The Ultimate Home Spring Cleaning Guide

Table of Contents

Got the urge to purge? It’s spring cleaning season, the perfect time to clear the clutter from your life!

Those empty boxes you never threw out after Christmas; the decorations and costumes from last year’s Halloween, your children’s old clothes, and all that junk in the garage isn’t gonna get rid of itself.  So, if you’ve finally decided to roll up your sleeves and get down to business, our spring cleaning guide covers everything you’ll need to know!

Save money and get amazing results with our step-by-step instructions, DIY cleaning tips, and strategies for preserving the life and appeal of your beloved home. If you’ve got tips to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!

You can also find more great tips and savings for all your homeowner needs right here at Fresh Home Guide!

Now let’s do this – and happy spring cleaning!

FHG Spring Cleaning Guide Table of Contents


  • Section 1: How To Clean Your Kitchen Appliances
  • Section 2: How To Clean Your Bathroom
  • Section 3: How To Clean Your Carpets, Floor Mats And Runners
  • Section 4: How To Clean Your Chandelier (Crystal or Glass)
  • Section 5: How To Clean Your Chimney and Fireplace
  • Section 6: How To Clean Your Curtains and Blinds
  • Section 7: How To Clean Your Windows
  • Section 8: How To Clean Your Floors
  • Section 9: How To Clean Your Garage
  • Section 10: How To Clean Your HVAC System

Section 1. How To Clean Your Kitchen Appliances

cleaning kitchen appliances

You use them everyday but they don’t always get the TLC they deserve. Household appliances have become indispensable to our way of life, and some can be pretty pricey. So why not extend the life of your appliances with a good spring cleaning!

In this section we’ll cover the basic kitchen appliances.

Let’s get started!

4 Stainless Steel Appliances Cleaning Methods:

  1. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove stubborn grease or grime build-up
  2. Vinegar and olive oil is another great alternative. Apply vinegar directly to the finish. Then, polish with oil and a cloth.
  3. Windex
  4. WD 40: Very effective but highly toxic. Keep away from food prep areas or wipe down thoroughly after spraying.

cleaning kitchen appliances

Tip: Avoid using oven cleaners, steel wool, hard tap water and bleach on your stainless steel. You can, however, easily purchase a stainless steel appliance cleaner at most hardware or department stores.

Microwave

Steps To Clean Your Microwave:

  1. Place a bowl of water in the microwave. Add lemon slices or several spoons of vinegar (apple or white).
  2. Turn your microwave on high until the mixture boils and steams.
  3. Cool for 5mn before opening.
  4. Remove the bowl and wipe down the interior with a sponge or damp cloth. And voila!
  5. Dip a damp sponge in a little baking soda and wipe the rubber gasket around the microwave door. A mixture of half vinegar, half water, will remove grease stains on the window.

Refrigerator

Steps To Clean Your Refrigerator:

  1. Remove all food and shelving.
  2. Use a mild dish washing soap, warm water, and a microfiber cloth to thoroughly cleanse the interior and exterior of your refrigerator.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on resistant or hardened stains. Let sit for a few minutes, then scrape or peel away firmly.
  4. Line your vegetable crisper with wax paper and paper towel

Tip: A small box of baking soda in your fridge will keep it odor-free. Clean spills immediately and remove moldy food from your fridge regularly.

Oven

clean oven in the kitchen

Steps To Clean Your Oven:

  1. Remove the baking racks/grills and soak them in hot soapy water to soften grime and grease build-up.
  2. Combine water and baking soda in an oven-safe bowl to form a paste-like mix.
  3. Cover the interior surfaces with the paste. Leave the remainder in the bowl, place the bowl in the oven and turn the temperature to 100 degrees C, or 212 degrees F.
  4. Let sit for 45 mn.
  5. Use a damp sponge to remove the paste layer inside the oven.
  6. Wipe the oven racks clean with a scrubbing pad, steel wool, or cloth.

Tips: Don’t mix baking soda with vinegar when cleaning your oven!  If you want to use vinegar, apply it after the initial cleaning as a spray to remove any residue left by the baking soda. Vinegar is much better for cleaning glass, and effectively neutralizes odors.


Section 2. How To Clean Your Bathroom

cleaning your bathroom

Let’s face it, your bathroom is one of the most intimate and unsanitary places in any household. A deep clean of all the surfaces and fixtures can help reduce the spread of germs. Bacteria easily spreads from the bathroom to other areas of the home. Households with pets or children, in particularly, will absolutely benefit from a good annual scrub down!

In this section, we’ll give you some DIY tips to make your bathroom sparkle.

