32 best spring cleaning tips of all time.

Updated

By Francesca Singer

Longer, sunnier days trigger something deep inside us: a sudden drive to clear out the dust and cobwebs left over from winter. From the most reluctant cleaner to the most enthusiastic, we can all agree on one thing: waking up to a spotless house is an amazing feeling. But spring cleaning is also a big job. 

Your spring cleaning checklist can feel overwhelming, especially if you aren't naturally tidy or organized. That’s why we put together these pro tips. Use these expert tips to make your spring cleaning routine as easy, effective and realistic as possible. 



1. Create a spring cleaning checklist or calendar.

spring cleaning calendarWhen it comes to tackling your spring cleaning tasks, having a checklist can help keep you organized and ensure that no task is overlooked. Here are some tips to help you create an effective spring cleaning checklist:

Organize cleaning tasks by room: Start by dividing your home into different areas or rooms. This will make it easier to focus on one area at a time and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. For each room, list down the specific cleaning tasks that need to be done, such as dusting, vacuuming, or mopping.

Include deep cleaning and decluttering tasks: Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to go beyond your regular cleaning routine. Consider adding deep cleaning tasks like washing windows, cleaning carpets, and scrubbing grout. Additionally, don't forget to include decluttering tasks, such as organizing closets, donating unused items, or purging expired products.

Set realistic goals and timelines: It's important to set realistic goals for your spring cleaning. Break down your tasks into manageable chunks and assign a timeline to each task. This will help you stay focused and motivated. Be sure to prioritize tasks based on their importance and allocate enough time for each one.

Related: Here’s your 30-day spring cleaning calendar.

2. Don't go at it alone.

two young women sitting on couch and holding duster and broomIf you want to tackle a whole house in one day, you might need some backup. Recruiting friends or family can help make short, fun work of a big job. Sweeten the deal by offering to buy drinks or dinner afterward.

3. Stock up on cleaning supplies ahead of time.

open kitchen cabinet with cleaning supplies underneath sinkFor smooth sailing on cleaning day, make sure your inventory of cleaning products is up-to-date before you start. Running out of soap or glass cleaner at the halfway point will slow your momentum. 

4. Check your equipment ahead of time, too.

man sitting on floor and repairing vacuum cleanerFrom the right microfiber cloths for wiping surfaces to an electrostatic duster or replacement vacuum bag, being equipped makes the job easier. Check your equipment ahead of time, and make sure everything is working correctly a few weeks before you start spring cleaning. 

5. Start with decluttering.

woman sitting on floor and organizing clothes in charity boxes“Get rid of unwanted and unused items first and foremost,” said Mandy and Andy Long, CEO and CFO of Cleaning with a Meaning in Asheboro, North Carolina. “Then, tackle your organizing.” 

You can donate your unwanted items to a charity, sell them or hire a junk removal service to haul them away. 

 

6. Don’t bounce around from room to room.

man cleaning kitchen counter with rag“Start in one area and stay focused until that area is clean and then move to the next room,” said the Longs. “Bouncing around from room to room will get you overwhelmed, and it will be hard to finish your project.” 

7. Take precautions with harsh chemicals.

woman with mask and gloves on cleaning table“If using harsh chemicals, make sure you wear breathing protection for your health’s sake,” said the Longs. “Also, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemical absorption.”

8. Open your windows.

open kitchen window above sink“Open some windows while you are cleaning to help with ventilation, and let some light in while you clean,” said the Longs. “This will brighten your home and your mood.” 

9. Turn on music, a podcast, or the TV.

man with headphones on vacuuming living room rugCleaning, fun? Sure, it can be. Create a perfect playlist, put on a ridiculous outfit and turn up the volume. 

"Music is a great way to motivate yourself and keep moving forward," says Christina Knowles, Professional Organizer & Certified Senior Move Manager at Make Space Now. "But, if you find yourself getting distracted and changing the songs up more often than you're getting the cleaning done, it's time to switch it up. Try a podcast or an audiobook. You'll stay on track longer without disruption."

10. Clean storage bins, organizers, and jars. 

clear storage bins"If you use organizing bins to store your products, now is a great time to take those items out and clean the organizing bins themselves with a damp cloth," said Christina Knowles of Make Space Now. "The organizing bins in the kitchen (especially the lazy Susan) gather oil and herbs on the surface. While you're cleaning the inside surface, also clean the jars themselves."

