Imagine all the best things nature has to offer to you, and then imagine a time when that would be possible. The first thing that comes to mind is "spring" because nothing marks a better beginning of beautiful things than the spring season. Spring is the time when the harsh cold finally subsides, and there is yet some time to face the scorching summer.
The gentle breeze fills the surroundings, while flowers bloom like jewels from heaven. While nature is treating us with beauty and grace, it is only natural that we should make our home clean and tidy. This is why 'Spring Cleaning' is an integral part of the spring season.
Spring season is, of course, of major significance in almost all the cultures across the world. Furthermore, most of them share the tradition of cleaning the house at the start of spring, for both cultural and practical reasons.
Why Do We Traditionally Clean Our Homes At The Beginning Of Spring?
There are numerous traditions in the past which seem to have begun the tradition of spring cleaning. According to some, spring cleaning was an inherent tradition of the Iranians, who celebrated their new year with the cleaning on the first day of spring.
According to others, spring cleaning is a preparation of the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorated the flight of the Israelites. Among Christianity too, spring cleaning has traditionally been carried out on the Thursday before Good Friday, which fell at the beginning of spring.
In ancient Greek culture, we know that cleaning the house before the beginning of Great Lent was a common practice, followed by countries around it. In the continent of North America, the wet climates made it mandatory to begin cleaning with the advent of spring, which was the best time for a variety of reasons.
More than the religious purpose, there was a more obvious reason behind the practice of spring cleaning in the past which was related to their lifestyles. During the harsh winters, people preferred to stay behind doors for prolonged periods, while burning coals and candles to gain heat. These substances gave ash and soot and wax, which covered the houses. With the advent of spring, people used to finally come out of their homes and clean their houses, which usually took about a week.
Today, neither do our electronic gadgets give up any soot or ash, nor do we have an entire week to clean our homes. But the practice stuck as a part of our tradition, which we follow even today for more different but equally practical reasons. Spring marks a pleasant change in the climate, and most people want to celebrate that by cleaning their houses to make them more pleasant.
The Best Spring Cleaning Tools You May Need
Like they say, there is a tool for every task. Picking up your broom to clean the entire house might do the job, but not so efficiently. Despite our tendency to just “get things done”, it is always better, I the long run, to pay more attention to how we are doing things.
Here are the best spring cleaning tools to shine your home this spring cleaning season:
1. Hand Duster
We know that most of you love using aerosol-based cleaning sprays, but they might do more harm than good in the long run. Instead, opting for a soft hand duster (preferably made from natural materials) could really make things more efficient for you. Not to mention, they are extremely handy to use. Hand dusters are extremely versatile, being able to clean everything from floor to expensive artifacts. Depending upon your choice, you can go for a cheap or expensive hand duster.
2. Rubber Gloves
Gloves, according to many, are only to be worn by surgeons and detectives. But this little extra hassle while getting to cleaning can go a long way in protecting you. Not only it protects you from germs and dust, it also protects our skin. The chemicals we use in the cleaners can be really harmful to our skin if exposed for long, which is why it is always preferable to use gloves while doing clearing work.
3. Microfiber Cloths
Finding old clothes to use as cleaning cloth might be a part of your habit, but that's because you don't know about microfiber cloths. These clothes are vastly multipurpose- from dusting and cleaning your room to wiping your windows and tables; there is hardly these clothes can't do. Microfiber cloths might be a bit more expensive than any normal cloth or mop, but they are totally worth it. Given the vast uses it could be put into, we think you will agree with us.
4. A Good Mop And Bucket
Of course, you might already have one, but is it worth using anymore? Mops are not immortal and require regular replacement. As they get old, their capacity to hold dirt keeps reducing. A handy bucket makes soaking the mop after every cleaning easy, which increases its life and also prevents any germ buildup in the mop. Also, investing in a high-quality mop instead of buying the cheapest one pays off in the long-run. An expensive mop far outlasts the lifetime of multiple cheap mops.