Supplies you’ll need: Rubber gloves, disinfectant, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, bleach, microfiber cloth, scrubbing pad, white vinegar, baking soda, water, scrubbing brush

Medicine Cabinets and Shelving

First, you’ll want to get rid of all the clutter accumulating in your bathroom shelves and cabinet: used makeup, worn-out toothbrushes, razor blades, empty packages, etc.

Clearing space will give you room to really clean the areas of your bathroom where mildew, germs and bacteria love to hide.

Sink, Faucets, and Bathtub

Bleach-based cleaners and all-purpose cleaners are the most useful for cleaning the sinks, faucets, and bathtub thoroughly.

how to clean your sink

 A scouring pad can be used to remove hardened stains (toothpaste, dry soap). Use a damp cloth to remove stains on ceramic, wood, or tile caused by cosmetic and other products.

Shower Stalls and Mirrors

To clean shower doors and mirrors avoid using abrasive surfaces or bleach. Generic or brand name glass cleaners are highly effective. White vinegar is also a great, eco-friendly alternative.

Toilet

Rubber gloves, a good disinfectant spray or liquid along with a sturdy bowl scrubber is all you really need to clean your toilet. A pumice stone can remove hardened, unsightly rings in your bowl as well.  The pumice stone will naturally crumble so it’s easily disposed of after use.

natural pumice stone

Granulated liquid cleaners with antibacterial agents usually require some sitting time.  Be sure to allow for the required time so that your bowl is properly disinfected.

Last but not least, disinfectant wipes are a quick and easy way to clean the outside of your bowl as well as the tank, where germs and bacteria gather.

Tips

  • An old toothbrush, some baking soda and water can clean the tile grout and get between the tiles in your shower stall/bath.
  • Urine can easily drip and settle into the flooring around your bowl, particularly if you live with young boys.Don’t neglect to clean around the base of your toilet with disinfectant.
  • Consider looking at several storage options to help keep your bathroom organized and clutter-free as possible.

Section 3. How To Clean Your Carpets, Floor Mats, And Runners

cleaning your carpets

As the spring cleaning season gets underway, it’s the perfect time to take your carpet cleaning outdoors. Luckily, getting rid of foul odors and unseemly carpet stains is not as hard as you might think!

Ready to dive in? This section provides you with step-by-step directions for cleaning all your indoor carpeting the right way.

Depending on your budget and time constraints, you can rent, buy or hire a professional carpet cleaning service. On average, 1600 sq ft of carpet will cost $300 per cleaning if you hire a professional, which is the least labor intensive for you.

Whether you rent or buy a vacuum, you’ll need to purchase specially-formulated carpet shampoo. Initially, the cost of a rental is much cheaper than purchasing a vacuum (approx. $30/day at Walmart or Home Depot). Over time, however, owning a powerful vacuum cleaner will save you money.

Always be sure to follow the instructions outlined on the carpet shampoo product. Doing so will reduce the risk of damaging your carpet. With regular, annual washing, you’ll extend the life of your carpets.

Area Rugs: The Carpet Shampoo Method

If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, a dirty carpet or area rug is a magnet for all kinds of irritants. Sweat, food remains, hair, dead insects and trapped pollen are just some of the culprits lurking in your beloved indoor carpet.

Odors from pets, cooking, and the outdoors are also absorbed by porous fabrics. If you’re up to clean it yourself, here’s a simple step by step process.

Steps To Shampoo Your Carpet Outdoors

carpet cleaning

  1. Remove your area rug or carpet to a wide, open outdoor space. Don’t worry about laying down plastic or tarp to rest your carpet.on. The tarp will only keep your carpet soaking in its own dirt.
  2. Next, vacuum your carpet on both sides.
  3. Test your carpet shampoo on a small corner of your carpet before applying to your entire carpet. Carpet shampoos are formulated specifically for different fibres, so be sure that the carpet shampoo you purchase cleans the appropriate material.
  4. If there’s no discoloration or adverse effects, it’s time to rinse your carpet thoroughly on both sides with a garden hose.
  5. Apply shampoo liberally. Use a sturdy brush and firmly scrub. Rinse and repeat this step as often as necessary to remove stubborn stains such as coffee or wine.
  6. Remove the remaining shampoo and dirt with the vacuum.
  7. Always keep your rug damp while scrubbing to aid in loosening the dirt. This will reduce the need for excessive scrubbing, which can loosen and tear at the carpet fabric.
  8. After a thorough final rinse, drying your area rug will take considerable time.  Expect to take anywhere from one to three days to completely dry your carpet. Floor heaters can help, but they may pose a potential fire risk if left unattended for too long.
  9. A final vacuuming after your area rug is completely dry will help restore it to its original state.

