Spring Cleaning: Top Tips on ‘Refreshing’ Your Home


16 April 2018

a 6-minute read

Just as April is synonymous with showers, spring is synonymous with cleaning. But why do we associate this particular time of year with giving our house a good old scrub?

Spring Cleaning: A Potted History

The tradition of cleaning in spring is thought to stem from a few different customs and cultures. For example, the Iranian New Year falls in spring, and Iranians have long prepared for this time with the practise of ‘khooneh tekouni’ or ‘shaking the house’ – a deep cleaning session to get the home ready for the new year.

It’s also thought the tradition could have a religious background; both Catholic and Orthodox churches clean in preparation for Good Friday, while the Jewish festival of Passover also requires clearing the home of any leavened food, which is forbidden during the festival.

Spring cleaning has long been popular in colder countries for purely practical reasons, too. Throughout history, spring was the first time of the year when the weather was warm enough to throw open the windows and rid the house of all the dust and soot that would build up as a result of burning fires throughout winter.

Why Spring Clean Now?

Nowadays, with our central heating and robot vacuums, you might think spring cleaning is a thing of the past. However, the practice persists for a number of reasons.

Helps to tackle allergies

Spring is often known as allergy season due to the high pollen count triggered by plant regrowth. Any dust or mites in the home will only exacerbate these allergies, so a good spring clean will help allergy-sufferers feel healthier.

Increases productivity and decreases stress

It’s common knowledge that a clean space makes us feel less stressed, but having a spring clearout can also increase our productivity by reducing the amount of clutter we have to sift through whenever we want to find anything.

Makes you happy

According to a recent survey, a whopping 83% of people said that a clean home makes them happy, while 57% said that cleaning itself gives them a sense of satisfaction.

Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

If you’re ready to get spring cleaning, here’s a checklist that you can customise for your own home. This is a fab way to get organised and make sure no stone is left unturned (or uncleaned!). Working your way through the list will also help you feel the satisfaction that those 57% of people were talking about.

Bedrooms

[   ]   Dust
[   ]   Empty all drawers and wardrobes
[   ]   Set aside items to sell or donate
[   ]   Move the bed and clear/clean underneath
[   ]   Clean and/or flip mattress
[   ]   Dust again and wipe skirting/surfaces/light fittings etc
[   ]   Clean windows
[   ]   Hoover
[   ]   Clean/change bedding

Bathrooms

[   ]   Empty out and clean cupboards/shelves
[   ]   Recycle all used or unwanted toiletries/cosmetics
[   ]   Clean remaining bottles
[   ]   Declog plugs
[   ]   Clean bath and sink
[   ]   Clean toilet
[   ]   Wipe any tiles and regrout if necessary
[   ]   Clean windows
[   ]   Mop or hoover floor

Stairs/Hallways

[   ]   Clean light fittings/door knobs/skirtings
[   ]   Clear out and clean any shelving
[   ]   Empty coat/shoe cupboards
[   ]   Set aside items for sale or donation
[   ]   Hoover stairs and floors
[   ]   Hoover doormat

Living Room

[   ]   Clean out any storage
[   ]   Set aside items for sale or donation
[   ]   Remove sofa cushions and clean/hoover
[   ]   Wash cushion covers
[   ]   Dust and clean electronics
[   ]   Clean windows
[   ]   Clean light fittings/skirting/any wall marks
[   ]   Hoover

Dining Room

[   ]   Clean out any storage
[   ]   Set aside items for sale or donation
[   ]   Clean and polish dining table and chairs
[   ]   Wash chair covers and table linens
[   ]   Clean windows
[   ]   Clean light fittings/skirting/any wall marks
[   ]   Hoover

Kitchen

[   ]   Clear out and clean all storage
[   ]   Get rid of unused or unwanted food, crockery, pans, and utensils
[   ]   Organise and replace items
[   ]   Clean counters and chopping boards
[   ]   Clear out and clean fridge or freezer
[   ]   Throw away out-of-date items
[   ]   Clean the oven
[   ]   Clean hobs
[   ]   Clean microwave
[   ]   Clean sink
[   ]   Clean windows
[   ]   
Mop or hoover floor

cleaning

How do I clean my…

Some items are harder to spring clean than others. Here are some of the best tips we’ve collected from Good Housekeeping, Refinery 29, Cleanipedia, and House Beautiful to make things a little easier:

…Appliances?

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water, one chopped lemon and a few tablespoons of vinegar. Microwave on high until the mix boils and steams. Leave for 15 minutes to cool and then voila! Enjoy an easy wipe-clean microwave!
  • If you’re not a fan of toxic oven treatments, spray ammonia inside greasy ovens instead. Top with baking soda and white vinegar, let it bubble, then wipe clean.
  • Disinfect washing machines with white vinegar and baking soda too.
  • Treat your dishwasher to an empty run with a machine cleaner tablet to get rid of any gunk or smells.
  • A halved lemon placed at the top and bottom of your fridge will absorb any nasty odours.

…Furniture?

  • Baking soda isn’t just good for appliances; it can work wonders on upholstery too. Get rid of food and grease stains by leaving baking soda on for 20 minutes then scrubbing with a little washing up liquid and an old (clean) toothbrush.
  • Pet fur is a pain when it comes to cleaning sofas and armchairs. Instead of scrubbing away with the hoover for ages, simply pop on a pair of rubber gloves, wet them, and wipe away the hair!
  • Know your cleaning solutions: vinegar and water for coffee stains, sparkling water for red wine, ice cubes for blood stains, rubbing alcohol for pen marks, and vinegar and baking soda for pet ‘accidents’.

…Painted walls?

  • Remove dust and cobwebs first as these will be hard to tackle when wet.
  • If using water or a water-based solution to clean, make sure to cover or switch off light fittings, plug sockets and other electrical points to avoid damage and shocks.
  • Clean marks off latex-based paint with water and washing up liquid, or a small amount of white vinegar in water for stubborn stains.
  • Oil-based paints can be cleaned with mild degreasing solutions.
  • Always use a soft sponge and wipe gently to avoid doing any damage.

…Windows?

  • Always wash your windows when it’s cloudy. Direct or hot sunlight can dry your windows before you’ve had a chance to wipe them down properly, leaving marks and streaks.
  • Buffing your windows with old newspaper can leave them extra shiny – but make sure to test a small, inconspicuous corner first to make sure the newspaper isn’t scratching.

…Floors?

  • Floors should be the last thing you tackle during a spring clean as they’ll likely get dirty as you clean everything else.
  • Never use soapy solutions or polishes on laminate floors as they can leave a film that will make your floor look dull. Instead use a water/vinegar solution or acetone for stubborn marks, plus a soft cloth that won’t scratch.
  • Marks from vinyl flooring can be removed using a little white spirit but make sure you rinse it off thoroughly afterwards.
  • Avoid using a lot of water to clean wood floors as this can permeate the wood and make it swell.
  • Never use varnish on a waxed wooden floor as it won’t dry.
  • For marks and scuffs that just won’t lift, read our blog on floor repairs. However, if winter’s gritty boots and muddy paws have done too much damage, it might be time to consider new flooring.

And relax! All the hard work is done and you can now sit back and enjoy your newly clean home – congratulations!