Clean as a Whistle!

To the left, to the left…

That’s right--everything you own in the box to the left.

Spring Cleaning Step 1:

Good people--one morning, about 30 minutes after a delightfully strong cup of coffee, get rid of what you are not using. Bag it up and get it out! Donate, recycle, discard. Make piles and be sure to move them out your front door and away! Also, consider your storage. If you have closets that need organizing and want to go big, hire a local closet design company. Alternatively, sift through organizers at Ikea, Container Store or Target and order them!

Spring Cleaning Step 2:

Dust then vacuum, top down. Please don’t add water if there is still dust. Eww. Start with corners, window treatments, ceiling fans and door frames, and work your way down. Do stairs, tables and other surfaces before vacuuming level floors and carpets. By using a vacuum and then a dry Swiffer, your hard floors will be well-prepared for a hot vinegar floor wash. Make sure to identify any dirty patches on your carpets for a spot treatment. Shake out throw rugs in the middle of your yard (if you have a yard). If not, vacuum once, then lift up, vacuum underneath, shake out a little, and vacuum a few more times on top and in the area surrounding your rug.

Next, wash. If you need to wash windows, you will need a good squeegee, some streak-free window cleaner, clean rags, and paper towels. Remove any screens and wipe down with a damp cloth on both sides. Spray window cleaner liberally and give a once-over wipe, leaving window partially damp. Give one more light spray, and hit with the squeegee, working from top to bottom of window. Wipe excess cleaner with paper towel or rag.

To wash walls, take a clean white cloth and a bottle of vinegar cleaner. Spray liberally and wipe stains and dirt hard, as few times as possible to remove. Don’t wipe too much or you will remove your paint!

To wash floors, use the hands and knees approach around your woodwork and corners. Must have: rubber gloves, a good sponge or wet rag, and a few dry rags to dry as you go. Also, a good vinegar floor wash (perfect for hardwoods) diluted in a bucket of very warm, almost hot, water. The gloves will help protect your hands--use them! At the very least, you should give all stairs, corners and woodwork in your place the royal treatment during spring-cleaning. Then, for high-traffic areas already cleaned by your vacuum and Swiffer, you can use a Swiffer Wet, a steam mop, or a regular mop. Put clean, dry rags under your feet as you roller skate around and wash all areas of your floor. This will help you avoid footprints.

Spring Cleaning Step 3: KITCHEN

Remember: to the left, to the left! Store all kitchen counter items in one place while you clean the other countertops. We love SoftScrub, both with and without bleach. Bleach will murder your clothes and your kitchen will smell like a public swimming pool, but nothing beats it. Goodbye festering raw chicken juice, goodbye! Be careful to know what your surface can take. Bleach and marble do not mix well! We also love Barkeepers and a Magic Eraser sponge for a nice grit. This will remove pan marks in your sink, rust, and juice stains. Put two cups of water in a glass measuring cup and set it for four minutes in your microwave. Let the water boil a bit and then wipe grime from inside of the microwave. Self-clean your oven (get ready for that incomparable stink) or use a stiff bristle brush and some SoftScrub to clean grease stains and cloudy glass. Get under your kitchen sink to remove debris and organize. Clear out your pantry and your refrigerator. Recycle cartons and jars, compost old food, gather plastic bags and drop them off in a bin outside the front door of a local grocery store.

Spring Cleaning Step 4: BATHROOM

Vacuum first! Then Swiffer dry. Get rid of any lingering hair. Had to say it. Throw bath mats and towels into the laundry on hot with a scoop of Oxiclean. Treat toilets with Method cleaner and let sit. Spray down shower walls and coat floor with SoftScrub with Bleach. Use scrub brush to scour shower floor and corners. Rinse with hot water. Clean all sinks as you did kitchen sinks. Wipe counters and mirrors. Return to toilets and make sure you clean both inside and out (toilet brush on the inside, paper towel followed by sponge and disinfectant on the outside). Discard old products. Refill toilet paper. Replace linens. Swiffer wet on your way out.

Spring Cleaning Step 5: EVERYTHING ELSE

This is an opportunity to really sweat it out. Wash doors and door knobs with a Clorox wipe or vinegar cloth. Give some TLC to your washing machine and dishwasher. Clean out a closet or two. Don’t get distracted by the internet! Listen to a podcast...or Beyonce...go go go! You’ll be happy you did.

Photo: Theo WargoGetty Images for TIDAL


Swiffer mop with wet and dry sheets

Good vacuum cleaner

Steam mop

Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner

Aunt Fannie's Vinegar Spray


Window Cleaner (we like Meyer's)

Microfiber cloths

White cotton rags

Paper towels

Rubber gloves

Steam mop

SoftScrub with and without bleach

Barkeepers Friend powder

Magic Eraser sponges

Bristle brush, toilet brush, handled bristle brush for shower

Compost bin


Method toilet bowl cleaner and antibacterial spray

Clorox wipes

- Many products available locally at Strosniders Hardware -

Coming soon: Our spring issue: Vol 3 Listen (in print and online)

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