Spring-cleaning cheat sheet: Tips, hints & tricks


Related Articles

CleaningSuppliesOne of the downsides to spring is the expectation of a massive house cleaning. And even though a good cleaning can lead to a good workout — and of course a clean house — we know there are probably other activities you’d rather pursue.

And just because you scrub your home every week doesn’t mean you should forgo this yearly ritual.

“Spring cleaning offers many households that opportunity to finally clean something that’s been neglected for way too long,” said Nancy Bock, SVP education of the American Cleaning Institute.


Spring cleaning by the numbers

According to ACI’s “2013 Spring Cleaning Survey,” the top spots people plan on targeting this spring are windows, blinds and curtains, clothing, closets and drawer, ceiling fans and carpets.

RubberGlovesThe survey, which was conducted by Echo Research, also asked the 1,777 respondents whether they or someone in their home spring cleans. According to the online survey, 72% partake every year, 8% say they spring clean every few years or less often, and 12% say they never spring clean.

Among those who do spring clean at one time or another (1,586 respondents), 76% concentrate on the bedroom, followed by the kitchen (73%), bathroom (69%) family room or den (61%), and the dining room (45%).

And thanks to the poor economy, 69% of respondents who spring clean have changed some of their habits. Most notably, they are buying less expensive cleaning products and cleaning more themselves rather than hiring a cleaning service.


SpongesPut a ‘spring’ in your cleaning

Spring cleaning may be the last thing on your wish list — and maybe  your pockets are not as deep as you’d like — but that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish a successful spring cleaning this year. ACI and Donna Duberg, germ expert at Saint Louis University, have a number of tips to help:

  • Follow the label on your cleaning products. In other words, don’t overdo it. This will help make your supplies last longer.  In addition, Duberg says if you use too many cleaners and don’t dilute them, you could inhale the fumes, which can affect your lungs. Make sure you keep the windows open while cleaning.
  • Try multipurpose products, which can clean a variety of surfaces.
  • Use refillable products. Many products comes in bulk sizes that come with a smaller, refillable version.
  • Make spring cleaning about clearing scum, mold and lime scale, says Duberg. If you regularly clean your house of dirt, your yearly spring cleaning won’t be as time-consuming.
  • Invest in some vinegar, suggests Duberg. If you mix it with water, vinegar “can do wonders for the surfaces.” Spray a mixture of one part white distilled vinegar and nine parts water for your bathtub or floor. Undiluted white distilled vinegar mixed with baking soda can be used to remove scum. “The fewer the cleaning products, the better,” says Duberg. “Vinegar is inexpensive, is not harmful to kids and pets, and always leaves a shine.”


For more tips, we scoured (get it?) the Web and found some of the best spring-cleaning advice:

If you’ve got too much clutter

Check out: Living Well Spending Less

The blog has a six-step program for the person who has too much junk lying around:

  1. Do an initial sweep.
  2. Clear out one area at a time.
  3. Ruthlessly purge.
  4. Get it OUT of your house.
  5. Work together.
  6. Stop bringing in more.


If you’re on a budget

Check out: BrightNest

Since spring cleaning can sometimes be a pricey endeavor (think cleaners, supplies, etc.), BrightNest offers five cost-conscious tips to keep your cleaning routine under budget:

  1. Make your own cleaners.
  2. Be a savvy shopper.
  3. Up-cycle.
  4. Conserve water.
  5. Invest in good tools.


If you’ve got a huge place to clean

Check out: The Happier Homemaker

Some of us lucky ones have a lot of rooms and space to go through during a good cleaning. Before you let your head spin, here’s a helpful, printable checklist — by room — to keep your spring cleaning organized.


If you want to clean green

Check out: Blissfully Domestic

If you hate using harsh chemicals to clean your home, this blog has 10 natural cleaners that you’ll probably already find lying around your home. Some tips include:

  • Clean a stained counter with lemon.
  • Fight mold with tea tree oil.
  • Remove carpet stains with vinegar.


If you have pets

Check out: Pet Sugar

Because your pets come with their own kinds of dirt and mess, Pet Sugar has got your guide for:

  1. Cleaning a pet-friendly home; and
  2. DIY pet-safe cleaners.