11. Always clean from top to bottom.

dusting ceiling fan blade“Make sure to clean those hard-to-reach places like ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures,” said Jomo Farrier of Get Clean Clean in Brooklyn, New York. “This will prevent dust and other allergens from clogging up the air.” Dusting and wiping light fixtures can actually brighten up some spaces, too.

You'll regret starting with the floors when you dust shelves, window blinds and ceiling fans later. Any cleaning that stirs up dust should happen before you mop and vacuum floors. 

12. Use the right cleaning products on your floors.

mopping and cleaning tile floorsYou can cause some serious damage to your floors if you don’t clean them properly and use the wrong products. For example: 

  • Don’t use an all-purpose cleaner, oil soap or too much water on wood floors. 
  • Never scrub your vinyl floors with scrub pads or scrub brushes.
  • Avoid using steam, steel wool or scouring powder on laminate floors.
  • You can use vinegar on tile floors — but not directly on the grout or on tile floors made out of marble, limestone or concrete.

When in doubt, hire a professional floor cleaning service to spring clean your floors.

13. Get into every nook and cranny.

woman dusting crevice under sinkA true spring clean generally means clearing off every shelf, corner and that space in between your appliances so that you can dust, wipe and reorganize. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is especially handy for getting into corners.

14. Avoid climbing up ladders when dusting.

woman cleaning ceiling with mop“Use extension dusters for high-reach areas instead of trying to use ladders,” said the Longs of Cleaning with a Meaning. “This is the safer way to dust.”

15. Wipe down the walls. 

pink hand glove wiping wall around lightswitch“Don't forget to clean your walls,” said Jomo Farrier of Get Clean Clean. “A nice deep clean to your walls has the power to rejuvenate any room.”

Wipe down your wainscotting, paneling, baseboard and light switches. Don't forget to wipe down wall art, mirror and picture frames, too.

16. Wet-wipe your blinds.

orange gloves spraying and wiping down window blinds“Windows and blinds are a must to clean in the spring,” said Erica Benson, general manager of Candice Cleaners LLC, which has locations in several U.S. cities, including San Diego, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Arlington and Charlotte. “Unfortunately, it can be a messy job with a conventional duster. Our tip is to wet-wipe all the blinds in order to keep the excess dust down. This tip should make cleaning the blinds a quicker, more efficient task. No more re-dusting after dusting!” 

17. Don’t wash your windows when it’s too hot out.

hand washing window with blue rag when it's sunny outsideEven if it means deviating from your overall plan, wait until the sun isn't shining on windows to clean them. Wiping down sun-warmed windows can leave streaks, wasting your hard work. Save yourself the trouble and clean windows properly when it’s not too hot or sunny outside.

18. Get a head start on appliances.

person with pink gloves defrosting and cleaning freezerFreezers need to be defrosted, washing machines need to be run on a hot, disinfecting cycle, and some appliance filters need to be soaked or run through the dishwasher. Start these jobs early and work on other tasks while they process. 

19. Use the right products to clean your oven.

man cleaning inside of oven“The springtime is ideal to deep clean your oven,” said Erica Benson of Candice Cleaners. “Experience has led us to the products that work the best. Easy-Off Oven cleaner in the spray can has proven to work the best. As good as this product is, there are still ovens that are so bad that the product alone will not clean them completely. Use steel wool for the stubborn, stuck-on spots.”

Related: How to clean your oven inside and out.

20. Use denture tablets to clean coffee reservoirs (and more).

hand putting denture tables in glass of water next to toothbrushYep, you read that right. Coffee makers, toasters and kettles all need a deep clean, too. While a white vinegar solution will descale a kettle, coffee maker reservoirs benefit from dissolving a couple of denture tablets. Just run it for a cycle or two when descaling to remove any traces. 

Here are more ways you can use denture tablets to spring clean your home.

21. Try using a pumice stone on toilets.

pumice stone on bathroom counter“Use a pumice stone to remove the hard spots on your toilet bowl,” said the Longs of Cleaning with a Meaning. “Spray some hydrogen peroxide base cleaner on the spots, and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then, get to work scrubbing off the grime. They have some great stones with handles on them on Amazon.”

