The science is clear. A clean house is good for your health, both physically and psychologically.
No matter how often you clean, every house needs a deep clean every so often and spring is one of the best times to get started. A deep clean means you clean the areas that you normally don’t get to on a daily or weekly basis. And what better way to start a great summer than a clean environment where you live. So, put on your old clothes and pull out your cleaning supplies and get started. These easy cleaning tips will help you make you and your house feel like new again.
1. Start Early and Clear some Space
Unless you are the lucky few that have a ton of storage, or enough disposable income to rent storage space, you can start by clearing the storage you have. Throw away, donate, or have a garage sale for all those items that you haven’t used in more than a year. If you have an emotional attachment to something, like that birdhouse in your basement you made with your 8-year old who is now in college, or that trophy you won from high school track, then take a picture and upload them to an archive of all your precious memories. Now you have room to put those items you really use while creating more room in your daily living space.
2. Recruit the Family
A family that cleans together, learns together. Cleaning the house can be a great bonding activity to get kids of all ages involved and help them understand what “adulting” is all about. Especially spring cleaning, when they can clearly see how dust and dirt can build-up over time. However, as many parents know, pulling kids away from their screens can be more exhausting than the cleaning itself. Try some tricks that have helped motivate children for generations. As Mary Poppins would say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Here are a few things you can try to make cleaning with kids more fun:
- Pump up the jams. Upbeat music and family cleaning go together like peanut butter and jelly. Your kids will sing and dance to a cleaner house.
- Assign age-appropriate tasks that can be completed in short increments of time, like 10-20 minutes depending on the age of your child. Nothing can kill the mood for a kid quicker than a job that looks too daunting from the start.
- Kids love to pretend. Harness that imagination and make cleaning into a game. The possibilities are limitless. For example, give them a bottle of CLR® Kitchen and Bath and a couple different color sponges and show them how the baseboards can be just like a race track. They can clean while they race. Show them how to clear the dirt from the racetrack.
- Have prizes and awards for each job well-done. Keep the fun and the momentum will keep your kids going.
- Most of all, have patience, it’s worth it. Cleaning builds character, and children with good character are more likely to develop good cleaning habits that last a lifetime.
3. Gather your supplies
Having all the proper cleaning materials on hand will save time and aggravation while you’re cleaning. Make an inventory of what you already have, and what you will need. Make sure your cleaning supplies are safe and highly-effective. Spring cleaning is a big job, you don’t want to use harsh chemicals or cleaners that you will need to spend a lot of time cleaning areas that you’ve already cleaned. Here’s a small list of our recommendations for a successful Spring cleaning:
- Broom, vacuum and fresh mop
- Large, heavy-duty garbage bags
- Large Bucket
- Household cleaning gloves
- Cleaning sponges and cleaning towels/rags
- Scrub bush
- Paper Towels
- Garage Broom
- Cleaning Products:
- CLR® Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover
- CLR® Bath & Kitchen Cleaner
- CLR® Mold & Mildew Stain Remover
- CLR® Stainless Steel Cleaner (if you have stainless steel appliances)
- CLR® Stone Cleaner (if you have stone countertops)
- CLR® Outdoor Furniture Cleaner
- CLR® BBQ Grill Cleaner
- CLR® Stain Magnet
4. Divide and Conquer
Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be scary or boring. Sure it’s a big project, but if you break it down one section at a time, it’s really not that bad. Your house doesn’t need to be perfect, just clean. In fact, it may actually be fun! Start with the inside, top floor then the main floor. That way you're not moving household items and cleaning supplies over areas you’ve already cleaned. Once the inside is complete, start on the outside, like deck furniture, grill and all that grime that builds over the long winter months in the garage. Cleaning your windows and screens will brighten your home all summer long. You can even start getting ready for summer fun by cleaning your outdoor furniture
INDOOR: Kitchen and Bathrooms
Mold. Mildew. Calcium. Lime. Rust. Yuck! These are just a few of the unwanted grime that can build-up over time in corners and around drains in tubs, sinks, tile, and toilets. Making them look like new doesn’t have to mean endless scrubbing. Here are some cleaners that you will need. All of these products are part of the EPA’s Safer Choice program for safer chemistry:
- CLR® Calcium Lime Rust Remover: A multi-use cleaner that dissolves hard water buildup caused by calcium and lime deposits. Also formulated to remove surface rust. Safe on all plumbing.
- CLR® Bath and Kitchen Cleaner: A multipurpose, multi-surface cleaner that quickly cuts through calcium, lime and hard water deposits, soap residue and dirt.
- CLR® Mold and Mildew: A bleach-free formula designed to quickly and easily remove tough mold and mildew surface stains from a variety of surfaces.
INDOOR: Stainless Steel and Granite Surfaces
Over time, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, stoves, and various types of countertops can become dull and lose their shine. You can remove residue and bring back their original brilliance while creating a protective barrier all in one step. Here are what you need:
- CLR® Stainless Steel Cleaner: Most stainless steel cleaners are oil-based, which attracts dust that causes the marks to quickly return to stainless steel surfaces. CLR® Stainless Steel Cleaner is a water-based solution that leaves a streak-free, shiny protective barrier that repels fingerprints, dust, dirt, and grime.
- CLR® Stone Cleaner: For granite, marble, Corian®, tile and other smooth stone surfaces. It provides a streak-free shine. Safe to use, will not scratch. Removes food and grime with one step cleaning and protection.
OUTDOOR: Furniture and Grill
Warmer weather means outdoor get-togethers with friends and family. Make sure the furniture is clean and the grill is ready to go.
- CLR® Outdoor Furniture Cleaner: A specially formulated solution to remove outdoor dirt and grime quickly and easily from resin, plastic, rattan, wicker, wood, wrought iron, vinyl, PVC, and canvas. Safe to use on all outdoor furniture including cushions, awnings, children’s play equipment and more. Its non-abrasive formula contains UV protectants to shield outdoor furniture from fading and discoloration.
- CLR® BBQ Grill Cleaner: Cuts through baked on food, grease and grime on your outdoor cooking equipmentincluding stainless steel, steel and porcelain enamel. For use on both the inside and outside of your grill, smoker or deep fryer. It is also biodegradable, non-toxic and non-flammable.
INDOOR or OUTDOOR: Removing Old Stains
When cleaning, you may come across an old stain on a wall or corner of a carpet that you didn’t notice before. If so, make sure you have a powerful, yet safe cleaning solution on hand to remove it without too much time or effort.
- CLR® Stain Magnet: Removes tough stains and spots from nail polish, lipstick, paint, shoe polish, oil, red wine, ink, crayon, permanent markers, and even pet stains. It’s safe on a wide variety of surfaces including painted walls, hardwood floors, baseboards, carpet, fabric, glass, metal, brick, concrete, marble, laminated countertops, fully cured and oil-based painted surfaces, hard plastics, automobile tires, wood, grout, and fiberglass. Part of the EPA’s Safer Choice program for safer chemistry.
5. Treat your self during and after the big clean
Turn up the music, listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook. Maybe even invite a friend to help, and in return, you help cleaning up their house. After your done, celebrate your accomplishment with family, friends, or just treat yourself to a night out and enjoy the feeling you will get coming home to a clean house.
Here are some how-to videos and articles for more information for specific cleaning tasks: