Clean House

Clean House! - Showing you room by room plus Natural Cleaning Recipes and Easy Cleaning Tips!

First of all to do the job right, allow yourself plenty of time, you can't clean house deeply in a day.  We'll cover everything in every room along with tips like, how to clean an oven, kitchen cleaning tips, cleaning bathroom and you'll see how how easy cleaning with vinegar and other simple ingredients can be.

Again, this isn’t a one day job.  To really clean house, you'll find it could take a couple weeks of focused cleaning but it's so worth the commitment.   How do you take on such an overwhelming job?   How do you eat an elephant?   One bite at a time…..I like focusing on one room at a time.  To make it as easy as possible, I’ll guide you through each room.

I'll also offer easy ideas to welcome spring time into your home!   Let's get started and Clean House!


Day 1 Of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean your Entrance

spring porch

Your Entrance - Let’s start with the front, focusing on the outside and the entrance.   As they say, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, this goes for your home as well.  Treat the exterior like you do your interior, think of the colors, lighting, is it clean, inviting, does it say, this is a clean house?

On the outside, there’s nothing like taking the hose to the house and give it a good spray down including the overhanging areas, corners, the welcome mat, light fixtures, house numbers, anywhere and everywhere.  

After you’ve done this, how about your windows?   See window cleaner for tips and easy solution mix for cleaning your windows.  

Once you have your house and windows sparkling clean on the outside, you’re most likely done for one day but go get a note pad/pen and stand outside your front door for some Spring Time Tips....


Spring Time Tips

Take a good look at your front door.   Do you need to pick up a can of paint?  (I love a red door although I don’t have one) Do you have a Fall or Winter decoration that needs to come down?  New welcome mat?  New flowers/pots for spring time?  How about your porch light?  Does it need updated or painted?  How about your house numbers, are they easy to see? 

Make a list of what you need or want to freshen up your entrance.

If you’re lucky enough to have a front porch, take a good look at what you can do to clean and freshen up that porch.   If you don’t want to enjoy a glass of ice tea out there, what can you do to change that?    

Most of all, you want to make your guest comfortable when they walk up to your front door, it’s their first impression.   If money is tight and you’re not able to buy anything, that’s o.k., you can at least welcome your guest with a clean house, starting with the entrance.    You don’t want them tripping over a hose or dodging bird droppings (or worse yet, tracking in) only then to knock on a dirty door.   Set the expectation of a clean house on the other side of that door.



Day 2 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Entry & Living Room

entry

O.K., we’re inside now so let’s look at how to clean house, one room at a time.

Your Entry - You’ll want to clean the floor well, getting all the corners and baseboards, the best way to do this is on your hands and knees.  

Is there a light fixture that needs to come down and be cleaned?   Mirror, window, curtain, blinds, wall art, shelf?  

How about a good cleaning on the inside of the door, hand prints on the frame and around the door knob and elsewhere?   Just give it a good, close look and attack!! (see Homemade Cleaners  recipes to clean with vinegar and other simple ingredients)  If your entry is a breeze to clean, let’s keep going...a clean house should be your mission now!

Your living room – If you have carpet, you can rent a carpet cleaner if needed to give it a good cleaning after you’re finished with everything else.   Either way, you’ll want to clean under your furniture at this time, you’ll be surprised how dirty it can get under there!    Also use your vacuum on your couches & chairs, under the cushions and everywhere.   If you have leather, we have some great recipes, see: leather cleaning tips and recipes.  It’s also a good idea to take an attachment from your vacuum and vacuum well where the carpet meets the baseboards.   A lot of dust (maybe bugs) settle in that tough to get area.   While you’re down there, wipe your baseboards while you go.  

We all have different homes so you’ll need to give it a long careful look to not miss anything…..light fixtures, lamp and shades, ceiling fans, furniture, shelves, pictures, books, knick knacks? 

What I like to do is take down the light fixture and give it a good cleaning at the kitchen sink.  

Ceiling fan…yes, clean each blade on top and bottom along with any light fixture and the remaining fan.   If you can’t reach it or don’t have a step ladder to reach it, use the dusters with expandable handles.  You don't want to have a clean house but then have a layer of dust hanging over your blades.

Those expandable dusters can also be used to go up the walls in the corners to eliminate any webs and frames above doors/doorways.   Also, don’t forget any pictures.   You’ll want to dust the picture and the frames all around.

