For many people, the annual spring clean takes place over several days; and in some cases, several weeks. This is because a lot of people are working longer hours and spending less time at home. If you’re one of those people, spring cleaning is probably something you either dread or avoid altogether.
But with a little planning and the right tools, you should be able to perform a reasonable spring clean on a single day off.
Create a speed cleaning caddy
Spring cleaning your entire home in a day is going to require speed, which is why you should have a caddy filled with everything you need — for every job. You should add the following items, as well as any specialist items your home requires.
- Microfibre cloths
- Paper towels
- Baking soda
- Bin bags
- Old toothbrushes
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Antibacterial wipes
- Wood polish
It’s also a good idea to have a powerful, bagless vacuum cleaner and a steam mop at your disposal — which will both help you to save time.
Make sure you’re free for the entire day, and that no one will be getting under your feet. Of course, any help you can enlist will help you get finished even faster. Gather together everything you need, and split it in two if you live in a two-storey home. Finish your preparations by quickly decluttering every room in the home. Throw anything for charity shops or car boot sales in bags, and place them outside or in your car.
Hit the bedrooms
Strip your bed before cleaning and deodorising your mattress. Quickly dust all of the surfaces, including walls, windowsills and ceilings. You might need to attach one of your microfibre cloths to a broom to dust at height — or use the appropriate attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
Empty your wardrobes and drawers, and give them a good clean — ensuring they’re completely dry before you return your clothes. Vacuum your carpets, and then check for stains. If your carpet is in need of a clean, you might be able to use your steam mop with the necessary attachment for the job. If you have hard floors, your steam mop will make light work of them.
Finish by vacuuming your curtains and blinds and putting fresh bedding on your bed.
Your living room and dining room are probably the cleanest, most organised rooms in your home, as they’re where you receive visitors. This means you should prioritise other rooms, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Nevertheless, there are a few essential jobs you will need to take care of.
- Dust ceilings, walls and coving
- Clean the windows and sills
- Dust all surfaces and possessions (including electrical appliances)
- Check for scuff marks on walls and skirting (how you deal with them depends on which paint or wallpaper you’re dealing with)
- Vacuum upholstery
- Vacuum curtains
- Vacuum floors
- Check for stains on your flooring — most can be tackled with baking soda and water
Your kitchen needs to be tackled appliance by appliance, and before you start cleaning walls, floors and surfaces. However, as you only have one day, you should only spend a lot of time on appliances that are in need of a deep clean.
Empty your fridge and wipe down all of the compartments and shelves with antibacterial wipes. Quickly wipe the exterior surfaces, and santise the handle. For now, leave your freezer, and schedule a day for defrosting and deep cleaning.
The other major appliances in your kitchen that should receive some attention are you oven and your hob. Both might need degreasing and cleaning thoroughly — for which there aren’t really any shortcuts. However, you can save time by covering all surfaces in a paste of baking soda and lemon juice. Leave it to break down the grease and food, and start cleaning cupboards, bins, small appliances, tables, chairs and worktops while you wait. Once you’re finished, you might be able to wipe the food and grease off your oven and hob with relative ease. Finish the kitchen by steam cleaning the floors.
Start by cleaning any grey or black grouting using baking soda, vinegar and an old toothbrush. Don’t clean all of the grouting, however, as you simply won’t have time. Then simply wipe all of your wall tiles down with multipurpose cleaner and a microfibre cloth.
Pour some toilet cleaner down your toilet and around the bowl, and leave it there to soak. Wipe down the cistern, the seat, the rim and the outside of the toilet with antibacterial wipes. Make sure you pay particular attention to the toilet seat hinges, and the area where the toilet meets the floor. Finish by flushing the toilet and wiping everything dry.
Spray your shower door with a solution of water and vinegar, as well as plug holes, taps and showerheads. If you have a curtain, simply replace it with a spare and throw the dirty one in the wash. Once your vinegar has had 30 minutes of contact time, wipe it away with a microfibre cloth. While you’re giving the vinegar some contact time, spray your sink, bathtub and shower tray with multipurpose cleaner, and wipe the surfaces dry with a fresh microfibre cloth.
If you notice and area of mould or mildew growth, you should be able to remove then with either a steam cleaner or a dedicated mould remover. Clean the windows and sills, and finish off by vacuuming and steam cleaning the floor.
Six or seven hours of solid cleaning isn’t a long time to perform a spring clean, but you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with planning, focus and elbow grease.