Spring Deep Cleaning to Breathe Easy and Enjoy Your Home in 2023
So, it snowed the first two days of spring. La Niña has walloped us this year, dumping a lot more snow on us than we usually get.
While that will hopefully help us out with the summer drought, right now it’s a mess. The snowplows and salters have dumped a ton of chemicals on the road to keep them safe. This has also pushed a lot of road trash into the gutters and maybe even onto our lawns. Even if you’ve been careful, it’s likely you’ve walked a lot of crud into your home over the winter on your boots and shoes.
And just generally being indoors more has probably made your home a little, shall we say, lived in? That’s what spring cleaning is for. And this year, you’re going to need some deep cleaning, so let’s go over everything.
Spring 2023 Deep Cleaning List
The first thing to do is declutter. We accumulate stuff (technical term) as time goes by. Some of it’s nice stuff, some of it’s useful stuff, and some of it is Stuff We Don’t Need™. Clutter isn’t great for your mental health. It makes you feel cramped, claustrophobic, and like you don’t have control of your life. So, now is a good time to get rid of the excess. Yard sale, garage sale, donate it to the DI, whatever. If you don’t need it, get it out of the house. The rest you can organize. This will make a lot of space for you to move, so it’s easier to clean things out.
Your major appliances will need special cleaning to keep them in top condition. Please note that while these suggestions will work for the majority of appliances, refer to your owners manual first to see if there are any items you’ll need to avoid.
2. The Oven
The oven and the exhaust fan, specifically. As you cook, grease will build up inside as it splatters during cooking. This can lead to awful smells and can even shorten the lifespan of the oven overall. A lot of ovens these days are self-cleaning, which will use extremely high heat to completely incinerate baked in grease and residue. Others will have steam cleaning options that let you more easily wipe the grime away afterward.
If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, or if the grease is too much even for that (yes, that sometimes happens!), then you can make your own oven cleaner by mixing ½ a cup of baking soda with enough hot water to make a paste. Mix in the hot water slowly so you make sure you get the right consistency, then use a paint brush to spread it on the greasy interior. Don’t forget to clean the oven door and racks. Once the oven is coated, mix equal parts water and vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it onto the paste. The foaming action will slowly break down the grease. After the solution has sat for 12 hours, wipe it down with a wet sponge to get everything off.
Note, if your oven racks are made of aluminum, don’t use the baking soda paste on them, as it can corrode that metal. You can find a generic cleaner for them at most general stores.
Don’t forget to clean the exhaust fan above the oven, too. Unplug the exhaust fan so there are no accidents while working on it. Then remove the grease filter on the underside of the hood and place it into a pan, or other container. Mix water, baking soda, and dish soap into a pot and then heat it up boiling. Remove it from heat as soon as it boils and set aside a cup of it for cleaning other components. Dump the rest into the pan with the grease filter and let it sit for about half an hour. Then use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to scrub away the grease. If it doesn’t all come off, you may need to repeat the process with a fresh solution. Rinse the filter off and let it air dry completely.
Use the remaining solution to clean the other components of the exhaust fan. Do not spray, but use a wash cloth dampened by the solution. Avoid letting any liquid get on electrical components that may be exposed. Then wipe it down with a clean rag to dry it off. Allow it to air dry as well. Then replace the grease filter and plug it back in.
Keeping your dishwasher clean is important. If you don’t then your dishes won’t get fully cleaned and that can cause health issues. Deep cleaning it is a fairly simple process. Pour about a gallon of white distilled vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and let it sit for about 3 days. Newer dishwashers may not need a whole gallon. After that, run the dishwasher on the hottest and longest cycle to wash out everything. Then you can use a standard dishwasher cleaner to clean the sprayer arms, tub, and racks (may need to be done twice if the sprayers are clogged). Then use a solution of vinegar and warm water with a brush to clean the gasket and detergent dispenser. Finally, you can clean the silverware basket with regular dish soap.
4. Washing Machine
Deep cleaning your washing machine should also be fairly easy, though the steps are a bit different for top loading and side loading machines.
For top loading machines, start the machine on the hottest cycle and let it fill with water. Once it’s full, but before the proper spinning starts, pour in a quart of vinegar. Close the lid and let the machine cycle run for a minute before pausing it. Let the water sit for an hour to do its work. While that’s going on, clean the exterior. After an hour, resume the cycle and let it finish. Afterward, repeat these steps using baking soda instead of vinegar. Then wipe down the inside with a vinegar/water cleaning solution to make sure you get it all.
If it’s side-loading, you’ll want to pour the vinegar into the detergent, bleach, and fabric softener wells and run the cycle. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, add one cup of baking soda directly into the machine and run the cycle again. Then scrub the whole thing down with a vinegar/water solution. Clean the detergent, bleach, and fabric softener wells separately using the same solution. Then finish by cleaning the rubber gasket with vinegar and a rag or old toothbrush.
If you spot mold, or if this doesn’t get rid of the smell, you may need to do a bleach cleaning. The steps are basically the same as above, but with bleach. It’s very important that you rinse out any vinegar before doing this with water, however; bleach and vinegar create a toxic gas when they mix.