Curtains – Can they go in the washer or maybe by hand in a bath tub or a trip to the dry cleaners?  If not, maybe a good shaking outside?  Blinds?  A good damp cloth wiping both tops and bottoms will do the job along with the frame.  Or, if they are easy to remove, you can put them in the bathtub to clean. This is also a great time to clean the window, window sill and track.   Again, see window cleaner for window cleaning recipe and tips.  The best way to clean the sill and track is with a wet rag or sponge.   You may have to give it a few good rinses during the process.  (If it’s really gross, you can use your vacuum attachment first)    If it’s a nice day, open your windows and let that spring breeze freshen the air.

Now you should be left with your hard surfaces, depending on if they’re wood, glass or plastic, just make sure you clean very well with the appropriate cleaner.   For wood cleaner and polish recipes go to Furniture Polish.  For your non-wood items, try All Purpose Cleaner recipes.

Unless you have something else, you should be done with your entry and living room!

Spring Time Tips

If you’re wanting to get a spring/summer look but on a limited budget, look for little changes.   How about a new colorful rug inside the front door?  Maybe some bright, fresh decorative pillows for your living room?   Spring  flower arrangements?   Maybe some new frames for those tired pictures?   Maybe just remove those decorative fall items that are great and warm for the winter but not the look you want for the next six months or so.   Change your essential oils for a lighter spring feel.  (uses for essential oils)

Look around your home for things that would work in your living room to brighten it up.   Time to clean house, let's move on to the…….


Day 3 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Dining Room

table setting

In addition to everything we covered in the living room (I hate to be redundant) add a good cleaning on the chandelier or light fixture. 

A good wipe down to your table including the legs or pedestal and clean each chair individually.  

If you have a hutch, remove the shelf items, clean each shelf well, dust your items and return.  (I know, right now you just want to kill me!!)   Once it's complete and everything is sparkling clean, you'll be glad you took the time!

Spring Time Tips

Take a look at what you can do to brighten this room, maybe a lighter table runner, table cloth or place mats? 

A fresh spring flower or fruit arrangement, sea shells in an Apothecary jar?   Trading out your dark candles for lighter ones?  

Spring cleaning can be fun when you let your imagination run and make those little changes to brighten and freshen your rooms.


Day 4 of Clean House...
Kitchen Cleaning Tips

pretty kitchen

There's many kitchen cleaning tips, see what works best for you......

How to clean an oven - If you have a self- cleaning oven, you may want to wait until you’re out of the home or at bed time to set it.  

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, remove the racks and with a spray bottle filled with water, spray the inside of your cool oven until it’s wet on both sides and bottom.  Then sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda covering the sides and bottom well. 

Allow a few hours before wiping out the soda, it should bring the gunk with it.   You may want to spray a little more water if you think it’s to dry.   This also works well for cleaning the racks, a wet sponge with generous amount of baking soda, apply to the racks and let sit for a while before wiping clean.   If this process doesn't clean it 100%, you may need to repeat the steps but this is really the best way to to clean an oven without harsh chemicals.

While waiting for the soda to do it's magic, let’s hit the frig.

Refrigerator - One shelf at a time, remove the items,  discarding anything that has expired and wipe down anything that’s messy on the outside.   Wipe down the shelf and sides with clean soapy water and return clean, fresh items in their place. Repeat on each shelf.

Pull out drawers to wash out and wipe out the area below and around the drawers.   

Wipe down shelves in door and any sticky jars (that don’t need to be tossed) and organize.   Wipe down outside including the top and if you’re able to pull it out, unplug it, carefully vacuum the coils and clean the floor.  If you’re concerned about scratching your floor or messing up the water filter system, use your own judgment.  

Speaking of water filter, do you need to change the filter or order more?  Also, it's a good time to remove those expired coupons you may have hiding under magnets.  

The stove…..it’s hard to say since there’s several different types including gas, electric, open coil burners and glass top. After cleaning your stove, don't forget the hood!

Gas stove is pretty straight forward, lifting the burners out (clean in the sink with soapy water) and giving everything a good wipe down on top and under the burners.  

Open coil burners usually pull out easily so you can get underneath and wipe out spills.   Just be careful not to bend the electric prongs and don't allow them to get wet when you clean the coils.   

Glass Top - You have to treat this stove a little more gently.   I recommend Glass Stove Top for cleaning recipe and tips. 

Don't forget the toaster or toaster oven, cleaning out the crumbs (shake it upside down over the kitchen sink) and giving it a good wipe down inside and out as well.   I’m going to pretend you don’t have a microwave since I’m not a supporter.  (see microwave oven)

Cupboards, best to empty them completely, wipe them out and place everything back.  (good time for new liner if you’re so inclined)  Wipe down the outside of cupboards and the frames to remove dust and grime and finish with furniture polish if needed.    When cleaning the cupboard under the sink, it’s always good to have some sort of vinyl shelf paper to protect the wood if you ever have a water leak.   Have any sponges, scrubbers to toss and replace?   I like the dollar store for this, favorite is The Dollar Tree.

Drawers - Same as cupboards, take everything out and wipe clean, again….a good time to organize and make a list of items you need, discard anything you don’t.   

Coffee Pot - Does your coffee pot need to be cleaned with vinegar?   Empty any remaining coffee, clean the filter then add 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar.  (enough to fill the pot) and let it run through and sit for an hour or so, pour down your garbage disposal then clean the carafe well.

Garbage Disposal - Another trick is to mix half water, half white vinegar and pour into an ice cube tray.   Periodically add a couple cubes to the disposal and run – this will clean and freshen your disposal.  You can also dump a cup of baking soda down the disposal.  A gross but necessary deed is to (with the disposal OFF....I know..duh) wipe down the rubber gasket top and underneath to remove the yuck – use a paper towel spayed with vinegar. 

To clean the remaining sink shake your homemade comet (1 C baking soda & 1/4 C Borax) and either wipe down with a sponge, rag or if you have a lemon, cut in half and use the cut side down to scrub sink and remove marks.   The lemon is also great when finished to send down the disposal.

Dishwasher - When was the last time the food trap at the bottom was cleaned out?   Clean the bottom out and run the dishwasher empty with either a cup of baking soda or a cup of distilled white vinegar by dumping in the bottom of the dishwasher.  

Garbage Can - Do you have a garbage can that needs cleaning?  Depending on if it’s plastic (hot soapy water) scrub, rinse and let dry upside down outside or if it’s stainless steel, spray with vinegar and wipe clean.

Pantry -  Like your cupboards, it’s best to take everything off the shelves and wipe them down good.   Before putting things back, look at their expiration dates, is the syrup bottle sticky?  This is also a good time to take inventory of what you may need to add so have a pad and pen handy.  Consider stocking up on some pretty paper plates and napkins for those upcoming BBQ’s or some plastic cups for those Happy Hours or drop ins.  After you return everything to the shelves clean, updated and organized, make sure you clean the floor good, if you have to move things out, do it…..remember, this is a once a year cleaning.   Some have been shocked to find mouse droppings, dead bugs, dust bunnies, etc. so dig in and feel good about a job well done.

Armed with a sponge and all- purpose spray cleaner, hit those places that get a lot of use all around the kitchen.   Counter tops, (removing everything off the top) light switches, knobs, walls, doors/frames, miscellaneous appliance, window, phone........if you're going to really clean house, hit it all!!!

Floor - Your kitchen should be sparkling now with the exception of all the crumbs and spills on the floor.  Give the floor a good cleaning, hitting all the corners and if you have grout to clean, see  Grout Cleaner.

To keep your kitchen (and entire home) smelling clean and fresh visit Homemade Air Fresheners.

Spring Time Tips

Now, if you want to bring in that spring feel, new summer hand towels and dish cloths are inexpensive. 

Don’t forget a spring plant or herb in a fun, summery pot to add to your window sill or counter top.  

Some people have summer dishes, if that’s the case, time to bring them out and box up the winter ones.  

Put out that pretty salad bowl and fill it with some fresh fruit.  A few touches with a clean kitchen will brighten the room and say, Spring! 


Day 5 of Clean House...
 How to Spring Clean the Bedrooms

inviting bed

This sounds easy but there’s really a lot you can do.   Let's look at how to really clean a bedroom!  

Once the room is picked up, take a good look at what needs to be cleaned.   Most likely, you’ll have a window or two….follow the steps you did in the living room to clean the window, sill, tracks, curtains or blinds, etc. (is it a good time to open the window and let some fresh air in?) 

Use your vacuum attachment to go along the edges and wipe down the base boards.  Clean under your bed (vacuum or mop) if you have items under there, pull them out, dust them off and clean the floor – getting rid of that dust could get rid of that tickle in your nose.   

Flip and rotate your mattress – do you need a new mattress pad?   Do you have pictures that need a good wipe down, ceiling fan, lamps, lamp shades, bed frame and headboard, and other furniture? 

Do you have a dusty stack of books or magazine to toss or donate?

It’s also a great time to clean and organize your closet if you haven’t done so in a while.  

Divide what you have into 3 categories, keep, donate, garbage.   We all have those shoes or certain items that we know are just taking up space.  If you know you’re not going to wear them again but they’re in good condition, donate them.   If they’re falling apart, toss them. 

It’s also a good time to buy hangers if you need more for your skirts, pants, etc. to make your closet as user friendly and organized as possible.  In the long run, this will save you time and frustration.

Spring Time Tips

Now it’s time to take a good look at the room, when’s the last time you bought a new pillow?   Love your pillow and don’t want to part with it?   If you can, toss it in the washing machine.   

Think about some bright, cheerful decorative pillow(s) for your bed or if you have a lighter spread/duvet to change out.  

Again, little changes like a new  plant, can bring a refreshing change.   If you have more than one bedroom, attack each one at a time repeating the process….you’ll be glad you did.  


Day 6 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Bathrooms
&
Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

bathroom

When cleaning the bathroom, it's time to get the gloves out again!  

Cupboards, drawers and vanity empty them out.   Clean what items need to be cleaned, toss what needs to be tossed (do you really want that old lipstick or sunscreen that comes out like water?) and wipe down the shelf and drawers.  (make a note to buy shelf paper if you want, replacement items or anything to help you organize better.)  Now that you’re organized, let’s get cleaning!

Shower/tub – If you need to clean the tub free of scum, use the homemade Comet recipe (1 C Baking Soda, 1/4 C Borax) or one of the other bathroom cleaner recipes.  You can also use a spray bottle mixture of equals parts dish soap, water and white vinegar to spray on the shower/tub enclosure. (shake before using)  Allow a couple minutes then rinse.   If there’s a build-up, give it a good scrub before rinsing.   How about your shower head?   If there’s a build up of mineral deposits and the spray isn’t what it use to be…..heat distilled white vinegar until hot, (not boiling) pour into a bowl big enough to place your shower head in.   Allow to soak in the vinegar for a couple hours. OR You can tie a baggy of vinegar around it, leave it overnight and it should be good to go.....use the vinegar to clean your drain. Drain Cleaner

Commode/toilet/loo/latrine/porcelain throne – Typically you can use the homemade Comet or Homemade soft scrub for your toilets but for a tougher job I recommend the following.

1 C borax & ¼ C of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice.   Pour into the bowl and allow a few hours before scrubbing well and flush.   Make sure to give a good scrub everywhere!!

Sinks/counter tops –  You can use the basic bathroom cleaner or the homemade softscrub (bathroom cleaner recipes) removing everything from the counter top to give it a complete cleaning along with the sinks.  

Mirrorswindow cleaner recipe works great for mirrors as well.

Don’t forget your exhaust fan (pull down the cover and vacuum with attachment or duster) your drains (drain cleaner) then you should be ready to finish up with giving your floor a good scrubbing, especially around the toilet.    If you need to clean the grout, go to grout cleaner for helpful tips and natural recipes.

Spring Time Tips

Once you’re done, again take a good look at what you can do to make it function better for you....maybe an over the door hook rack for hanging towels or robes?  Anything to help you be more organized?

Maybe you just want to brighten it up.  New bright towels, shower curtain, bath mats or rugs?   How about a new soap dish or containers?    A picture, a mirror?  

If you’re on a tight budget, can you wash your shower curtain, sometimes that’s all you need to make it look new again.    Maybe bring something in from another room to add some fun….a pretty dish or cup from the kitchen for your cotton balls, toothbrush, etc.  A single silk flower in a pretty bud vase, anything decorative and useful is a plus!


Day 7 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Office /Den

organized office

Office/Den – Just like a bedroom or living room, you’re going to want to clean the windows, floors, baseboards and everything we’ve already covered.   So take a close look at your room and clean each and every item in there as you’ve done before in the other rooms.

It’s also a good time to organize your desk and files, shredding documents you no longer need.  You’ll feel much lighter and organized when finished!

There are some unique items found in most home offices that we have not covered.   I’d like to share some tips for cleaning your laptops, keyboards, monitors and touch screen devices.

How to clean your keyboard, monitor, touch screens, etc.  It’s most important to consider what it is you want to clean.    For example, LCD screens are delicate, so you need to be careful not to apply too much pressure on them, it can cause dead pixels. 

