Springtime is here, which means the weather starts getting warmer, the days start getting brighter, and we start another season fresh and anew. Nothing feels better than organizing, cleaning, and regrouping for a new season. Here are the best Spring Cleaning hacks available: We know to declutter cabinets and closets, but some items — from appliances to electronics — are either dismissed or deserted. Here are nine hacks to help you work smarter to clean those forgotten areas in your house.
Use a mat or liner in appliances.
This is the simplest hack for multiple places in your house. Line the bottoms of your appliances — like your microwave, oven, and refrigerator — with liners or washable mats, like aluminum foil in the oven, paper towels in the microwave, or sizable and washable colorful mats for your refrigerator. Liners like these do wonders to catch spills and crustiness, and save you so much time and effort cleaning out the entire appliance! Disposable liners can easily be thrown out when soiled, and reusable ones can be run through a dishwasher or wiped with a Clorox wipe or soaped towel seasonally, or as often as necessary.
Buy cleaning pods and tablets.
Did you know that bacteria and mold spores can thrive in the warm, moist environment of your coffee maker? Popular styles, like the Keurig, are especially susceptible to mineral buildup that affects the taste and quality of your coffee, in addition to potentially harmful germs that can accumulate if your coffee maker isn’t decontaminated or descaled regularly. Keurig sells cleaning pods that you can use on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of mold and bacteria in your cup of morning joe. Another alternative is running a cycle of white vinegar through your device in the water reservoir to deep clean your Keurig, but be warned that it will take more than a few cycles of water afterward to clear the machine of the vinegar smell and taste!
There are also cleaning tablets for other frequently used appliances. Most people never think to clean their washing machine, but this workhorse can’t keep your clothes fresh without being washed and descaled itself! Washing machine cleaning tablets, like pods from Affresh, not only remove the build-up of dirt from the inside of the machine to make it sparkle like new again but can improve the efficiency and performance of your machine. Toss in a tab and feel better about laundry day all season.
Soak shower-heads and faucets.
Clear out your shower-heads and other faucet heads with CLR or, if you prefer, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. You could remove your shower head to dunk it in cleaner, or if you have the patience and arm strength, you could hold a bowl of CLR under your faucet for two minutes — but attaching a plastic bag, like a Ziplock sandwich bag, filled with either CLR (or the mixture) with a rubber band or hair tie around the faucet head definitely does the trick the easy way. The best part is seeing all of the build-up dissolve away before your eyes!
Launder your shower liner.
Most people don’t wash — or swap out — their plastic shower curtain or shower liner often enough, so use your seasonal cleanup as a reminder to unsoil your shower. If you don’t feel like suds-ing or scrubbing, most plastic liners can easily be thrown in the washing machine. Remove the curtain from any rods or hooks and set your washer to the gentle cycle, using warm water, the highest water setting, a few drops of detergent, and a cup of white vinegar. Just remember not to use the dryer — all plastics should air dry.
Brush out vents.
Home maintenance experts suggest cleaning your vents once or twice a year to keep the pathways clean, but you may want to do this more frequently if you have pets or residents in the home with respiratory conditions. Definitely plan to do it each Spring at a minimum. In addition to changing filters, you might want to deep clean vent registers by vacuuming them or even putting them in the dishwasher to remove serious grime. If it’s small crevices that need a deep clean, use an old toothbrush, which you can then go on to brush out window grooves and shower tracks.
Brush, bead, and foam out your garbage disposal.
Here’s a trio of tricks to clean out your kitchen’s muckiest mechanism: the garbage disposal. You need to do more than run it to clean out your compactor. First, use that old toothbrush to scrub the splashguard, especially where food debris and other gunk gets stuck to the underside.
Freshener gels like Plink beads are useful to wash away foul odors from your disposal, though they act more for fragrance care than cleaning. To really deep clean, try a garbage disposal liner, like this one from Glisten. The whole unopened biodegradable packet goes down the sink, and once you turn on the “electric pig” you can see the cleaner foam up and push disgusting gunk out of your sink. Admittedly, it’s addicting! It isn’t necessary, but you may be tempted to foam out your disposal several times a season.
Hack the dust bust.
A microfiber duster doesn’t just look soft and gentle, it takes one of the most routine chores and makes it magnetic. This type of duster actually holds onto dust instead of pushing it around or floating it out into the air. And microfiber cloths are super versatile – strong and sturdy enough to handle heavy-duty jobs, but light enough for delicate household surfaces as well. Washable and reusable, they are environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic.
A microfibre duster can also help you to clean picture frames, ceiling corners, and many other places people generally forget to clean even when following their Spring Cleaning lists. And your plants might appreciate them, too. For plants that are too large, or might not benefit from some time under the shower-head to remove accumulated dust, use that microfibre duster to brush off wide leaves. Now, there are a few exceptions: On ceiling fans — like the ones in the guest room that you haven’t even looked at since two (or three) Springs ago, the hack is to use a pillowcase to fully enclose each fan blade capturing the dust inside. Pull the pillowcase toward you, wiping each blade surface on both top and bottom. Then throw the whole case in the washing machine and dryer for easy clean-up!