5. Natural Sponges
Since sponges are so cheap, it would not hurt to keep replacing them at regular intervals instead of using old ones (which does not do much cleaning while being really gross). Also, with time, the capacity of sponges to absorb gradually decreases. Natural sponges must be preferred since they are easily disposable- because caring only about your home and not about the environment is a bit selfish.
6. Window/ Floor Squeezes
Remember the times when your cloth left behind undesirable streaks all over the window? Well, this is why using squeezes is a good option. Not only it cleans windows like new, it could also be used to do the same thing on floors. Apart from the streak-free cleaning, squeezes also absorb all the moisture instantly, making sure no dust particles get attached to the window.
7. Pressure Washer
There is some dirt that just refuses to leave, which is why stronger methods are required. Pressure washers use high-pressure water sprays in order to remove loose paint, dirt and even chewing gums from various places. From gutter cleaning and furniture washing to wood deck cleaning, pressure washers are a great way to clean even the most stubborn places.
8. Vacuum Cleaner
There is a reason why vacuum cleaners are a household object today; they make our lives really easy. Even dust and dirt stuck in the most inaccessible places can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner.
You must keep in mind that the vacuum cleaner itself must be cleaned at regular intervals, and it must be handy enough to navigate through your entire house.
Most Spring Cleaning Mistakes We’re All Making Every Year
We all earnestly want to clean our homes and want them to look nothing short of heavenly. Yet, we are humans and we are restricted by our own unawareness. Many times, the method we thought to be best actually does more harm than good; while at other times, we had been ignoring a superior method. But like they say, 'better late than never'- here are the 10 common mistakes most people do while cleaning their house.
1. Ignoring The Mop
We all think that mop is the ultimate enemy of dirt and dust, it is the equipment to clean anything. But who cleans the mop? Yeah, that might leave you stumped, but cleaning the mop is actually a more critical task than cleaning the entire house since your mop accumulates countless bacteria and dust particles while cleaning. Failing to clean it is hazardous and (obviously) gross.
2. The Right Time For Windows
Windows are a huge part of the decor of our house. It just might so happen that on a bright, sunny day you noticed some dust on your windows and rushed to wipe it off; please don't. The outside heat makes any cleaning chemical to dry off instantly, leaving behind streak marks. Not a pretty sight, we can tell you.
3. The Decluttering
The most classic process of cleaning the house is first accumulating the waste and dirty items in one place. It never works, and here is why: Decluttering makes you feel surrounded by the piles of work you now have to finish, which lowers your motivation and makes you give up easily. Instead, try to go one step at a time, like first cleaning the kid's toy room, then moving towards the kitchen, and so on.
4. Battling The Stains
Stains are absolute nightmares, and so we are very much tempted to try to scrub them off as soon as they appear. This is where the problem begins. Normal scrubbing removes all the moisture from the stains, thereby making them permanent. Not to mention, the damage caused to the carpet due to your scrubbing.
5. The Stink You Want To Avoid
Everyone wants their homes to smell nice and fluffy, but the path we choose is often the wrong ones. Aerosol-based air fresheners have a high amount of toxic chemicals that are harmful to your body. You would do much better with natural air fresheners. And while you are at it, a few habits, like keeping shoes and dirty laundry outside, will also make your room smell much better.
6. Too Many Chemicals
Yes, we know, these chemicals prove to be effective; but at what cost? Like we said, the toxic ingredients can be really harmful to the body in the long run. In case you care more about the money than your own health, you would be surprised that there are still more affordable yet completely harmless methods to get you work done.
7. Take Care Of The Vacuum Bag
Vacuum cleaners are one of the most useful household equipment ever created. Like, as we humans do, we have taken it for granted. For instance, we only care to change the vacuum bag once it is completely full. But in reality, as the vacuum bag get fuller, its suction capacity reduces, making it less effective every single time. It is much better to clean the bag once it is about 60% full.
8. The Machine That Washes
Talking about household inventions, a washing machine is yet another gadget that made our life so much simpler. But one huge misconception that most people have is that the washing machine is somehow 'self-cleaning', i.e., it does not require any hygiene maintenance. This leads the people to not bother removing the remaining dirt water from it, which leads to germ accumulation and a very bad odor.
9. Ignoring The Plan
Most people tend to wait for cleaning their house until it is really not tolerable anymore. Even then, we tend to simply start from wherever we think is easier and/or most obvious. This lack of planning makes our work a hell lot of more tedious and quite often unfinished.
10. It's Not A Job
Logically speaking, the biggest mistake that people do while cleaning their house is treating it like a chore or a task. They forget that it is their OWN home, and they are doing it for their own betterment. But treating it like a job makes it boring and uninteresting, and to nobody's surprise, most people get exhausted upon compiling it or even right in the middle of it.
Best Spring Cleaning Tips 2017 - Room By Room
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Why do you need a checklist? For a simple reason: You are human. Being human, you have a tendency to ignore or forget things, which is why you should take measures. Having a spring cleaning checklist ensures that you do not miss out cleaning any important part (or ANY part) of your house. It also ensures that you go about cleaning in a systematic order, so it is better to have a clear strategy upon what must be the order of cleaning the house.
1. Clean Around And Inside Appliances
Over time, a lot of dirt, dust particles or broken hair could get accumulated in and around the kitchen appliances. A thorough cleaning is in order if you want a hygienic home.
2. Dispose Of Old Food
Quite often we cling to our food items, thinking that there would be some auspicious moment when you would finally eat them. But if that moment is long gone, it is better to dispose of the old food items. Otherwise, you would only be inviting bacteria in your kitchen.
3. Clean Out Refrigerator
The Refrigerator is one of our lifelines inside the house. Hence, a clean refrigerator is a must for a clean house. Clean all the shelves with warm, soapy water while disposing of anything not required. Also, clean the exterior of the refrigerator for any dust.
4. Degrease Kitchen Cabinets And Wall
Grease deposit is very common in kitchen items, but it is also very unhygienic. Rubbing it off with a toothbrush and warm, soapy water might do the trick. Alternatively, you could go for polish if the utensils are expensive.
5. Clean Kitchen Countertops
Since most of the food items are kept upon the countertops, it is essential that you keep them clean. Age-old stains might require a bit of hard scrubbing; but as a future measure, rub away the stains as soon as they occur.
6. Clean Microwave And Oven Gunk
A smell of something burning every time you start your microwave is an indication of an impending clean-up. Try detaching the removable parts and cleaning the inside of the oven with ammonia/mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. Heat it once again and give a final cleaning.
2. Bathroom Cleaning Tips
1. Deep Clean Toilets
While you can regularly do a quick cleaning of your favorite spot in the house, a periodic deep cleaning is necessarily for a healthy life. Cover the seat with cleaning liquid for some time, after which you can thoroughly scrub it. You can either go for the common chemicals that come in the market or opt for making your own solution at home by using anything with citric acid.
2. Go Through Old Curtain Liners
Curtain linens don't get too dirty, per say, but this is also the reason why we completely ignore cleaning it. As a result, anything from dust and dirt to germs and insects could accumulate there. Regular replacement is required, along with periodic washes.
3. Bathroom Tiles Surface
Bathroom tiles face the most exposure, thus they are harder to keep clean. A neutral pH cleaner is recommended, while a mixture of baking soda and water can also do the job. Regular cleaning is preferred if you want to keep the tiles shining.
4. Create Natural Scents
Artificial fresheners are all the rage, but inhaling too many chemicals is not going to do your health any favors. Instead, try installing natural air fresheners, like boiled orange or lemon slices. They might not last so long, but they are very easy and handy to make at the same time. So you get something equally pleasant but a lot healthier.
