Hello, again, boys and girls. I hope you're still in Spring Cleaning mode. Last week I talked about getting rid of all your unwanted and unneeded "stuff" that is cluttering up your life. This week I'm going to talk about "deep cleaning" your home.
When it comes to any major cleaning job, I seem to work best when there is a certain order to getting things done. In most every case, once I do my initial "clean out", the next step for me is "deep cleaning". What exactly am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about all those things that you don't do in your every day cleaning routine. Those things that you dread and try to forget about. But once it's done, you feel so much better about things! So, roll up your sleeves. It's time to get your hands dirty.
There are a few different ways to go about this. First choice: you can do one room at a time, completely finishing one before moving to the next. Or Second choice: you can do one task at a time, completely finishing that particular task for the entire house before moving on to the next one. I personally prefer to work a room at a time to avoid getting side-tracked (which easily happens to me.).
Now. Once you have chosen your plan of attack, we can start from the top. Literally. The top is the place to start.
* Begin with ceilings. Vacuum or sweep down any cobwebs. If you have washable ceilings, such as wood, use a mop to clean them thoroughly. Now, light fixtures and fans. Come on, you know how much yuck accumulates on your fan blades. While you're here, replace any burned out light bulbs. And you may as well check your smoke alarms, too.
*Down a few inches to door trims and window sashes. This is a task that I try to do several times throughout the year. Whenever I am toting around a cleaning rag, I simply wipe the tops of my door and window trims off. All those tiny surfaces gather dust. Don't neglect them just because you can't see them. For those of you who aren't bothered by using chemicals, a diluted Clorox solution works wonders on white doors and trims (just remember to wear gloves). If not, grab up some Magic Erasers. They really are magic. Another tiny surface that makes a big impression is your switch plates and plug-in covers. There is nothing pretty about grimy switches.
*As for washing the windows....now is the perfect time to do it. But windows are a major job. If you are working a room at a time, go ahead and do the windows as you go. If not, you may want to reserve a separate day to do your windows, depending on how many you have. This is a great place to recycle newspapers, as they are pretty great for cleaning glass. Just wad them up and use like you would a paper towel. Another thing to keep in mind: are there any other chores that are going to dirty up your windows that you need to get done first? I always wait until after my pest control guy comes to do my spring spraying. Also, if you plan on pressure washing the outside of your house, hold off on the windows until afterwards.
*Now for bigger surface cleaning. Tops of cabinets. Top of the fridge. Shelves. Storage boxes. Etc. Etc. Don't make me tell you again. Don't shortcut! Take everything off of the surface. This is also where I get down to the nitty-gritty. Wipe down all those trinkets and things that also catch dust and grime. Especially in the kitchen (but there will be a special post just for the kitchen.). Perfume bottles. Toiletries in the bathroom. Appliances. Tops of books. And all other furniture. Always start from the top and work your way down.
*Baseboards. Let me just say that dirty baseboards can ruin the look of an otherwise pristine house. Not washing your baseboards is sort of like washing your car and neglecting to wash your wheels. It just looks bad. This is another place where Magic Erasers work like a charm. Once you scrub those babies clean, a little upkeep can go a long way. In the rooms that I mop (kitchen, bathrooms, laundry) I always catch the tops of my baseboards with my mop. It only adds seconds onto my regular mopping job, but makes a big difference. In other rooms, I simply use the brush attachment on my vacuum to do regular touch-ups.
*Don't forget your walls. Bumps and scratches and dirty fingerprints. Address the issue now. Clean any spots that can be cleaned and touch up any spots that are missing paint or stain.
From this point, I would like to do a room by room breakdown. Stay tuned for kitchen, bathroom, closet, work space and other more specified cleaning posts. (Can you tell that I'm rather enjoying this?) But before I go, I want to give you a few notes on cleaners and such.
~I adore Magic Erasers. And, as you can probably guess, the cheaper off-brand kind works just as well. However, they do leave a gritty, milky looking film behind. So, I always carry a damp rag around with me when using an Eraser to wipe the surface after scrubbing it. Works just fine.
~If your fiberglass tub is in really bad shape and regular cleaners don't seem to lay a hurtin' on it, try an S.O.S. pad. I know that sounds crazy, but it works. Just be easy with it. Don't go scrubbing like you are trying to remove the black plague.
~There is a plethora of new natural cleaning products on the market these days. I like Mrs. Jones Soapbox and Bon Ami products. But it's hard to beat a good old fashioned vinegar water solution. If you need some extra oomph, simply add a little bit of baking soda and lemon juice.
~I like to take blinds down and scrub them with a scrub brush and a multi purpose cleaner. This works best on a porch or patio with a garden hose handy. But you can also do it in the tub. Just let them soak a bit before scrubbing and then shower them off. The same process works great for window screens, too.
Happy Cleaning, dolls.