And when is the last time you gave your lampshades some love? Get at those dust magnets with a lint roller, like these from Scotchbrite, to lift off the lint without damaging the delicate fabric.
Suck stains off mattresses.
Using a mattress pad is a great way to protect your mattress, but it may still collect dust mites, dander, and dead skin cells. Get rid of the dirt and allergens by simply vacuuming the surface of mattresses (and couches). If you need to remove stains on mattresses as well, spray them with vinegar, sprinkle some baking soda, and let it sit — maybe covered with a towel — for a couple of hours. Then vacuum the area and the stain will most likely be sucked away!
Putty your PC.
Don’t forget your electronics! Pick up dirt and crumbs from your keyboard or other crevices in your electronics with a reusable putty gel that sticks to hard-to-reach areas and lifts out dust and debris without leaving any residue.
10 Step Spring Cleaning Guide
While the thought of organizing a whole house can be overwhelming, think of it in small steps, or room by room. Here is your 10 step spring cleaning guide to get your house easily organized for the upcoming season:
1.) Organize your cleaning supplies
First off, take note of what cleaning supplies you have and what you may need to purchase. It’s always good to have the basics, window cleaner, bathroom cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, mop pads and floor cleaner. You can easily order online from retailers like Target. Don’t forget to scan into the Fetch app for points!
2.) Put away winter things
With spring here, now is the time to hide away the winter boots, heavy jackets, winter sports gear, shovels, and winter accessories until next year. Switch out your winter wardrobe with your spring/summer clothes and go through your current wardrobe. If you have clothes you haven’t worn in over a year, maybe it’s time to donate or recycle them. You can send them to online places like ThredUp to make sure they don’t end up in a landfill. It’s also a great time to go through your wardrobe and see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.
3.) Empty your refrigerator
Having an organized and clean fridge that sparkles and shines will also save you time and money in the long run. To spring clean, first empty the whole fridge and wipe down all interior and exterior surfaces. Throw out anything past their expiration dates and put back anything you will want to keep. If you find things you may not want to eat and are not expired, be sure donate. To keep your fridge looking it’s best and perfectly organized group like items together and invest in refrigerator bins and containers to keep items together. Once you have deep cleaned your fridge, make sure to consistently wipe down the shelves to keep clean.
4.) Reorganize the junk drawer
When was the last time you organized the junk drawer? The best way to start is to empty out the whole drawer and wipe down the interior. Get rid of anything you don’t need, or you can find another home for. Put everything else back, in an organized way- maybe invest in plastic containers or functional storage bins for the smaller items, cord organizers for the electronics.
5.) Give the bed a refresh
With as much time as you spend in bed, it should be cleaned regularly. For a spring pick-me-up, vacuum both sides of your mattress, making sure to get any dust or hair. If it’s nice outside, open the windows for some sunlight and fresh air, and spot clean any problem areas of the mattress, and finish by wiping off with a clean towel. The finale is to flip your mattress to the opposite side, so it doesn’t lead to indents. Wash all the bedding, including the comforter and pillows.
6.) Wash your shower curtain
One thing that gets neglected is the shower curtain and lining. It’s easy to clean by putting in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Hang dry after washing, and voila!
7.) Clean out the makeup
Your makeup routine needs a spring refresh. First thing- toss all expired makeup, skincare, and hair products. Everything should be thrown away after two or three years due to possible bacteria growth. Make sure you wash out all your makeup brushes with dish soap or a gentle shampoo, and dry over a paper towel for best results. Cute storage containers help organize makeup brushes, and you can find several ways to organize makeup to suit your routine.
8.) Dust everything
Sometimes things like ceiling fans, light fixtures, window blinds, books and bookshelves get forgotten in the day-to-day cleaning, so this is the time to dust everything. Make sure to dust before vacuuming.
9.) Deep clean the bathroom
The bathroom can be one of the dirtiest places in your home, so a good deep clean for spring is in order. Start with deep cleaning the shower, wiping down all the walls and faucets. Use a toothbrush to deep clean the grout and remove any mold and mildew. Move on the toilet, with a good scrub and wipe down. Next, focus on the surfaces and the floors. Clean out and organize the cabinets, tossing any old or unused products and taking note on what needs to be restocked.
10.) Declutter everything
Spring is the perfect time to evaluate what brings you joy when it comes to your belongings. If something doesn’t serve a purpose or make you happy, maybe it’s time to give it away. If you have excess clutter, evaluate if you need it and start an organization system. All in all, having a perfectly organized house isn’t the main goal. The main goal is to do what makes you the happiest.
We hope this list helps inspire you to spring clean this year. Leave a comment below on your favorite spring-cleaning tip!
Kimberly Fisher is a freelance writer and on-camera host, Kimberly has traveled the world and has published over 400 articles in over 44 publications including Sherman's Travel, Huffington Post, Just Luxe, Luxury Lifestyles UK, eHow, Examiner, Food Wine Travel Magazine, Luxe Beat, NiteGuide, Ocean View, and USA Today.