I am not sure about you but while I am putting away my Christmas decor in early January I have the urge to go even further and deep clean the whole house. I get that urge again in the spring and fall. And while it can be overwhelming to think about, it doesn’t have to be a difficult chore.
I have partnered with HomeRight to giveaway one of my favorite cleaning tools ever, the STEAM MACHINE. But before we get to the giveaway, I wanted to share some tips and a check list for deep cleaning your home.
*Just like the analogy about eating the elephant (eww, who came up with that anyway?), don’t look at your home and think it all has to be done all at once. I always take one room at a time.
*I try to start at the top and work my way down. And yes, I scrub my ceilings. Luckily for me we have 8 foot ceilings in the whole house. We get fly specks and spider webs on them and in the kitchen it can even be a little greasy.
*Enlist some help! Sometimes I prefer to clean alone but now that my kids are getting older I have them do quite a bit. Figure out what jobs are appropriate for the age of each child and give them assignments. Ideally at our house we deep clean on a Saturday morning. One child is in charge of keeping my 3 year old happy, one child is with me in one room and the other child is with my husband in another room. Two rooms get done at once and the youngest is happy. We rotate kids on half hour basis.
*And I ALWAYS play music. I have found I get my kids to work longer if I have fun music playing. And let’s be honest, I work longer too :)
Here are the cleaners I use at my house:
Vinegar, Goo Gone, Basic H, Thieves oil (mixed with water in a spray bottle), Magic Eraser, Baking Soda, Clorox wipes, Dawn, Lemons or lemon juice, Fish Foam, and Bleach
Now let me tell you a little story about myself…. I use to use bleach on everything. EVERYTHING. I was a bleach-aholic due to the fact that I was a HUGE germaphobe. Before I started blogging I spent a good chunk of everyday (the time I now use building my business) on cleaning. In my mind, unless I used bleach, the germs didn’t die.
I have come along way. I credit having this blog as a big reason I have calmed the heck down. I have something else to focus my time on. I have also been introduced to other ways of cleaning that are better. Now bleach is still pictured because I still do use it on occasion. I use it with laundry, I put it down smelly drains, and a few other things. But I don’t go through jugs the way I use to.
Alright, let’s go room to room shall we?
All of the House:
These are things all if not most of your rooms will have in common.
*Air vents. Our air returns get marbles, Legos, crackers, and other small objects in them as well as dust. I remove the covers, take out the bigger stuff, then vacuum out the dust. Sometimes I even wipe them out. The heat vents also get vacuumed out. I stick the shop vac hose down as far as it will go.
*I wash the walls with either cleaning wipes or sudsy wet rag. I am always amazed at how much dust can accumulate on the walls. And if you have kids, smudges, food, and other…um…things can be there.
* Windows…. Confession: I have never washed the outside of my windows aside from hosing them off. But we do wash them on the inside. My boys fight over who gets to wash them because they all love using Fish Foam. If you have kids, you know how quickly windows get fingerprints and smudges. Don’t forget the window sills and window tracks. The steam machine works great in the tracks. It is great for any crevice actually.
* Curtains, draperies, and blinds will need to be taken down and washed (or dry cleaned). I take my blinds down and either soak them in the tub or spray them off in the shower. Then I let them air dry before hanging them back up. I have the cheap plastic ones and when they start to yellow a little I add bleach to the water as they soak and it makes them white again.
* Don’t forget your ceiling fans and light fixtures! I ache for those of you who have super high ceilings. Make sure and be careful if you use a ladder to reach them. Sometimes if you have really high ceiling you may need to hire it out.
* Back in the day when I was a major germaphobe I would religiously disinfect the remotes, door knobs, light switches, and phones daily. I usually only remember once a week now. But I know a lot of people forget them so I am throwing it out there. They are some of the most touched things in our home.
*I actually have “cleaning baseboards” on my little boy’s chore chart. He is suppose to do it every day upstairs. So our baseboards are not super bad. But they do get scuffs that I clean using the magic eraser. And after weeks and weeks of my little guy wiping the dust, it builds in the corners. Do you know what I mean? Whenever there is a ledge that you wipe, where ever the ledge meets a corner, the dust gets stuck. I have recently found that the best way to get it clean is my steam machine.
If I said that I would rather poke my eye out rather than deep clean my kitchen would that be a touch too dramatic? Because it sure feels that way. And growing up my mom always told me to start with the job you hate the most, first. So the first room we will discuss is the kitchen.
*Clean under the fridge and oven/stove. Yep. That means you have to move them. Sometimes the kids and I guess what will be under there before I pull it out. There is almost always marbles, hot wheel cars, rubber bands, pencils, cereal, and crackers. Oh, and of course…dust bunnies!
*Clean the coils behind the fridge. I just use a vacuum attachment to suck off the dust.
