How to spring clean your home room-by-room.
Every room has its own unique icky tendencies, so it’s best to take on spring cleaning room by room. Use these cleaning tips this spring — or whenever your home is in need of a good cleaning.
Kitchens see a lot of action and build up more grime than most parts of your home. A top-to-bottom spotless kitchen makes cooking and entertaining a joy. Here’s where to start.
- Pantry: Clear it out, clean the shelves and throw away any expired stuff. If you forgot you had it, it can probably go.
- Surfaces: Before you start dousing your pantry shelves and other surfaces with disinfectants, read the labels on your cleaners to make sure they’re safe for your wood, tile, marble, granite or stainless steel. Get help from this guide from the American Cleaning Institute.
- Cabinets: Use a gentle cleanser or mild soap and water when wiping down cabinets. Check your manufacturer’s guide to keep your finish safe and shiny.
- Fridge: Throw away expired food, and wipe down the shelves. Slide out the fridge, and clean behind it. Don’t forget to gently dust the coils in the back.
- Freezer: Defrost it, and junk those suspiciously old and frosty items. We’re looking at you, year-old, sugar-free popsicles.
- Dishwasher: Check the jets for clogs, and remove and rinse all the filters. Pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom, and then run it on an empty, hot-water cycle to break down grease and soap scum. This trick will keep your dishes gleaming all year.
- Oven: Using an oven cleaner, scrub inside, removing the past year of residue. Clean the glass inside and out, and pull out the racks to scrub over the sink.
- Garbage disposal: Make sure your garbage disposal is working properly and not clogged up. Clear simple clogs with a baking soda and vinegar mix.
- Junk drawer: Sift through those expired coupons, dried-out pens, old rubber bands and broken chip-clips. Get rid of what you don’t need, and organize the rest. A drawer organizer can help you keep track of the odds and ends you want to keep around.
- Floors: Start with a good sweep and then break out the mop. Whether you have tile, laminate or hardwood floors, make sure the floor cleaner you use won’t harm the finish. And, as always, clean your floors last. Here are more tips on how to clean your floors (depending on the material).
It may not be the most pleasant task, but a serious bathroom cleaning can transform your lavatory into your sanctuary.
- Mirrors: Use a glass cleaner to remove fingerprints, toothpaste and other unsightly smudges. Try a microfiber cloth for a perfect, streak-free finish.
- Cabinets: Empty them out, and wipe them clean with soapy water. While they air dry, go through all toiletries and medications, discarding any that are old or expired.
- Countertops: Remove toothbrush holders, cups and other items from your counter — and then give the surfaces a good wipe-down with a safe disinfectant.
- Sinks and faucets: A microfiber cloth is ideal for polishing these fixtures to a mirror finish. Don’t forget to scrub around the edges.
- Shower: Remove mildew and soap scum from your shower. If you have glass doors, use a non-streaking, non-abrasive cleaner.
- Bathtub: Scrub your tub with a sponge and soap-scum remover. Get rid of any ring around the rim — and wipe down the shampoo and skincare bottles while you’re at it.
- Grout: Use a tile and grout cleaner and brush to get the grout on your floors, counters or walls gleaming. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t damage surfaces. Here's more information on how to clean tile and grout.
- Toilet: Use a toilet bowl cleaner and brush to scrub your toilet's interior — and wipe down the exterior surface and lid with disinfectant wipes. If you have limescale buildup, soak the bowl overnight with a lime-dissolving product.
- Floors: Sweep, mop and capture all of the accumulated hair, dust and dirt with a broom. If you have tile floors, mop your way to a shiny finish.
Related: Mistakes you’re making while cleaning your home.
Bedrooms are private, so they can get messier than other parts of your home. Who hasn’t shoved stuff under their bed before guests come over? Here’s how to whip your boudoir into shape.
- Accumulated clutter: Clear out your closets, drawers and under your bed, and make piles of things you want to keep, sell, donate or toss. Check out these decluttering tips from the pros for help.
- Closet: An organized closet starts with tidy, folded clothes. If keeping your closet arranged is an ongoing battle, add new shelves or storage for shoes, scarves or other accessories.
- Surfaces: Clear off your nightstands, dresser, bedframe and other surfaces. Wipe down with a damp cloth. If you use a cleaning product, make sure the chemicals won’t damage your finishes.
- Sheets: Change and wash your sheets, pillowcases and blankets. If any are old, stained or falling apart, go ahead and invest in some new bedclothes.
- Mattress: A clean mattress can help reduce allergies due to dust mites and bacteria. Strip off all bedding and vacuum thoroughly. Treat any stains with a hydrogen peroxide/baking soda solution, gently dabbed on with a damp cloth and then vacuumed off. Flip your mattress over and repeat — and leave it uncovered for a few hours on each side to air out.
- Hidden areas: Move furniture away from the walls so you can sweep, vacuum or mop any grime or dust bunnies away.