To clean a LCD screen, first turn off your monitor.  Using a dry microfiber cloth (preferred, if not, use a soft cloth or eye glass cleaning cloth but never anything like paper towel, tissue, etc. – it will scratch your monitor) gently wipe the screen.  If that doesn’t do the trick, mix even proportions of distilled water and white vinegar.  Apply to your cloth (do not spray on the monitor directly) and clean again with the moisten cloth.  This should do the trick! (Do not use Windex or any other cleaning products containing ammonia or alcohol)

To clean a Touch Screen Device, they’re not as delicate as the LCD so you can apply more pressure.   (they’re made to be touched after all – but still not overly heavy handed)  Again, moisten a soft microfiber cloth or some sort of soft cloth, avoiding once again, paper towels, tissues, etc.  Using the same solution.  (equal amounts of distilled water and white vinegar)  Be careful not to get your device too wet, it could damage the device.  (like your cell phone!)

To clean your keyboard.   First turn it off or unplug if it’s wired before you start.  You can either use compressed air to blow out the dust in between keys  or if you have a small attachment on your vacuum cleaner, that would work too.   As for the keys, rubbing alcohol applied to a cotton ball or Q-tip does a great job removing oil and grime.  

If you have a mouse, give it a cleaning as well with the water and vinegar solutions.  You can also use on your scanner flatbed to keep images clear, your printer, etc.   It’s always best to spray your soft cloth then wipe clean.

Doing the above periodically will help extend the use of your devices along with preventive care. 

These items are expensive and in many cases fragile so it’s important we don’t use the wrong cleaning solution that can cause serious damage. 

Spring Time Tips

Like all your other rooms, what can you do to brighten up this room?   Once you've removed the clutter, shredded old files, organized your files and drawers, think of anything you can add to your desk top or top of the file cabinet to help you be more organized or to make your room more attractive. 

New desk organizer or accessories? A fresh flower arrangement or plant?   A new picture or maybe a new frame for one of your favorite pictures?  How about a inspiring stencil you can add above your desk?  A fun, cheerful coffee/tea cup just for those special working moments.  A new reading light?  It's also a good room to add some essential oil to clear the mind.  See:  Homemade Air Fresheners

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Day 8 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Laundry Room

organized laundry room

Laundry Room –  Clean your washer and dryer inside and out real good.  If you can, try to get behind and under as well.  If you pull out your dryer, you may want to clean the vent and exhaust hose while you’re at it, especially if it hasn’t been done in awhile or never?   I recommend this site for step by step instructions  - http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Clothes-Dryer-Vent 

Finish with wiping down any shelves you may have, clearing out any old products, (making some new natural cleaning products? see homemade detergent  )  

Is there anything you can do to make the room work better for you?   A place to hang clothes to air dry, a new ironing board cover?   It’s probably your “go to” room for maintaining a clean house so make sure you’re well stocked.

Spring Time Tips

Most people ignore this room but you can make it fun and attractive with just a few changes.   After cleaning it and determining what you can do to make it more functional and user friendly.  Is there anything you can do to make it attractive too?   If you make homemade laundry soap or pre-laundry spray, you can buy attractive containers, maybe make your own special labels? 

Paint your shelves or use shelf paper?  Wallpaper or paint the room (it's small, shouldn't take much)  A place to hang a cute sign?  You can find some pertaining to laundry that are fun.  (Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. or online....)   Frame something of your own?  A fun rug?

This room can be fun and put you in a better mood for that laundry chore.


Day 9 of Clean House...
How to Spring Clean the Remaining Rooms

T.V. room/ game room/kitchenette/sun room/mud room/exercise room and any other room we missed,  You know how to spring clean now from all your other rooms.  You have the natural cleaning recipes and you've got your groove on.....keep going!!!

The all purpose cleaner and sponge is great for cleaning things like the remote, light switches and all those extra dirty places.  Also, don’t forget to change out your air filters and check on your smoke detectors

As you step back and look at each room objectively, remove the eyesores or at least organize them and if possible, replace them with spring items that will put a smile on your face.  Think of the suggestions we've used in all the previous rooms.

When you’re all finished (take a couple weeks if you need to!!) you’ll enjoy relaxing in your home and will be better prepared for those summer time visits!

Can you believe you’re done???  You have a clean house my friend!!!  

Have a drink of your choice and indulge in one of your guilty pleasures, you’ve earned it!!


Go To : Homemade Cleaners for great cleaning recipes

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