Why a Spring Cleaning Extravaganza? Well, despite the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil last Tuesday that we’re in for another six weeks of winter, seemingly a predilection of his, this writer is itching for spring. So many wonderful things come with that glorious season: longer days, the return of robins (for those that still fly south for the winter), bulbs bursting forth from the once frozen soil, skies forming a brilliant blue dome overhead, ditching our dark, cold weather gear in favor of clothing that floats on the body, comfort in spending time out of doors, and so much more! Like a spotless home that will allow me to really enjoy spring guilt free!
I, for one, am so ready to get ready for spring. As the daylight gradually lasts longer, and there are more sunny days than cloudy ones, evidence of winter doldrums punch me in the face almost daily. Short, gloomy winter days brought with them a perfect cover for the dust webs and grimy corners along with the uncanny ability to overlook overstuffed closets and untidy drawers and cabinets. Now don’t get me wrong – at first glance my place looks pretty good. Just don’t move any of the pictures on the dresser, swipe your finger on the slats of my blinds, or peek below the crisper drawer in my fridge.
Over the next two months, I will share my spring-cleaning and tidying journey with you in a Spring Cleaning Extravaganza! Hopefully this commitment will keep me on track to achieve my goals before the days are too beautiful to spend inside fussing about with the Swiffer duster and the Vietnam Vets donation bags. And perhaps you will share this journey with me so that you, too, can welcome spring with a tidy, spotless, well-organized home and a light heart ready to embrace the season.
Let’s get started!
Throwing back the curtains and opening up the blinds has to come first. With cleaning windows and blinds, the sun can come streaming in exposing all those tasks we’ll need to tackle next.
How I hate washing windows! For me, it’s the worst cleaning job in the house. Except maybe for mini blinds. A true glutton for punishment, I’m doing both. Today. It’s the launch of oour spring cleaning extravaganza!
The thing that makes washing windows so awful is that so often they almost look worse after you’ve washed them because of streaking. So what is the best way to clean windows without streaking?
According to Pella, the folks who are known for their windows, a microfiber cloth is ideal but a gentle and clean paper towel can work as well. Rub from multiple directions to help avoid streaking. If you find that you still have streaks after you’ve cleaned your window, simply rinse with clear water to help remove any of the remaining cleaning solution. Check out their YouTube video!
Hmm. I think we need more details.
- Water bucket
- Dishwashing soap
- Terrycloth rag (an old towel should do)
- Microfiber cloth
- Window scrubber
- Drop cloths (an old sheet or towel should do)
- Spray bottle
- When cleaning windows from inside your apartment, place a drop cloth on the floor to catch any water drips.
- Pour cleaning solution (water mixed with liquid dishwashing detergent) into a plastic spray bottle, then spray the interior surfaces of the window.
- Immediately after spraying, clean the glass with a terrycloth rag, followed by a quick wipe down with the micro-fiber towel.
Outside (if you can safely reach)
- Fill bucket with clean water and add a small amount of liquid dishwashing detergent.
- Wipe down the window frame using a wet (not dripping) terrycloth rag.
- Dip your window scrubber into the water bucket, then wring out the excess water.
- Clean the glass with the scrubber to remove all dust and dirt.
- Wipe the window glass dry with a rubber squeegee. Hold the edge of the squeegee at about a 30 degree-angle to the glass, then make a horizontal pass across the window.
- Use a terrycloth rag to wipe the squeegee dry after every pass. If you’d prefer to wipe down vertically, start by using a dry cloth or end of the squeegee to create a dry edge along the top of the window glass.
- Place the squeegee on the dry edge and pull straight down, cleaning the glass.
- Use a micro-fiber towel to wipe down the glass one last time.
- To clean windows with divided lites (panes), use the scrubber to first wash the glass, and then squeegee the glass clean. Only this time, hold a terrycloth rag against the bottom end of the squeegee to catch water and protect the muntins.
Read more about attaining streak free glass here!
It’s so easy to forget about (IGNORE?) the need to clean your blinds. It’s pretty easy to not really see the dirt adorning the slats. I mean, when you open your blinds, do you actually look at the slats or are you looking out the window to check the weather? Then one day when you’re opening or closing them, you see – really see – the dust bunnies and the grime. Thankfully, this oft-forgotten task really isn’t so bad if you’re strategic. Here’s how to clean blinds the quick and easy way as part two of phase one of our spring cleaning journey.
Ohhh, look! You already have some of these supplies organized from your window-cleaning project!
- Microfiber cloth – read all about microfiber cloths here.
- Vacuum and upholstery attachment
- Clean sock
- White vinegar
- Optional: Mini blind duster* link this one, just $9 from The Container Store, or this one, just $7.80 from Walmart.
* Note: The special blinds duster isn’t necessary, but makes quick work of dusting blinds especially if you incorporate this task into your regular cleaning schedule. You’ll find it will save time in the long run by allowing you to clean multiple blades at once quickly and easily.
- Close the blinds and gently wipe them down with a microfiber cloth starting at the top and wiping side-to-side. Hold the bottom of the blind in your other hand so it’s pulled out from the window. Adjust the blinds to open them, and run the microfiber cloth over them again. Then close them the opposite way and repeat.
- Vacuum up any dust and debris with your vacuum attachment.
- For stuck-on dirt or stains, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a clean sock (finally a use for that old sock with the hole in the toe!) into your cleaning solution. Wring it out until the sock isn’t dripping wet, then slip onto your hand. Use your fingers to run over each blind blade tightly. Leave the blinds open to dry thoroughly.
- For deep cleaning, remove them from the window and place them in a bathtub filled with warm water and a squeeze of dish soap. Let them soak for an hour. Rinse and hang them outside until they’re completely dry.
Read more, including the “Do’s and Don’ts” of blind cleaning, and how to incorporate cleaning those blinds in your cleaning routine here.
Now that we’ve let the sun shine in, we’ll tackle the rest of the place! Stay tuned for phase two of our spring cleaning extravaganza.