- Carpets and rugs: Check by your bedside, nightstand and other areas where you regularly sit or rest. Remove any dirt or stains with a carpet cleaner — and consider hiring a professional to shampoo or steam your carpets or rugs. Check out this guide to learn the best ways to clean your carpets.
Living and dining areas.
Your living areas see the bulk of your home’s traffic, so they collect a lot of dirt and clutter. Clean these public-facing rooms from top to bottom, and feel confident when a visitor drops in.
- Tables and shelves: Dust your table, end tables, bookcases, shelves and fireplace mantle. Remove all pictures, plants, books and knick-knacks before doing so, and wipe those down too. Invest in a few coasters to protect tabletops.
- Couches and furniture: If you notice stains, tears and other damage, try covering, cleaning or repairing them. If you don't know where to start, hire a professional furniture cleaner, upholsterer or repairer.
- Electronics: Use a dry, soft cloth to wipe down your TV, remote control and other electronics. Unplug everything first — or at least turn it off — and remove the batteries from your controls. Refer to users manuals when in doubt.
- Carpets, rugs and floors: Break out the headphones and start with a thorough vacuum. If your rugs still need help, consider going for a shampoo or steam-clean.
Related: How much does it cost to hire a house cleaner?
The room where clothes go to get clean can get surprisingly dirty. Here’s how to clean your laundry room and appliances.
- Counters and cabinets: Using a mild cleaning product, wipe down surfaces, including drips or spills from your detergent and fabric softeners.
- Hampers: Hampers that hold dirty clothes or damp towels can start to smell. Wipe out plastic hampers with a rag and some all-purpose cleaner. For wooden or wicker hampers, a disinfectant and a few hours outside in bright sunlight will do the trick.
- Washing machine: Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent reservoir and then run an empty, hot-water cycle. Wipe down the washer's surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner, and vacuum behind the machine with an extension.
- Dryer: Vacuum out the lint trap thoroughly, and scrub any stains or residue inside the dryer. Vacuum behind and all around the dryer before wiping down with an all-purpose cleaner and damp rag.
- Walls, ceilings and floors: Use a brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust from the walls, ceilings and finally floors. Don't forget the window sills.
Out of sight, out of mind describes most garages — and that's precisely why they need spring cleaning attention.
- Boxes and clutter: Take boxes and clutter out into the driveway where you can sort through everything without adding to the chaos inside. Separate items into four piles: keep, sell, donate or throw away.
- Storage: Don’t let lack of storage lead to clutter. Use clear plastic bins to store what you’re keeping — and label them clearly. Hang shelves or hooks, or invest in tool chests, workbenches, shelving or more storage options that will transform your garage’s capacity.
- Surfaces: Vacuum floors and all the cleared-off areas, as well as walls and ceilings. In warmer climates, prevent mold and mildew by wiping down shelves and floors with a 50/50 water and bleach solution.
Related: How much does junk removal cost?
If your closet leans toward chaos, you're not alone. Clutter makes it hard to find what you’re looking for — especially when you’re in a hurry. A clean closet will have you looking and feeling good. Here's how to clean and organize it.
- Drawers and shelves: Take everything out of your closet so you can see and organize it at the same time. Empty drawers, clear off shelves and remove all your hanging clothes. You want to be looking at a completely empty closet when you start.
- Clothes: Separate your clothing, shoes and other items into piles of those four magic categories: keep, sell, donate or discard — but add one to the mix for items you need to have dry cleaned or mended.
- Hangers: Throw away broken, bent, mismatched, wire or simply unsightly hangers. Replace them with new, uniform hangers — ideally non-slip ones that will help keep things tidy.
- Interior: Wipe all the surfaces with a damp cloth, and vacuum inside your closet thoroughly, getting into all the corners. Remember: your closet probably doesn’t see this action very often.
- Storage: Fold your clothes and re-organize your closet. Consider installing new shelves or cubbies to help maximize the space.
Related: How to organize your home room by room.
With more and more folks working remotely these days, home offices are getting pretty popular. While practical, they have a tendency to accumulate some clutter. Here’s what you can do about it.
- Desk: Remove keyboards, monitors, mouse pads, plants and other utensils — then wipe away those coffee mug rings with a safe-to-use cleaner.
- Keyboards: Shake out dust or crumbs, spray with compressed air or use a dust vacuum made specifically for keyboards.
- Screens and electronics: Get rid of fingerprints on your screens, mouse and printer with a cleaning solution made for electronics.
- Lamp: Dust and wipe your desk lamp with a soft cloth.
- Papers: Throw away piled-up papers you don’t need anymore. Just make sure you don’t accidentally toss important docs.
- Private documents: Invest in a paper shredder, and shred documents that contain your private information, like credit card offers you receive in the mail. Double-check documents before feeding them through the shredder.
- Files: Organize any paper files you might have with clearly labeled folders and file dividers.
- Storage: Consider installing cabinets or a bookshelf to help you stay organized.
