time. Keep what you love and let go of what you don’t (things that aren’t your style, don’t fit, or are falling apart). Donate items in good condition.

Kid’s Bedrooms and Playrooms:

  • Sort through their clothes. Pack away items that you are saving for another child or that can last through another winter season (wash them first!). Donate items you have no future use for. Toss any items that are beyond repair. Take out items for warmer weather and make a list of anything you need to buy for a growing kid (such as a bigger swimsuit or sandals in their size)!
  • Toss any broken or unsafe toys. Donate any toys that are in good condition but you don’t care to keep.
  • It helps to create a “rotating system” for toys. Only have a small amount of toys out at a time. After a few weeks, put those toys away and take out ones that were stored. A great way to engage kids with toys that “feel like new”.
  • Find missing pieces to toys and return things to their proper place.
  • Launder bedding and pillows.
  • Dust everything. Ceiling fan, shelves, toys, etc.
  • Wipe down blinds with vinegar and water and launder curtains.
  • Clean windows with vinegar and water.
  • Vacuum or mop under big furniture like the bed.

Dining Room:

  • Give the table a good wipe down with vinegar and water.
  • Vacuum cloth chairs or wipe down wooden ones.
  • Dust everything. Ceiling fan, shelves, decorative items, etc.
  • Launder cloth napkins and tablecloths before folding them nicely and putting them away.
  • To clean tarnished silver: Get an aluminum baking pan or use aluminum foil in a deep dish. Add baking soda. Put the silver in the pan, don’t let things overlap. Pour boiling water over the pieces and add in vinegar to create a reaction. Let sit for a few minutes. Remove with tongs and polish with a cloth.
  • Give the chandelier a good cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to make sure all good china is properly stored in padded and covered china containers.

Miscellaneous:

  • Wipe down the baseboards with vinegar and water.
  • Use a broom to grab and get rid of cobwebs and spiderwebs in high corners.
  • Reorganize closets and cabinets, only keeping what is necessary.
  • Change the filter for the a/c.
  • Sweep out the garage and put items in their proper places.
  • Put away winter items like sleds and snowboards. Take out warm weather items like bikes, beach toys, and umbrellas.

 

 

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