Note, it may also be a bad idea to use fabric softener in your washer. It can gum up the interior works, ruin certain kinds of clothes, and may actually be harmful to your skin and the environment. You shouldn’t really need fabric softener at all in most cases anyway, especially if you don’t over-dry your clothes in the dryer and finish the job by air drying. It’s possible vinegar could be a substitute. We’ve come across a lot of people saying this works. We’ve tried it and our clothes come out without any weird smells. Just make sure if you try it, you don’t mix it with bleach.
And speaking of the dryer:
5. The Dryer
Because the dryer gets really hot, a dirty dryer can be a fire hazard, so don’t neglect it. The first thing is to clean out the lint trap with a vacuum; inside, outside, and the lint catcher screen. Next, unplug the dryer so there’s no risk of accident while cleaning it. If it’s a gas dryer, close the valve. Vacuum out any debris from the drum. If it’s electric, wipe it down with a rag soaked in warm water and dish soap. For a gas dryer, use a non-flammable liquid cleaner instead. Then finish by wiping it out with a wet sponge or towel and run a load of clean towels to dry the drum.
You will also want to clean the dryer vent, as it will build up lint over time, especially if the vent is long, or has to go against gravity to vent hot air. This is something we can help you with as a part of our regular vent cleaning services if you want some help!
6. Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Remove the cover of your bathroom exhaust fan and use your vacuum’s hose to clear up the dust that’s been building up. If some dust is really stuck on, use a damp washcloth to wipe down any non-electrical parts. Also be sure to not leave the fan on overnight. If needed, get a timer switch or a sensor which can extend the life of the motor.
Get Rid of Dust
7. Start High and Move Down
You’ll want to go through your rooms one by one and dust and vacuum. To make the most of it, start by dusting the high stuff, like light fixtures, ceiling fans, and high shelves. That way, dust that escapes your cleaning rag falls to the floor, where it gets cleaned up as you move down. Some people have vacuum attachments to get the heavy stuff and then use a dust cleaner of their choice, there are so many options online to try out. See which fits best with your style.
In the kitchen, you’ll want to clean out the cabinets first. Remove things in them and clean them out one at a time before putting the stuff back in. Then pull back the fridge and clean behind and underneath it. Get behind other appliances, too. Finish it off with the floor. Just know that even the most obsessed cleaners still have build-up to clean regularly.
You can use regular bathroom cleaners to clean out your bathroom. We can personally vouch for Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. Empty out the toilet bowl, spray the cleaner on the sides and let it sit for an hour before you scrub it off with a brush. In some cases pumice stone sticks help get rid of hard water and other stains in toilet bowls which take a bit of scrubbing but can make your toilet look just about brand new.
Don’t forget to scrub out under the sink and in any drawers. And as always, finish with the floor.
Note – please be careful with DIY options online that combine chemicals, mixing chemicals can lead to bad fumes that can cause health problems
10. Other Rooms
Follow basically the same steps for your other rooms, moving furniture to get rid of all the dust. Using a step ladder to get the hard to reach areas helps prevent tired arms because the less your arms are over your head, the easier it is on your heart.
11. Carpet Cleaning
Once you’ve got your rooms clean, you’ll want to get a professional carpet cleaning job done. As we said in our last article, just vacuuming isn’t enough to get your carpets clean, as dust hardens and crystalizes as you walk on it, causing it to stick in the carpet fibers and damage them. You need special deep cleaning solutions to break that hardened dust up and suck it out. This, too, is a service we offer, so why not give us a call? We’ll see to it you can enjoy the feeling of walking barefoot on your carpets.
The Hidden Dust
Even with all that done, there’s still dust that you haven’t got rid of. This hidden dust can go unseen, but you’ll definitely feel it, especially if you have allergies.
12. Duct Cleaning
Your air ducts help circulate air in your house. With proper air filters, as most modern ductwork will have, they don’t get dirty too quickly, but dust can still accumulate inside. Not to mention all the things kids (and sometimes other people) tend to drop inside them. With modern ducts, we recommend a duct cleaning every 2-3years. Our professional grade equipment is brushless, so it can clean up the dust that builds up in your vents without any risk of damaging them. Then we can finish it off with our SaniJet sanitization system to make sure there’s no harmful bacteria hiding out in them.
13. The Furnace
Dust can build up in your furnace, too. You’ll have to call in a professional for this job, as doing it yourself will probably void any warranty on it and only professional cleaners will know the specifics of your furnace system to do the proper maintenance. We include cleaning the furnace in our duct cleaning service.
14. Change the Air Filters
While air filters are meant to keep dust out of your air ducts, they have a limit to how much they can filter. How often you need to change the filters will depend on the filter type, so you’ll have to check the manual, or look up instructions online for your specific type. Filters may need replacing quarterly, or yearly. Just make sure you get them, because if you let them go too long, they stop working and all that dust just gets blown around your house.
Set a calendar reminder on your phone and write the dates you replaced them to know when you should replace the next time.
Spring Cleaning 2023 is Going To Be a Big Job
The nasty winter we’ve had has probably made quite a mess in Utah and SE Idaho, so you can expect the spring cleaning this year to be a real big job. It can be a little overwhelming to do it all yourself. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. With our duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and now carpet cleaning services, Easy Breezy Pros can take some of the work off your hands! Give us a call any time and we’ll schedule you for a service!