With everything coming back to life outside, it’s only natural to want a fresh start inside the house, too. To that end, we’ve created the single most important item for any successful spring cleaning — Truman’s Spring Cleaning Checklist! It’s chock-full of suggestions for tackling all those things in the home you don’t clean weekly or monthly.
Though we’ve tried to make our list at least semi-exhaustive, it shouldn’t leave you exhausted, because the amount of cleaning you do is, of course, totally up to you. If you don’t have time (or inclination) for something on the list, draw an arrow through it pointing to the future ----------> and you’ll still feel productive!
Before starting, it makes sense to declutter, so if you have time, go all-out Marie Kondo on those closets, shelves, etc. And don’t forget to consult Truman’s own Tips on Decluttering, while you’re at it! Also, if you have the space, put up an outdoor laundry line. Nothing says “spring cleaning” like sheets and linens billowing in the breeze!
And remember the pros’ No. 1 piece of advice: Start at the top. That’s what we’ve done here:
THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
Grab a vacuum or extendable duster and go from corner to corner. Ceiling fans are notorious dust-collectors. And don’t miss hanging and recessed lights.
Pull all the furniture away, remove all artwork and dust or wipe all frames and surfaces. Dust or vacuum walls. If you’re really inspired, put on a fresh coat of paint! Use Truman’s Everything And The Kitchen Sink on baseboards, moldings and light switches.
Window washing, inside and out, is at the core of spring cleaning. Truman’s Glass Cleaning Tips contains everything you need to know on the subject; here are the highlights: a bottle of Truman’s The Glass Is Always Cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Don’t forget the screens, either. Scrub each one with warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, then rinse.
Throw washable curtains in the washer and dryer or hang them on the line. Put drapes in the dryer on air dry for 10-15 minutes. Soak mini-blinds in the tub for an hour with a mild detergent and a little vinegar. Then hang or lay them out to dry. Dry-clean fabric shades, and for bamboo and other wooden blinds, stick to dusting.
With a clean, soft cloth, wipe the books you’ve decided to keep because they bring you joy and the shelves they go on.
For sofas and comfy chairs, take cushions outside and gently beat them. Vacuum entire piece of furniture. Assuming your dog hasn’t chewed it up, the vacuum’s crevice tool can get the lint and other gunk off trim and stitching.
(Want to get your kids involved? Bury a few pennies or quarters down in crevices and see how excited they are to find them!)
Refresh wood furniture with your favorite all-natural wood restorer. If you’re feeling energetic, apply paste wax, such as Butcher's wax, with a cotton rag. Let the wax dry and buff with a clean cloth.
Wipe off lamps and lampshades with a damp cloth, and use Truman’s Glass Is Always Cleaner on electronics.
Rugs and carpets
Take area rugs outside and beat the heck out of them. Rent or invest in a carpet cleaner (or a carpet-cleaning service!) for wall-to-wall carpeting. Send out oriental and other fine rugs for professional cleaning, or if time and climate permit, clean them yourself the old-fashioned way — outdoors, with gentle soap, lots of water and plenty of sunshine.
Use Truman’s Floors Truly (what else?) on “hardwood, bamboo, marble, ceramic tile, laminate, stone, linoleum, concrete and quarry tile.” That’s from our website, and that pretty much covers the floor field, don’t you think?
AND IN THIS ROOM...
In the old days, they used to hang bedding materials out a second-story window to air. Give it a try if you’re feeling retro, or just let them fluff in the dryer. Check manufacturers’ labels first. Vacuum and rotate your mattress.
As the famous poet Anonymous once wrote, “Yucky kitchen grease and grime, Always build up over time.” Use Everything And the Kitchen Sink liberally (or conservatively, if you prefer) to eliminate the gunk.
Place a large microwave-safe bowl with a cup of water and a cut-up lemon, lime, or orange, or several tablespoons of vinegar inside. Heat on high for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy, then cool for 15 minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe out the inside and outside with a sponge.
Run a couple of lemon rinds through your garbage disposal and follow with cold water for a fresh scent.
Use the self-cleaning function to get rid of baked-on spills, or place a warm, wet cloth and baking soda on top to soften them up, then scrub with a heavy-duty pad and wipe dry. (To avoid this chore in the future, lay a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the oven rack beneath whenever you bake to catch drips.)
This one’s easy: Take everything out and wipe it clean. Throw out that 2016 mustard and other expired items. Clean out the fridge and put everything back in. Then order carry-out.
Reusable grocery bags
Hey, these get dirty too! Throw ‘em in the washer.
While you’re in the kitchen, why not wash plastic toys in the dishwasher? Use a gentle cycle and skip the heated dry. Instead, give your kids a dish towel and let them earn their keep.
Most shower curtains can go through the washer and dryer safely. Check the label to make sure yours is one of them.
Assuming you’ve kept the tile grout clean throughout the year, spring is a great time to reseal it. (But if you haven’t, now’s a great time to clean it!)
Freshen it up by mixing 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar. It will foam and bubble. Let it stand for 15 minutes, then run hot tap water down for up to 30 seconds. This is especially good for drains that don’t see much action.
SAFETY FIRST — AND LAST
More than 15,000 fires start in home laundry rooms every year. While you’re probably cleaning your dryer's lint filter after every load, go after the lint that gets stuck deeper inside your machine with the crevice tool on your vacuum. Unplug dryer first.
Remember to change your smoke alarm batteries in spring and fall, and make sure they’re dust-free!
These tips not enough for you? Then check out all our other helpful cleaning suggestions at the Talk Dirty to Me Blog.