Spring is traditionally the time for deep cleaning, but with the start of a new year, I have been seized by a compulsion to get my house really clean. I say, if you’re in the mood and have the energy, then do it, regardless of the time of year. It may seem like a lot of work, but there is something so satisfying and relaxing about a freshly cleaned room. It makes my house so much more a joy to be in, and with the colder months still to come, I’m sure we’ll be stuck at home a lot.
Here are my tips for deep cleaning. I divide the job up into rooms and don’t try to accomplish it all in one day. That would be too exhausting. Usually, I start with the rooms that will be the biggest wins: the bathrooms and kitchen. Once those are done, move on to the living areas and bedrooms.
Start at the top and work your way downward. First, use a long dustmop or brush to knock down any cobwebs lurking in the corners of the ceiling. Use a microfiber duster or damp cloth to dust the tops of lights, ceiling fans and other fixtures, picture frames, and window sills.
Next, clear and clean every surface. Why not de-clutter as you go? Pack up for donation or storage anything that you no longer use or like. At the very least, make sure that everything has a place and that everything is in its place.
Here are the types of cleaners I use:
- A solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water in a spray bottle. This will clean almost anything. It is particularly useful for wiping down wood furniture and even cleaning wood floors, because it dries quickly, so the water is less likely to damage the wood.
- A solution of orange oil and water. I found orange oil for cleaning at my local co-op or natural foods store. You just need a small amount mixed in a spray bottle with water. This solution is good for cleaning counters, sinks and appliances. It will cut grease, and it also smells very nice.
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, for getting rid of stray marks.
If there is anything left after the surface clean, you probably have a tougher problem on your hands, most likely mildew or grease. I suggest a trip to the local hardware store for a targeted cleaner.
Next, remove all area rugs and portable things (trash cans, small pieces of furniture, etc.), and vacuum the floor to get up all the loose dirt. Then, get down on your hands and knees, and use a damp cloth to wipe down all baseboards, corners where dirt accumulates, and even walls if you spy spills or spatters on them. Once that is done, lightly spritz the floor with the vinegar and water solution, and run the mop over all.
If you have area rugs, consider having them cleaned or, if possible, wash in the washing machine. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, this may be a good time to call in the carpet cleaners.
That’s it! The pleasures of a freshly cleaned room can’t be overstated. I have found that since I have deep-cleaned my kitchen, it is much more pleasant to go in there to cook.
Happy new year, everyone!