Some spring cleaning tips are universal and will work in any and possibly every room of your home. Simplify cleaning with these holistic solutions.
- Windows and blinds: Clean your windows, window sills, frames and glass. Follow these tips on how to wash windows.
- Curtains: First read the labels to find out if your curtains are machine-washable. Then wash according to the instructions — or play it safe and take them to a dry cleaner.
- Light fixtures: But be careful when using a ladder, and make sure the lights are off. This is also a good time to replace burned-out bulbs.
- Floor mats: Remove the floor mats from your bathroom, kitchen, entryway and other areas. Vacuum or shake them outside. If they’re washing-machine friendly, go ahead and put them through a cycle. Consider replacing old and worn-out mats.
- Carpets and rugs: First vacuum, then consider using a steaming machine for a deep clean. Not only will steaming remove dirt and stains, but it will also get rid of allergens.
- Ceiling fans: Using a rag moistened with soapy water, wipe all sides of the blades — or invest in a fan duster. This is also a good time to clean light fixtures on fans. Don’t forget to use caution when breaking out the ladder.
- Walls: Clear out any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated in your corners with a vacuum that has a soft brush attachment.
- Baseboards: Wipe your baseboards and skirting boards with a sponge or cloth. Use warm water and mild dish soap or a gentle floor cleaner, and clear away scuffs and dust from the baseboards and wainscoting.
- High-touch areas: Sanitize doorknobs, light switches, counters and more.
- Floors: A clean floor makes the entire room look bigger and brighter. Always clean the floor last after dusting and wiping down surfaces so that any dirt or debris that falls to the floor gets cleaned up as well. First sweep or vacuum, then mop with an appropriate floor cleaner.
Remember that after you're done cleaning — or between cleaning heavily soiled areas — wash all of your rags, sponges, brushes and other cleaning supplies.
Related: 12 signs you need to hire a house cleaner.
What is included in a spring cleaning?
Every house cleaning company that offers spring cleaning services will vary, but there are some fairly standard items on most checklists. In addition to the tasks above, professional spring cleaning services may include:
- Fixtures: Dust ceiling fans, clean light fixtures and sanitize knobs, faucets, light switches and drawer pulls.
- Windows: Clean window sills, wash windows and vacuum out window tracks. Remove and wash screens with soapy water.
- Children's toys: Disinfect kids’ soft toys in the washing machine, or toss hard plastic toys in the dishwasher.
- Smoke detectors: Test and replace all smoke detector batteries.
Find a house cleaning service in your area, and ask them about their spring cleaning offerings.
When should you spring clean?
Spring cleaning is — true to name — best performed in the spring. Many people take part in this annual cleaning routine as soon as the weather is warm enough to throw open the doors and windows. After spending a long, cold winter indoors, spring is the perfect time to freshen up your home. Plus, the sunnier weather may give you more energy to get things done around the house.
Even though we call it spring cleaning, you can do a big, annual cleaning whenever you want. If you get into the habit of seasonal deep cleanings, you'll probably find spring cleaning becomes much less of a chore.
How do you prepare for spring cleaning?
First, make a list of the things you want to tackle during your spring-cleaning session. Our easy-to-use printable checklist will guide you through a thorough spring cleaning if you're not sure where to start. Also, you don’t have to clean your entire house in one day. You can take the checklist and designate certain days for specific tasks, or break it up and assign different rooms to different family members.
Once you know what you want to tackle, purchase all the cleaning supplies you need. Make spring cleaning fun by putting together an upbeat playlist that gets you energized and in the mood.
Finally, the most practical thing you can do to prepare for spring cleaning is start decluttering weeks beforehand. Cleaning out and organizing the pantry, garage and closets before you begin will save loads of time and help move the cleaning process along efficiently.
What's the difference between a spring clean and a deep clean?
Some people treat spring cleaning as deep cleaning that occurs in spring. For others, a spring clean is a thorough house cleaning that also includes junk removal, decluttering and organizing the contents of drawers, cabinets, closets and more.
A deep clean typically includes cleaning all the nooks and crannies that are not generally included in a basic house cleaning. That includes cleaning inside the oven, degreasing the stovetop hood, cleaning kitchen appliances, wiping down blinds and fixtures, scrubbing bathroom grout, spot cleaning stains wherever you see them and vacuuming under couch cushions and inside drawers.
Long story short: a spring clean also includes organizing and decluttering, while a deep clean focuses on heavy-duty cleaning. However, your spring cleaning routine can — and probably should — include deep cleaning as well.
Related: How much does a deep house cleaning cost?
Find spring cleaning professionals near you.
While spring cleaning may not be glamorous work, we promise that you’ll feel elegant and accomplished after it’s done — and your family, guests, and even future buyers will thank you for keeping your home clean and in top shape.
If you can’t take on everything yourself, no need to be a hero. Use Thumbtack to find local spring cleaning pros who can help you cross items off your checklist and wash the winter away.
Related: Here's your complete spring home maintenance checklist.