Check out these helpful tips on how to keep your home smelling fresh and clean all year!

Floor Runners And Mats: The Carpet Powder Cleaner Method

carpet powder cleaning method

Cleaning your floor mats and runners is much less labor intensive and less costly than cleaning an area rug.

There are a number of carpet cleaning powder products available at most department stores. You simply sprinkle the dry powder detergent on the mat or runner. Add some water and scrub to lift the dirt. Let sit for approximately 15mn, then vacuum to remove the dirt and excess water.


Section 4. How To Clean Your Chandelier (Crystal or Glass)

cleaning your chandeliers

Want to restore the sparkle to your glass or crystal chandelier? It’s surprisingly simple to do yourself. Best of all, most of the supplies can be found in your home or purchased for under $10!

This brief section will show you step-by-step how to safely clean your precious chandelier. We’ve also got a couple of economical chandelier cleaning products you may find useful.

Of course, if you’re not confident handling expensive crystal or glass, you don’t have to attempt this alone. Professional chandelier cleaning services are out there, probably near you.

Supplies You’ll Need: step ladder, disposable gloves, drop cloth, mild dish washing soap, isopropyl alcohol, warm water

Steps To Cleaning Your Chandelier

cleaning your chandelier

  1. First carefully remove all glass or crystal, as well the bulbs (if required). Place them on a soft cloth or newspaper. Lay them out of the way on a shelf or other surface.
  2. Use a small step ladder to reach and easily remove/replace the bulbs and other pieces. Never spin or rotate your chandelier. Doing so risks loosening the fixture support to the ceiling. And remember to turn off the power before you begin!
  3. If the glass or crystal has become particularly grimy, soak the pieces in a bucket of warm, sudsy soap water for 2 – 3 mn. Then, rinse each piece off under running water, or use a damp lint-free cloth to hand rinse each piece. For crystal, use a solution of  1 part, water and 4 parts isopropyl alcohol (1:4)

Tips For Cleaning and Maintaining Your Chandelier:

  • Regular dusting can greatly reduce the build-up of dirt. When cleaning crystal or glass, use a pair of white gloves or lint-free gloves to avoid fingerprint stains.
  • Many chandeliers can be cleaned with the glass or crystal components still attached. This doesn’t provide as thorough a cleaning but is much faster.
  • Finally, avoid using ammonia-based sprays or solutions, which can wear away the finish on gold or silver trim, as well as the hooks holding the pieces in place.

Recommended Products

Brilliante Crystal Chandelier Cleaner

Upgradelights Spray on Chandelier Cleaner


Section 5. How To Clean Your Chimney And Fireplace

cleaning your chimneys and fireplace

In this section you’ll learn how to best clean your fireplace and chimney without blowing smoke through your entire home!

Ordinary fireplace and chimney soot is easy enough to remove. A build-up of creosote, on the other hand, requires a professional. You can literally save hundreds of dollars by regular cleaning your chimney, but if you’re not comfortable with heights, there are professional chimney cleaning services.

Steps To Spring Cleaning Your Fireplace

  1. First, you’ll definitely want to seal off the fireplace with poly sheeting and duct tape. Lay down a canvas tarp over the hearth to protect your interior.
  2. Then, attach a vacuum hose that runs from the fireplace to the outdoors. Be sure to close the windows and doors to prevent soot from returning into your home.
  3. Always clean your chimney from the top down. Use a safety harness and ladder to access the flue on your roof.
  4. For clay flue liners, use a metal bristle brush with handle extensions. If your flue liner is metal, however, use a plastic bristle brush with handle extensions. Turn your vacuum on to capture as much of the soot from the flue as possible.
  5. To clean the smoke box and sides of your fire chamber, use a long-handle brush. Use the noodle-brush to remove soot from the smoke shelf.

burning clean firewood

Tip: Dry wood provides a cleaner burn, which makes cleaning your chimney much easier. Burning wet wood often can leave residue and bacteria that requires special chemicals to remove. If burning wet wood, clean after every 50 uses. For dry wood, clean after every 70 uses.

You may also find our electric fireplace buying guide useful.


Section 6. How To Clean Your Curtains And Blinds

cleaning your curtains and blinds

What’s a thorough spring cleaning without including your curtains and windows? With the outdoors getting warmer you can air dry your curtains outside and give them a good wash.

Choose a cloudy, overcast day for this chore for the best results. cleaning liquids will dry and streak in the hot sun. Curtains should avoid direct sunlight to reduce color fading.

Scroll below to find the appropriate curtain fabric, and follow our simple directions to keep your curtains healthy and odor-free!