3. Bedroom Cleaning Tips
1. Clean Pillow And Comforter
While pillow covers and bed sheets need to be washed twice every month, most people ignore the pillows. Pillows and comforters must be washed at least 2-3 times in a year, in order to get rid of any germ build-up inside it, apart from any infestation of any insects like bed bugs.
2. Update Bed Linens
Bed linens need replacement according to the user and the usage. While washing linens is fairly easy (just follow the instructions on the label), you need to regularly replace your linens periodically in order to keep your bed beautiful and hygienic.
3. Clean Mattress
Most people think that cleaning the mattress is simply not worth the efforts, but how wrong they are. The process of cleaning a mattress includes vacuuming the dust from the sides, followed by removing any stains from the surface and finally disinfecting the entire mattress with a spray.
4. Organizing Your Closet
Not only having a good closet hygienic, it also saves a lot of your time. Only keep the items you need regularly while moving the other stuff to another spot. If you are not sure about what to keep and remove, just follow the general rule: if you cannot see yourself using that item the coming week, then it must go. Neatly arrange the items accordingly, so that they are easily accessible the next time you want them.
4. Living Room Cleaning Tips
1. Wash Your Curtains And Blinds
Curtains are quite essential in improving your home decor, apart from their usual function. But too much time without a wash can make your curtains and blind dull, while also harboring insects and dust. A deep-cleaning in the washing machine should be done at least once a month to make them shine again. Along with it, you should regularly dust your curtains to remove any accumulation of dust.
2. Deep-Clean Carpets And Rugs
Another thing that greatly increases your home decor is carpets and rugs. While they suffer a lot, with people walking all over them, most people don't bother to clean them; a huge mistake. Carpets and rugs must be dusted every once in a while, preferably every day. You should give them a deep wash once or twice every six months, so that any stubborn dirt stuck to it can be removed, alongside the bad odor.
3. Clean Wood Floors
Wooden floors require a lot more care than marble floors because they could be damaged in more than one ways. The cleaning instruments for wooden floors must always be soft, like mops and brooms, since they could be scratched easily. The right way to go about sweeping is from top to bottom, so that the waste being swept doesn’t come back. Also, try to polish the floor every once in a while- it can make your floor look like brand new.
4. Clean Ceiling Fixtures
Ceiling fixture like chandeliers and fans do increase the beauty of our home, but their inaccessible position makes us ignore cleaning them. While using a vacuum is the most efficient method, a long broom could also be used to remove dirt and cobwebs from the fixtures. In case you are using a ladder, try to clean it with cleaning liquids and a mop. A thorough cleaning enables them to shine and being once again the pride of your living room.
5. Clean Windows
Cleaning windows are one of the trickier things to do. If you don't like chemicals, try making a solution of water and white vinegar with a 2:1 ratio. Make sure you clean the window glass with a dry cloth first before cleaning with the solution. Also, select different hand movement for inside and outside pane, so that you know whether the leftover smudge is in or out. Do not clean the windows when the sun is high, as it could leave chemical particles sticking to your window glass.
6. Add Plant
The most recent and most reasonable trend in home improvement today is the addition of small plants as a part of home decor. While they naturally look good and bring a certain mesmerizing feeling in your home, they are also great air filters, thus ensuring clean air for you at all times. Also, the huge variety of plants available in the market ensures that you never run out of choices and can always find the best match for your home.
5. Laundry Room Cleaning Tips
1. Clean Washing Machine
Like we mentioned, washing machine itself can get dirty over time and regular cleaning is required. This could be done by using a warm solution of water and vinegar that would wipe off any remaining dirt or soap scum from the inside of the machine. In the end, use a sponge or microfiber cloth to remove the grime from the bottom of the machine.
