It’s easy to find reasons to avoid doing household chores during the winter months. But when spring comes knocking, it’s time to face the inevitable.
A good spring clean of your home will take several days to complete, but the payoff is that you’ll breathe new life into your abode, and the whole place will feel fresher and healthier.
Does the scale of the job make you shudder? Fear not: our practical room-by-room guide will make it feel infinitely more manageable.
Next, move onto your bathrooms. Wipe down medicine cabinets, tiles and bench tops using an equal amount of vinegar and water solution. This mixture will also remove soap scum from the shower area. To remove stubborn stains from baths and showers, make a paste using baking soda and water. For any stains that still refuse to budge, omit the water and use a paste made of baking soda and vinegar instead.
To thoroughly clean the toilet, spray vinegar inside the bowl, sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes. When that time is up, scrub inside the bowl using your toilet brush. Wipe down the outside of the toilet with a vinegar and water solution. Wash bathroom rugs and decorative linens. Sweep and mop your bathroom floor. If there’s an odour coming from your drains, Jane West from Organising Solutions suggests pouring a cup of baking soda into the drain or sink, followed by two cups of white vinegar. “Let it bubble up and then sit for a few minutes. Flush with a kettle of boiling water to help kill bacteria.”
Kitchen and Living Room
In winter, the kitchen is the hub of your home – the place where the whole family gathers and the chef cooks hearty casseroles and warming winter bakes. This also means it ends up being one of the messiest rooms in the house.
To clean your stovetop, remove the grates and burner caps. Wipe with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. If this doesn’t remove the grime, West suggests making a paste of salt, white vinegar and baking soda. “Let it sit for a while and then clean your stovetop with a soft cloth in a circular motion. For stubborn stains, leave the paste overnight.” Once the stovetop is clean, it’s time to de-grease your range hood. Wash it with warm soapy water. If you can’t remove the grease from the metal filter, soak it overnight in hot soapy water with a cup of white vinegar. To make your oven sparkle, West suggests putting three tablespoons of baking soda in an empty spray bottle and filling it with water. Mix until the baking soda has dissolved. Spray and leave overnight. To freshen your microwave, place three tablespoons of baking soda and one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for a few minutes to remove odours.
To clean your dishwasher, remove the food trap in the bottom and wipe it down. Add vinegar or baking soda to your dishwasher and run it on empty to give it a good clean-out.
Now it’s time to attack your fridge. Fridges can harbour lots of bacteria and should be cleaned regularly. Start by removing everything from the shelves, then wipe surfaces with a mix of baking soda and warm water. Or, you can make your own sprayable, non-toxic fridge cleaner, says Girowal, by mixing two parts hot water, one part vinegar and some lemon essential oil, and putting the mix in a spray bottle. Spray the fridge and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping clean. Once this is done, wipe the exterior and clean the rubber door seal with warm soapy water.
In your living area, start by wiping down lights, ceiling fans, door frames, vents and skirting boards. Dust couches and chairs, electronic equipment, photo frames and lamps. If you have a carpet cleaning machine (that cleans carpet more deeply than a standard vacuum cleaner, and often offers both wet and dry cleaning options), use the upholstery attachment to clean soiled couches and chair surfaces.
Now it’s time to vacuum.
“Regular vacuuming can play a significant role in keeping your rugs clean, healthy and free of allergens and dust,” Girowal says. If your carpets or rugs are stained, it may be time to call in the professionals. Girowal suggests having your rugs professionally cleaned once every 12 months at a minimum.
“You can maintain their freshness in between by shaking them outside and leaving them there to soak up some of the sun’s cleansing rays,” he adds.
The biggest problem with kids’ playrooms is the amount of toys they accumulate – an overload of playthings is hard to keep organised, even in the most spacious of playrooms. Spring is the perfect time to do a major cull of any toys or books your children have outgrown. This will also make it easier for them to find the things they do enjoy playing with, and will make tidying up at the end of the day far less of a chore.
Once you have done a clear-out, fill a bowl with warm soapy water and wash remaining toys. Dust inside cupboards and toy boxes, and wipe outer surfaces with a damp cloth. Sweep and vacuum the floor.