22. Always soak before you scrub.

soaking dirty flower pots before cleaning them“Cleaning is tough work,” said the Longs. “Pre-soak [items with] tough dirt and grime before trying to scrub it off. This will save your back when scrubbing time comes.” Soak dishes, flower pots, candle holders, vases, toothbrush holders and other items with tough-to-remove grime.

23. Spritz your clothes with vodka before washing them.

spraying green shirt with spray bottleThis is another unusual spring cleaning tip, but hear us out. Clothes that have sat in drawers or closets for months can get a little musty. That’s why some people will spritz their funky-smelling clothes with inexpensive vodka in a spray bottle, and then wash them as usual. Learn more about this cleaning hack here.

24. Deodorize shoes with baking soda and tea bags.

hand placing tea bags in dress shoesShoes can also get a little less-than-fresh over the winter. Put a few teaspoons of baking soda into gym shoes and other olfactory offenders, and let it sit overnight before shaking it out. You can also try putting two to three tea bags in your shoes, and allow them to sit for 24 hours.

25. Flush out drains with vinegar and lemon.

slice lemon in the sinkDrains and garbage disposals can quickly get funky. They collect hair, muck and goo. To keep drains clear, pour a cup of white vinegar into them and let them sit for an hour or so before flushing them out with cold water. Drop a used half-lemon into the disposal and run it to leave the kitchen smelling delightfully fresh. 

Related: How to clean your garbage disposal in 5 steps.

26. Freshen up your mattress with baking soda. hands lifting up the corner of a mattress

Mattresses also collect skin cells and sweat, making them a dust mite haven. Strip off the bedding and vacuum the top and sides with the upholstery attachment. If you detect any odor or staining, sprinkle the surface with baking soda and leave it for at least 30 minutes before vacuuming. 

27. Dust mite-proof your pillows.

hands placing pillow on bedAll pillows that come into contact with your body are potential dust mite breeding grounds. Tossing pillows into a tumble dryer at the highest heat setting for at least 30 minutes can help. Large pillows may require a trip to the laundromat to use their larger dryers. It's a hassle but worth it. 

28. Re-organize as you go.

neatly organized and labeled nuts and baking ingredients in containers on shelfAs you tidy, scrub, vacuum and wipe, do some re-organizing as well. From small tweaks to completely rearranging the furniture, you might be shocked at what a little reconfiguring can do.

29. Temporarily store items in the garage.

man stocking boxes in garage

Using the garage as a staging ground for stuff is helpful for creating momentum with three piles: keep, donate and throw away. Random items that surface during your spring cleaning routine can be placed in these piles.

30. Take the time to redecorate a bit.

woman fixing flowers on living room coffee table“Spring cleaning is the perfect time to redecorate your rooms,” said Jomo Farrier of Get Clean Clean. “Rearranging furniture doesn't only give you a better chance to clean — it lets you see your room with fresh eyes.”

Consider adding a few spring touches to your entryway, living room and kitchen counters or tables.

31. Double-check that you didn’t overlook these areas. 

vacuuming under the couchBefore you call it a wrap on your spring cleaning, make sure you didn’t forget to clean these commonly-missed areas and items:

  • Bathroom textiles (shower curtains, plastic liners, etc.)
  • Furniture and upholstery (couch and pillow covers, drapes, rugs, etc.)
  • All of your kitchen appliances (fridge, freezer, microwavedishwasher, etc.)
  • Your laundry room, including your washer and dryer
  • Tops of cabinets, cupboards and bookcases
  • Underneath and in between your appliances and furniture
  • Items you commonly touch (stair banisters, door handles, light switches, remote controls and keyboards)

32. Know when to hire help.

two professional house cleaners cleaning kitchenThere are some tasks you might want to cover yourself, but others you can easily hire out. Knowing your limits is important. There are countless reasons for hiring a professional house cleaner. No one can do everything all the time. If you can't seem to find the time to do a proper spring cleaning, choosing to divide and conquer is perfectly acceptable. 

On Thumbtack, you can easily hire local cleaning services, and hand them your spring cleaning checklist. Download Thumbtack and start searching for spring cleaning professionals, such as:

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