*The kitchen cabinets need to be emptied and washed out. I like to use a damp rag and Dawn dish soap. Sometimes the insides of the cabinets can be a little greasy. Wipe the outsides as well. Mine are painted but if you don’t have painted cabinets I recommend Minwax’s Wood Cabinet Cleaner. It is fabulous! Replace worn shelf paper/liners. And clean the tops as well. I use contact paper on the tops of my cabinets so all I have to do is pull off the old paper and replace it. Works great!
*Wash down small appliances. Make sure they are unplugged and use a damp washcloth. Again, I use dish soap. The base of our blender usually wins for dirties small appliance but they all need a scrub.
*Clean inside the fridge. If there are lingering odors, use lemon juice and baking soda. I actually leave some baking soda in my fridge at all times to absorb any smells. Also check the expiration dates on everything especially condiments.
*Clean out your oven. You can see how I cleaned my oven door with the steam machine.
*Clean your microwave inside and out. I stick a wet rag in there and microwave it for one minute. I let it sit there a few more minutes and then wipe it out. The steam from the rag will soften dried food. If odor is a problem add lemon juice to the wet rag.
*If you have a garbage disposal, pour bleach or lemon peels down it to get rid of odor. Clean your sink really well. In most homes it is dirtier than the toilet.
*Clean your dishwasher. Mine sometimes gets stagnate water on the bottom and turns orange-ish. Jilee from One Good Thing has a good tutorial.
Kitchen and bathrooms are kind of a toss up for grossest room in my opinion. The steam machine is my favorite bathroom cleaning tool. I also use vinegar(for the shower), fish foam (for the mirrors), and cleaning wipes.
*Soak your shower head in vinegar if the holes get clogged with mineral deposits. If yours is not the kind that detaches, then fill a baggie with vinegar and use a rubber band to keep it in place around the head. Soak overnight and simply turn on the rise away the vinegar.
*Use a steam machine with a brush attachment to scrub soap scum off shower stall doors. Also if your shower floor (or tub) has a textured surface, the steam machine with brush attachment will clean it well.
*The steam machine also does tile grout well. I use to use an old tooth brush.
*You need to clean the bathroom fan. Take off the cover and scrub it in the sink. Use a rag or duster to clean the inside and then replace the cover.
*The counters and cabinets get wiped with cleaning wipes at our house. Sometimes I spray thieves. I believe in the cleaning power of the thieves oil, I just have not gotten use to the smell. It is a personal preference thing. I know most people love it.
*The toilet….. The crappiest thing in the house to clean (pun intended). I really need to take a pumice stone to mine. I have heard that if you dump a 2 liter bottle of Coke in there it will eat away and stains or mineral build up. If any of you have tried it please let me know in the comments. The area where the seat attaches to the toilet bowl has always been a tricky spot for me. When it comes to cleaning I pretty much hate any crack or crevice. A friend told me she uses her steam machine on hers. So I tried it and was happy :) Not only does all sorts of stuff come out that has been hiding, but the steam sanitizes it too. I use wipes on the outside of the toilet.
* Move the couch and other furniture and clean under them.
* Take the time to condition any leather furniture and to clean any upholstery. The steam machine has an attachment for upholstery!
* Vacuum in between cushions and save any money found to go in your chocolate fund.
* Clean TV remotes and electronics. I usually use cleaning wipes.
* Clean your computer and don’t forget your keyboard, and mouse. For a good explanation on how to get your keyboard clean, read this article from PC world.
* Organize your desk top and drawers.
* Get your filing cabinet in order. I usually have a tote full of things that need to be filed that I have collected over the past months. I sort it on the family room floor while watching a movie after my kids go to bed. Any job I can do while watching Downton Abbey is A-OK with me :)
Laundry Room & Utility Room:
* Clean your washing machine. I wipe the outside really well. I also wipe down the inside of the lid and where you pour the bleach. It gets super dirty (which seems weird since it is a machine that gets things clean) Jilee has another good post about how to clean both front loading and top loading machines.
* Clean behind and under the washer and dryer.
* While you are back there, vacuum out the dryer hose. It can be a fire hazard if lint gets built up.
* Clean the residue off of the lint trap with a tooth brush and soapy water.
* Clean or replace the furnace filters.
* Clean under the bed. I usually take the mattress and box spring off so I don’t have to try and move the whole thing. Our room is so tiny there is not enough room to really move it. I prop the mattress and box springs up against the wall and vacuum my little heart out.
* Flip your mattress if needed. Ours is a pillow top so we don’t flip it but we rotate it.
* Wash pillows and other bedding. I wash my pillows and bed spread almost as often as I wash my sheets.
* Organize your closets and donate clothing you no longer need.
* Move any other furniture and clean well under and behind.
Here is list to remind you of all the places to clean. You can pin it for reference later or print it and hang inside your cleaning supply closet.
Now for the giveaway!
If you read through my post you probably noticed that I use the steam machine a lot. I am always finding new uses for it too. It is a healthy way to sanitize and clean. And I get to give one away!
Please let me know of there are any issues with the Rafflecopter widget.
*You must be 18 years or older and a US resident to enter. The giveaway starts January 6th and runs until January 12th. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The winner is picked randomly through the Rafflecopter widget.
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