Delicate Fabric Curtains

Silk and other delicate fabrics should be hand-washed to avoid damage to your curtains. Using a mild detergent, soak your curtains in cold water for 15 -20mn. Gently ring excess water. Then, use a toothbrush to delicately remove any stubborn stains. Hang to dry.

Cotton Curtains

Machine-washable, but there is a risk of shrinking. Wash on the delicate cycle, or hand wash to avoid shrinkage. Hang to dry.

Synthetic Fabric Curtains

Light weight, synthetic fabric (e.g. rayon, polyester, acrylic) curtains can be machine-washed. You can also steam wash with a good quality steam cleaner. When using a steam cleaner, work from the top down. Avoid getting burned by steam and if you notice the fabric is getting wet, you’re probably too close with the steamer.

Shower Curtains

machine washing shower curtains

Machine-washable. Plastic shower curtains and liner can also be machine-washed on cold. Add a few towels to the wash load to minimize the risk of tearing the plastic during the spin cycle.

Blinds

Feather duster, all-purpose cleaner, wood cleaner, warm water, baking soda, microfibre cloth. Any or all of these will remove dust and grime from your blinds. If you dust your blinds daily, you’ll rarely need to include them in your spring cleaning routine.

Tip: Direct sunlight and heat on curtains can produce fading, discoloration, and even stains. Blinds are a better alternative for the rooms of your home that receive the most direct sunlight.


Section 7. How To Clean Your Windows

This spring, let the sunlight come tumbling in again! In this section we’ll cover how to clean your windows without leaving streaks behind.

cleaning your windows

Window surfaces can accumulate sticky layers of dust and dirt over time. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to clean your windows on an overcast day. Direct sunlight acting on the cleaning solution will leave streaks behind.

If you live in a multi-story home, you’ll need a ladder to reach the window exterior. Never do this alone.

A squeegee can be helpful, but it also creates a mess. Water drips down from the window to the floor, which means added work for you. Use the squeegee for the exteriors, particularly on large window surfaces.

Using a dry cloth, brush, or vacuum, remove any dirt build-up from the windows and ledges. Then, spray glass cleaner liberally. Alternatively, you can use a combination of warm water, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol (70% concentrate).  

DIY Glass Cleaning Solution

diy glass cleaning ingredients

  • ¼ cup of water
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of water

Window Spring Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid smoking indoors and keep your ventilation clear of any obstructions to ensure proper air circulation throughout your home.
  • While some people swear by it, newspaper is not always the best way to dry your windows. Instead, use a microfiber cloth that won’t leave lint or streaks behind.
  • If using a squeegee, wash horizontally on one side, vertically on the other. That way, you’ll be able to see clearly which side the streaks are on.

Section 8. How To Clean Your Floors

cleaning your floors

This is a rather long section on cleaning your floors, but you’ll be thankful. Any homeowner who’s invested in carpet installation knows how costly it can be. That’s why it’s important you do it right if you plan on cleaning your carpets on your own.

Carpeting is one way to extend the life and sheen of your floors, but be careful! Not all floors are created equal! Different types of flooring require different cleaning methods. Generic and brand name all-purpose floor cleaners are designed for use on most types, but you should always read the instructions to be sure.

Bleach, ammonia, and acidic liquids like vinegar can strip away the finish used to seal your flooring. This in turn will shorten the lifespan of your floors, exposing them to greater wear and tear.

And remember, always wear gloves when using cleaning solutions of any kind.

Different Types of Flooring And How To Clean Them

Bamboo Flooring: Similar to hardwood flooring, bamboo is even more delicate and prone to damage from nicks and scratches. Natural all-purpose cleaning solution and a damp mop wrung thoroughly should be used regularly.

bamboo floors

Cork Flooring: Cork is a highly absorbent, porous flooring that must be treated with care. A damp fabric cloth and home-made solution are best for cork flooring. Add a drop of dish soap to some warm water and ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle.  You can use a microfiber mop to clean and absorb the dirt. Clean up spills immediately and wash at least once a week.

cork flooring example

Linoleum: Apply a cleaning solution of hot water and dish soap with a spray bottle. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar. Use a damp microfiber mop to wipe and let air dry.

Laminate: Avoid getting water under the planks!  Use a damp mop to spot clean your laminate flooring, then vacuum. Don’t use polish on laminate either. Replace damaged tiles instead.

Hardwood Floors: There are two types of wood finishes: wax and polyurethane. Both are used to seal hardwood floors against water damage. In either case, avoid using vinegar-based solutions which will eat away at the finish. Instead, apply a damp mop and all-purpose cleaner evenly across the floor. If you’re dealing with wax, however, stick to sweeping, vacuuming and dust-mopping regularly.

