Have you started your Spring
Because we don't have four
seasons in South Florida only the calendar says it is Spring. We
are about halfway through the dry season. But, that doesn't mean
that we can't do that annual deep clean.
Spring cleaning comes from a time when we relied more on wood,
oil and coal burning sources for heat. By the end of winter,
after a home had been closed up for months in an effort to keep
it warm the air was stuffy and most surfaces had accumulated ash
and soot. Warmer days meant a time to open the windows and doors
and scrub away soot, ash, and dust.
You might not have a house full of ash and soot, but if you
haven't done a deep cleaning in awhile, there is no time like
the present! Don't let the thought of a good Spring clean stop
you before you get started. While the idea is to clean every
surface, that doesn't mean you have to tackle the whole house at
once. For example, when I start a big cleaning job I break it
down into rooms and tell myself I only need to do a few rooms at
a time. I generally start with the formal living and dining room
and toss in a hallway or half-bath because these rooms are not
filled with loads of "stuff" and I can finish them with minimal
effort and get a feeling of accomplishment.
It helps to have a plan of attack and assemble your cleaning
supplies in advance. I started last weekend and was able to
accomplish quite a bit in just a few hours. I always start at
the top and work to the bottom. This means first knocking down
any cobwebs in those corners where the walls and ceilings meet
before I clean the walls.
Yes, that is right...I clean my
walls at least once a year if not more often.
Because I have a Miele vacuum
cleaner with an adjustable wand I have no problem reaching up
the length of the wall to the 10' ceiling. My husband just makes
sure I don't fall off the ladder. I just put the smooth floor
brush on the wand, fully extend it then start at the top and
vacuum down. If you have washable curtains of slip covers, this
is a great time to get them in the wash. I washed mine last week
with a little De-Mite laundry additive to get rid of any dust
mites that might have collected there.
Next tackle the woodwork. If you have crown molding, start there
then work down to any chair rail and lastly baseboards. Give all
the furniture a good dusting and if knickknacks are washable,
take them to the kitchen sink and give them a good washing.
Otherwise, dust with a damp cloth. This is a great time to treat
your upholstered furniture with a denaturing agent like ADMS
Dust Mite Spray. After you vacuum the cushions and give them a
flip, just spray lightly.
Finally clean the floors. I used my Vapamore steam cleaner to
clean my tile floors. It does such a fantastic job of cleaning
and brings out the natural shine in the tile. I do confess that
I covet the new Primo model. I have the old style MR100 and I
have to keep a towel handy to purge and it doesn't have the
nifty retractable cord. I would say that when mine is ready for
replacement I will get the Primo, but unfortunately I know that
my steam cleaner is like my Miele vacuum cleaner and is so well
made it won't need replacing for many years to come.
If you have sealed wood or
laminate floors, you can steam clean them as well. If you have
carpet, vacuum thoroughly, including the little cracks by the
baseboard and then treat with X-Mite Powder or ADMS Dust Mite
Spray. If you use the X-Mite Powder, be sure to sweep it in
thoroughly and then go on to cleaning the next room. X-Mite
needs to sit on the carpet for 3 hours to work properly. If you
are using the ADMS Spray, just lightly spray after you vacuum
and call the room done.
You might have noticed that I didn't mention anything about the
windows. That is because I don't try to Spring Clean inside and
outside at the same time. I used to clean windows when I cleaned
a room, but I found that gathering the extra supplies and
running in and out just seemed to make the process last longer.
Now I clean all the windows in one fell swoop. That is usually
after I have the majority of the home deep cleaned or I can
sweet talk my dear husband into doing it for me.
I also find it helps to set a time limit. For example, I will
tell myself I am going to deep clean "insert name of room/rooms"
and I am going to have it done in "x hours".
Otherwise I will make myself crazy and a 2 to 3 hour project
will consume 6 or 7 hours.
If you have Spring cleaning tips, I'd love to hear them....just
post your comments to our blog or shoot me an email.