2. Check The Boards
Wooden boards, although beautiful, could easily be damaged. Try to repair any broken patches, hammers back any protruding nail and rotting boards could be removed and/or replaced. In the end, you could polish them with hi-gloss to give them a nice look
6. Porch and Patio Cleaning Tips
1. Power Wash Surfaces
Your furniture, especially one outside, can be covered with stubborn dirt and grime that just refuses to leave. As such, using power wash is the easier and more efficient way out. If you don’t want to buy a power washer, you could instead rent it from the local store as per your convenience. But if you have a lot of furniture in the outdoor area, it is better to buy your own power washer.
2. Wash Patio Furniture
Most furniture can be easily cleaned with a soft mop and a mixture of soap and water. In case of wooden and specialized furniture, you might want to check how it would react to soap and water. In the case of non-polished furniture’s, you could even use a toothbrush to wipe off the grease.
3. Plant Flowers
Flowers can fill any place with brightness, and your home is no exception. Adding small flower plants, either situated on the ground or hanging from the ceiling, can really do magic on your home decor. It is also good for your health.
Spring Cleaning Tips from the Cleaning Experts
While we tried our best to make your spring cleaning season as efficient as possible, nobody is perfect. There are a lot of expert bloggers around who have few wise words to say to you on the topic. Let's meet them.
30 Days of Spring Cleaning Tips for a Sparkling Home from GoodHouseKeeping
GoodHouseKeeping is all about good housekeeping, seriously. From simple home decor and delicious recipes for beauty, health, and lifestyle; it makes sure to take care of both the house and its residents. It is never easy to lay out the plan for something as tedious as spring cleaning, which is why Lauren Smith wrote a 30-day plan that could clean your house extensively and ensure that you are never overworked.
All About Spring Cleaning from Clean My Space
Melissa Maker has been behind the successful Video channel "Clean My Space", and now she has extended it to a website to simplify the life of common people with her simple-yet-effective ideas about efficient homemaking.
In the Spring Cleaning section of her website, Melissa talks about every possible thing you might want to know about Sprig Cleaning. From cleaning your washing machine and bedroom closet to formulating a routine that will enable you to do things faster; Melissa leaves no stones unturned.
Spring Cleaning With Clean Mama
Clean Mama is known for selling amazing homemaking products that could simplify our lives by a decent margin. But make no mistake, it also provides a ton of great advice on homemaking and keeping. In her blog, Becky brings forth a host of ways on how to go about spring cleaning. From simple prep tips to pro challenges, there is something for everyone. She sure makes even the mundane things interesting.
32 Ways to Freshen Every Room for Spring from Country Living
Country Living could instead be called "Quality Living", as it consists of articles on everything that could make your lifestyle better.Kathy Barnes knows that good ideas are hard to come by, especially when we need them the most. Hence, in her blog, she lists out 32 easy ways that could greatly improve the cleaning experience for every single corner of the house.
20 Things You Should Deep Clean This Spring from House Beautiful
The editors of House Beautiful do not shy away from doing heavy research work in order to bring us great housekeeping gems.In this article, they list out the 20 places/items you should rather pay more attention to while cleaning the house.
Spring-Cleaning Tips and Checklist by Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is a well-known name in the world of home-keeping, and she is hardly ever wrong about anything. In this intelligent piece, she writes about the ultimate spring cleaning checklist. It contains almost every nook and corner of your house with great cleaning advice.
8 Spring Cleaning Tips to Get It Done Faster by Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest is known for giving great and useful advice, and they continue the tradition with this blog. From doormats to vacuum cleaners, the article covers some genius advice that would make your spring cleaning finish a lot faster.
Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year, one that could easily make the new beginning of many things in your life. But as they say, "a clean home is a better home"; so, Spring Cleaning this year is not something you should miss. Sure, it is not a great job, but it is important and traditional at the same time.
We hope our blog would help you not only on the "how" to do things but also upon the "How" to do things "efficiently". A week worth of time is all it takes to make your home a much place to live in, and your life getting consequently brighter. We wish you a happy Spring Cleaning season.