It’s that time of year again! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining for a little bit longer each day. So why does your home still feel like it’s stuck with the winter blues? It’s likely that after all the time spent in our homes this past year, we can all use a little bit of spring cleaning. This age-old tradition allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the often hectic springtime and summer seasons.
Spring cleaning can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Here are six spring cleaning tips to get you started.
1. Overhaul Your Cleaning & Laundry Supplies
Before you get started on your spring cleaning routine, consider giving your cleaning supplies an overhaul. A multitude of cleaning products can create unnecessary clutter – and you probably don’t need all of those cleaners to keep your home sparkling clean, anyway. And, with entire grocery store aisles lined with cleaning products – with a cleaner for this surface and a separate cleaning solution for that surface – cleaning supplies end up costing a fortune, and, worst of all, most regular cleaners are filled with harsh ingredients that are not only harmful to people and pets, but also to the life in our oceans once they get washed down the drain. Tossing these harsh products is the first step to creating a cleaner, healthier home. According to the American Lung Association, it's particularly important to avoid air fresheners and choose products that do not contain (or have greatly reduced amounts of) fragrances, irritants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and flammable ingredients.
Instead, opt for an all-purpose cleaner, like Vital Oxide, that can be used to clean the majority of surfaces in your home. Vital Oxide can be used to tackle the bathroom, kitchen, carpet, upholstery, tough stains, stubborn odors, and so much more. Vital Oxide harnesses the power of oxygen – in the form of stabilized chlorine dioxide – to create a fast-acting, environmentally-friendly, effective cleaner and broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. Not only can Vital Oxide can replace every other cleaning product in your home, it’s also:
- Eco-friendly – after use, Vital Oxide breaks down into simple salt and produces no harmful byproducts
- Free of harsh synthetic perfumes, dyes, preservatives, and VOCs
- Made in the USA
The same goes for the products in your laundry room. Although your clothes might smell as fresh as spring flowers, the reality is that many big brands of laundry detergent contain harmful chemicals which can lead to negative health effects and have disastrous consequences for the natural environment. To be proactive about your health and the well-being of the planet, spring clean your laundry room and avoid laundry products with synthetic fragrances, dyes, optical brighteners, bleach, or other harsh chemical ingredients.
We’ve got you covered! Our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent is a class apart – with green and skin-friendly ingredients that result in a powerful clean. It’s safe for all washing machines, including HE and works in all water temperatures. It’s also recommended by allergists and dermatologists, with a gentle plant and mineral-based formula that removes common indoor allergens from dust mites, pet dander, mold, mildew, and smoke, as well as stubborn stains and odors. Our detergent is free of perfumes, dyes, enzymes, and other allergy triggers, while being 100% biodegradable and an Earth-friendly choice.
Related: Is Your Laundry Detergent Toxic?
2. Get the Household Involved & Make it Fun
Make spring cleaning a household project. Assign age-appropriate chores, so everyone feels included. Even young children can be excellent spring cleaning helpers with chores like sweeping and dusting. Make spring cleaning feel like less of a chore by playing music as you clean. Keep kids motivated by turning cleaning into a game, for example, create a cleaning treasure hunt or make a scratch-off chore chart. Also consider establishing a household reward (like a family movie night or a special take-out dinner) as an incentive to get the job done.
3. Declutter & Organize
One of the most important aspects of spring cleaning is often getting rid of clutter. Try this four-step approach to tidy up this spring:
- Identify problem areas. Take a few minutes and survey each room. Then, working room by room, select items that you’ll trash, store, and donate. Move the clutter out of your home as soon as possible, whether it's bringing a donation box to a charity or listing an item on OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.
- Analyze the reasons for the clutter. Try to determine the reasons for disorganization and mess. Usually, there is more than one reason why an area of your home is continually unorganized.
- Make a plan to prevent the clutter from accumulating again. For example, if shoes are constantly accumulating near the front door, a shoe rack or storage bench could prevent clutter.
- Organize and work on keeping clutter to a minimum. After you’ve tidied your home, put everything in its proper place. Commit to staying on top of clutter before it accumulates. A good method is to choose one day a month (perhaps the first Sunday of each month), and set a reminder on your calendar to purge unwanted or broken items and reorganize. You’ve got this! Staying on top of this simple habit will make next year’s spring cleaning routine much smoother.
