“We dream of having a clean house — but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning? We don’t have to dream about doing the work, because the work is always in our grasp; the dream, in this sense, is to attain the goal without doing the work.”
Spring is here! It’s a time of freshness and new life. I love it! However, not everything is as fresh as spring air. After being shut up for a cold, dark winter, any home can get a little musty. Thus, spring cleaning! It’s the perfect time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work cleaning up all those lonely corners of the house. But because cleaning the whole house feels like a BIG job, let’s break it down a little. We will go through the house room by room, and step by step, starting with spring cleaning your kitchen and dining room.
I can imagine right now you’re thinking, “But ALL that WORK! I don’t think I can do it!”
Take a deep breath.
You can do this. I will show you exactly what you need to do and we’ll do it together. So just take a minute to relax and think about how amazing you’ll feel when the job is done. Everything will be squeaky clean, AND by spring cleaning your home you will create a healthy and fresh environment for yourself and your family. That’s what you want right? You want to have a clean home, but it takes work.
And the work is worth the reward, so don’t get stuck here!
Just read along, and take each step as it comes. You will have your house clean and fresh in no time!
Before we get started we need to make sure you are fully equipped for spring cleaning your kitchen and dining room. Here’s what you need:
- Wash cloths/rags – You will need lots of rags to do lots of wiping. I prefer microfiber but really, you could cut up an old, ratty towel, and it would work fine.
- Stiff Bristle Brush – For those hard to reach places and tough grime.
- Scrubbing Pad
- Steel Wool
- Paper Towel
- Bucket – For your nice soapy water.
- Empty spray bottle – to be filled later
- Baking Soda – This is one of my all time favourite cleaning products! Make sure you have a whole box, because you very well may need it. Go here for more baking soda uses.
- White Vinegar – Also an excellent, multi-purpose cleaning product.
- Lemon Juice
- Dish Soap
- Peppermint Essential Oil – *optional* these are used for some DIY natural cleaning products we’ll be using later to clean.
Get to it!
Here we go! The kitchen is the first place I’d start to spring clean. While each room is important, I’d prioritize the kitchen because you’re working in there every day and there’s a lot that can get dirty when you’re working with food. I don’t know about you, but in my kitchen splashes and spills happen all the time. This is also one room with lots of cupboards and shelves, nooks and crannies, and once you’re done here, you’ve already tackled a big part of the spring cleaning. So enough talking. Let’s get down to business!
Note: It’s a good idea to “prepare” your fridge by eating as much food out of the fridge/freezer as possible. Since you’re going to be moving things out of it to clean, you want to make sure you won’t have anything getting ruined because it sat out too long.
Fill a bucket with hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and a ½ cup vinegar, then go through the fridge shelf by shelf, taking out the food, and washing the shelf/drawer. I’d go to the sink with them to get a really thorough clean, but you don’t need to. Make sure you wash the walls, floor, and ceiling of the fridge. Then, once the inside is clean, take your bristle brush and brush around the seal of the door. For the freezer, it’s a good idea to have it completely thawed and empty to get a really thorough clean. This will get rid of any frost build up that could get in the way of your cleaning. Once thawed, clean the freezer like you did the fridge.
Not done yet!
When the inside has been washed, take your cloth and start scrubbing the outside. If your fridge has marks that can’t be taken off with the cloth, grab your baking soda, sprinkle a pea size amount on the cloth, and scrub again. It may take some elbow grease, but that should help. If it still doesn’t come off, don’t worry too much. Some things are stained for life, but at least you know it’s clean now.
Use your soapy water and cloth to clean out the cupboards, drawers, and shelves, including the doors and handles. This can take a while, but you gotta just start on one side and knock ’em down one by one. Just get ‘er done! And don’t get intimidated when you get under the sink. Just clean it like anywhere else, and rinse your cloth out often. Be thorough. Wipe all sides and angles of the cabinets, inside and out. You’ll be SO satisfied with your job when you’re finished!
Are there water marks and grime all around the sink? No fear! If your sink is stainless steel then steel wool and vinegar are your best friends. A lot of the gunk around the faucet and water spots can be cleaned simply by scrubbing with the steel wool. If that isn’t quite doing it then plug the sink with equal parts water and white vinegar in there, soak a cloth with it, then lay the cloth over the tough spot and let it work its magic for 15-30 minutes. When you lift the cloth the water spots should be gone. If not, just scrub it again with the steel wool. Between the steel wool and vinegar, you should make your stainless steel sink shine!