Learn more here about how to choose the best hardwood vacuum cleaners.

Natural Stone: Whether it’s sealed or unsealed, natural stone flooring and vinegar don’t mix! Keep ammonia and bleach-based products off of your stone flooring as well. Hot water and a natural ph-neutral, non chelating cleaner work best on stone surfaces of any kind. Use a damp mop on sealed stone and a microfiber mop or deck scrub brush for unsealed stone flooring.

Vinyl: As with linoleum, use a spray bottle to apply a solution of vinegar, water and dish washing soap. For a real deep spring clean, follow up with a steamer to remove bacteria and stains from tile and grout.


Section 9. How To Clean Your Garage

cleaning your garage

So how much longer are you going to wait before you finally tackle your garage? Although among the most neglected part of any home, the garage is valuable real estate. It can provide additional storage space and rehearsal room, but it can also be fire hazard waiting to happen.

Unwanted critters are likely to make their home in your garage if it’s neglected and unkempt. Regular cleaning will reveal potential risks and infestations that can cost thousands of dollars in damage.

Cleaning your garage is labor intensive, but rewarding. Don’t expect to complete this job in 1 day. Plan to finish the job in stages with the right tools.

Supplies You’ll Need: cat litter, hose, sponge mop, bleach, wire scrub brush, all-purpose cleaner

With that in mind, here’s a plan of attack for clearing out and organizing your garage:

Steps To Spring Clean Your Garage

cleaning a garage floor

  1. Clear your garage of everything.
  2. Organize items into those you will keep, those you will discard, and those you will donate/sell/give away. Be sure you have enough boxes and storage for this task. You may even want to buy storage units after you’ve cleared the garage.
  3. Clean garage walls with a sponge mop and all-purpose cleaner.
  4. Use diluted bleach or vinegar and water to remove mold and stains on surfaces
  5. Apply dish soap and cat litter directly on to motor oil stains. Scrub with a wire brush.
  6. Mop the garage floor with hot water and a damp mop. Air dry or use a floor fan to expedite the process.

Once you’ve covered these 6 basic steps, re-organizing your garage should actually be fun. Bicycle mounts, tire racks, wall hooks, shelving, cabinets and many other options are available to help you organize your garage.

Tip: Avoid storing cardboard boxes and paper in your garage. These are not only a fire hazard but absorb moisture easily, which in turn breeds insects. Keep recycling bins sealed and garbage sealed.


Section 10. How To Clean Your HVAC System

cleaning your hvac

Dirty filters restrict airflow from your furnace to your ventilation ducts. This can cause your filter fan to overheat, greatly reducing the lifespan of your furnace, and costing you money!

Spring cleaning your air vents and furnace filter will preserve the life of your furnace and save you thousands of dollars over time in heating costs. That being said, you’re better off hiring a local professional HVAC service if you’re not confident in your ability to do a thorough job.  

Supplies you’ll need: Paper towels, heavy-duty or household vacuum, screw driver, hard-bristle brush, new furnace filter

Follow our 8-step process below to keep the air circulation in your home flowing smoothly.

How To Spring Clean Your Air Ducts

  1. Using paper towels, cover the air registers to seal off and prevent dust blowing through your home. Air registers can typically be found in each room, supplying air circulation.
  2. Turn the HVAC fan on while you are cleaning the air ducts and registers . Make sure the heat/cool mode is shut off. If you don’t have a heat/cool switch, you can run the heat on the lowest setting, one room at a time.
  3. Use the handle of your brush to knock loose dust build-up within the air ducts. This should all get sucked up by the fan.
  4. Sweep out the dust from the air registers and vacuum. A sturdy paintbrush can be used to scour any stubborn dirt trapped in the air duct.The vacuum cleaner should catch all the dust debris blown out by the fan.
  5. Remove the return air filters with a screwdriver (phillips head or hex driver). Then brush out as much of the dust from the ventilation duct or cavity as possible.
  6. Once you’ve cleared the air ducts of dust, turn off the furnace filter and your fan.
  7. Now, it’s time to clean the furnace. Remove all the filter panels to access the blower compartment, fan, and return air boot.
  8. Replace the filters with new ones.

 replacing a dirty filter

Concerned about the air quality in your home? Check out our updated 2019 HEPA Air Purifiers Guide and find the right air purifier for you!

Tip: Accessing the main duct or trunk line will clean your HVAC system even more thoroughly. You’ll need to remove the end caps, and a flashlight to see into the duct. Removing the basement registers should also give you further access to the main duct’s interior.

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