Now that you’ve decluttered, it’s time to get to cleaning!
4. Deep Clean Room-by-Room
Approaching your house room-by-room is one of the most effective ways to spring clean it. One basic rule to remember while deep cleaning: Always clean high before you clean low. After all, dust doesn’t just collect on shelves and floors. Ceilings, overhead lighting fixtures, and ceiling fans are just as prone to getting grimy, but since they don’t get cleaned as often, they tend to sprinkle dust and gunk onto the space below when they finally get cleaned. Since cleaning these high up features will inevitably lead to the area below getting dirty too, always start with the ceiling in each room and then work your way down the walls and to the furniture and finally to the floors.
While you’re at it, remember to move your furniture and clean underneath it. We’ve all been guilty of cleaning only the most visible grime and skipping the hard-to-reach spots, like floors under living room furniture and beds. Maybe you've even forgotten that these things can get dirty. Trust us, they are dirty and now is the time to get them clean! Be sure to vacuum all surfaces (ceilings, walls, trim, fans, furnishings, items, and anything else in the room), and make at least two passes over each surface.
After vacuuming, wash each room thoroughly, sticking to the “clean high before you clean low” principle. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Vital Oxide
- 2 buckets
- 3-4 microfiber cloths
- Microfiber mop
- Step Stool or Step Ladder (it should allow you to reach the ceiling)
NOTE: Vital Oxide comes full-strength, ready-to-use (RTU) right out of the bottle, but can be diluted for certain uses. For deep cleaning and sanitization, you can dilute 1 part Vital Oxide to 9 parts water. For actions like disinfecting, mold removal, and odor eliminating. Vital Oxide must always be used full-strength.
Start by preparing your two buckets. In the first bucket, dilute 1 part Vital Oxide to 9 parts water. The second bucket will be your rinse bucket – simply fill it with water. When you’re ready, dip your microfiber mop in the Vital Oxide bucket and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Then, thoroughly wipe all hard surfaces, starting with the ceiling then working your way down to the walls, then the floors. The surface should look slightly damp after wiping, but not soaking wet. Plan on making at least two passes over each surface. As you need more Vital Oxide solution, first rinse your mop in the clean water bucket, wring it out, then dip it again in the Vital Oxide solution. Don’t forget to empty out your rinse bucket and fill it with clean water when you notice it getting cloudy.
After you’ve washed the ceilings, walls, and floors, use your microfiber cloths to wipe down trim, corners, shelves, furniture, lighting fixtures, and other items in the room. You may be tempted - but do not skip over any surfaces or items during this step! It’ll be worth it in the end, we promise! Finish up by towel drying any items that you don’t want to let air dry (picture frames, lamps, etc.) That’s it!
5. Wash All Your Bedding, Linens, & Towels
In your spring cleaning mode, be sure to wash and change all the bedding, linens, and towels. If you have guest rooms with bedding that hasn’t been washed in a while, now’s a good time to freshen it up and get rid of accumulated dust (and all of the dust mites) that’s hanging out in it.
Wash all bedding, linens, pillows, and towels with our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent. If the weather permits (and you have space) consider hanging your laundry outside to dry for the most eco-friendly way to freshen any linen.
6. Empty Closets & Store Winter Clothes
As the seasons change, so do our wardrobes. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to empty each closet, give it a good cleaning, and sort winter clothes. If you find things that you haven’t worn in years, consider selling, donating, or discarding them. Clothes that you want to store until next year should be laundered and stored away properly.
While the closet is empty, dust the walls and clean the floors. If you’re feeling extra inspired, now is a great time to give your closet walls a fresh coat of paint.
Establish New Cleaning Habits
After thoroughly spring cleaning your whole house, you may be tempted to take a break from cleaning for a while. However, now is a great time to establish ongoing cleaning habits, which will keep your home cleaner and healthier all year-round and will also make the next spring cleaning even easier. For example, instead of trying to tackle all your spring cleaning to-dos in one day, or even over a weekend, try tackling items on your spring-cleaning checklist in 30 to 45 minutes each day. This will get you into the habit of tidying up for a few minutes each day, even after you’re finished with your spring cleaning tasks.Have questions about our eco-friendly products? We have answers! The Ecology Works has been leading the way in green cleaning since 1993. We can help you select the products you need to live a better, allergen-free life. Please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.