If you have a porcelain sink, there is a solution for that too! Mix equal parts Cream of Tarter and Vinegar or equal parts of Cream of Tarter and Hydrogen Peroxide. Just mix and scrub.
There may be a lot of work with this one, but let’s hope there’s not too much! Do a once over on the outside with your soapy water and cloth. Pull out the stove from its place (if you can) and wash the sides too (it probably needs it!). If there are sticky spots or dried on stuff, take out the baking soda and sprinkle some on that spot and keep scrubbing. If they are still stubbornly sticking on, put some baking soda/water over the spot and let it soften the spot for 5-10 minutes then try again. And don’t worry, scrubbing with baking soda is safe on all types of stove tops. As long as you use a rag to scrub and not steel wool, you’ll be just fine.
To clean the oven you want to wait until the evening because you won’t be able to use it until tomorrow morning. Take out:
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
Put the baking soda in a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Be careful to mix the vinegar in slowly, or it will bubble over like your volcano project in grade school. *Ooops!* Once the vinegar is mixed in, then slowly whisk in the lemon juice too.
Once you have a paste of the mixture, take out the racks and spread the mixture all over the inside of the oven. Be generous here, because you want it to really work into that burnt junk. Have your garbage can close by because some of those crusties may start coming off already (yay!). Then just close the door and leave it for the night.
The next day when you get to the oven again you should have a nice baking soda crust in there. Put half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and spray generously all over to soften the crust, then wipe it down. You’ll have to do some scrubbing here, but just watch how clean you get that dirty oven! Mind you, it probably won’t be perfect, but the results will speak for themselves.
There are two steps to cleaning the dishwasher. Step 1 is getting out the hidden food gunk that is under your washer’s filter. Step 2 is a special self-cleaning wash cycle to freshen up your dishwasher. Follow Step 1 here.
Step 2) Put a dishwasher safe bowl in the dishwasher filled with white vinegar and run your washer on its hottest cycle. This dissolves/loosens mineral build up. Next sprinkle 2 cups of baking soda around the bottom of your washer and run a short cycle. The baking soda will freshen and scrub up the inside.
Wipe all the wall areas by the cabinets and counters. Take special care around the stove to get the grease cleaned off. Put a dab of dish washing soap on your scrubbing pad to get a thorough cleaning. If you have a tile back splash you’ll need to use the bristle brush to get in all the grooves.
Tables and Chairs
Once again, take your soapy water mixture and a cloth and wipe all over your table, or tables. Wash the legs and even the underside (who knows what you’ll find under there…). Wipe all wood/metal parts of your dining chairs. Take care to get into all the corners. If you have cloth on your chairs then simply vacuum them. If you find your chairs smelling musty, take one cup baking soda, mix it with 8-10 drops of peppermint oil (oil is optional) then sprinkle the mixture on your cushions and brush or rub it into the cushion. Leave for at least 4 hours and then vacuum the baking soda up. That is a surefire way to freshen up any upholstered or carpeted piece of furniture.
Floor, Walls, Ceiling
Sweep and mop the floor like normal, and take care to check on the corners and areas near the stove and counters. If you need to, take the scrubbing pad and some baking soda to really clean up. This is once a year spring cleaning, so really go at it! For the walls and ceiling, if you have a mop pad type mop, then this’ll be a breeze. If not, you can do it by hand easily enough. If you have a really high ceiling, well, maybe you can skip this part (or find a step ladder, if you’re really ambitious). Simply wash and scrub as you would anything else.
What do you do when all the work is done? Enjoy it! Take a deep breath and smell the freshness.
I know it looks like a lot of work now – and let’s not kid ourselves, it is work – but when you’re done spring cleaning your kitchen and dining room you will feel so victorious, so satisfied, and so accomplished, that you will not regret it. Don’t stress yourself out feeling like you have to do it in a day. Give yourself a week if you need.
Take it step by step. You won’t regret it!
For spring cleaning the rest of your home check out these posts:
For more homemaking inspiration check out the Homemaking Party.