We’ve got a 16-Days-to-Deep-Clean checklist to get your spring cleaning done with minimal pain. We’re also sharing our best tried-and-tested cleaning tools and supplies to make cleaning even easier. Do these tasks 16 days in a row, or spread them out over the month to keep you moving forward without getting burned out.
We’ve picked up a few cleaning tips that have helped us get through the dreaded deep clean.
- Start at the top. Cleaning can sometimes get a little messy before it sparkles. Starting at the top of the room, ensures you’re not cleaning things twice.
- Finish with floors. Mop, vacuum, or sweep your way out from one room to another.
- Time the cleaners. Give cleaners enough time to do their job, but do not let things like toilet bowl and shower cleaners sit for longer than the bottle directs.
- Throw away/ shred/ recycle papers you do not need. Of course, if it’s an important document file it. Shuffling random papers around just makes a bigger job to clean up down the road. Shred it and forget it. Old magazines that you have not cracked open in a year do not need to keep clogging up space in the home. Recycle them.
THE 16 DAYS TO DEEP CLEAN CHECKLIST:
☑️ Day 1 – DUST! Dust ceiling fans, vents, lamps, blinds, and finishing with floor boards. If it’s been a while since your last deep dusting, you may need to run a vacuum.
☑️ Day 2 – Wash blinds, slatted doors, and floor boards. We find the easiest way is to fill up a bucket of soap and water, gather a few shop rags and oddly, a paint brush (see pro tip below). We like Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap for this task. See bottom of article for what other cleaners made our “favorites” list.
PRO TIP: They make special washer/dusting tools than can slip through vent type surfaces, but we’ve found a medium painters brush was the most helpful tool for dusting and washing blinds, intake vents, and closet slat type doors.
☑️ Day 3 – Vinegar all the faucets. Pour enough white vinegar into ziplock bags and submerge shower heads and faucets into the bag. Secure with a rubber band and let set for about an hour. Give a quick scrub and see your hardware shine again. Vinegar is also great on water spots on the hardware (like handles and face plates) around a faucet; simply soak a paper towel in the vinegar and stick to the surface. Check after 30 minutes. If the water stains and grime are especially tough, you may need to reapply the vinegar to the paper towel and let it sit a while longer.
☑️ Day 4 – Bedding! Wash curtains, sheets, comforters, bed skirts, throw pillows, area rugs. Dust bed feet/wheels, turn the mattress. Pull items out from under the bed to organize (and maybe toss or donate) and don’t forget to vacuum under there too.
☑️ Day 5 – Pantries. Pull EVERYTHING out of the pantry and throw away expired items. You’d be surprised how much gets pushed to the back and lost in the shuffle of daily life. Wipe down the storage shelves, walls, and floors. See our article about organizing for further tips.
☑️ Day 6 – Smallest bathrooms. The half baths and the guest baths. Cleaning top to bottom; fan vents, dusting, tiles, walls, floorboards, then floors.
☑️ Day 7 – Main bathrooms. The primary bath and regularly used bathrooms. Cleaning top to bottom. (Leave inside the cabinets for tomorrow.)
☑️ Day 8 – Bathroom cabinets and storage. Remove everything from under cabinets and in drawers. Toss old items. Dust and wipe down drawers and cabinet floors. Organizing what you are putting back helps to make early morning routines go faster.
☑️ Day 9 – Vacuum and dust the couch, chairs, tables. Remove cushions and if needed or able launder covers, pillows, seat cushions. Vacuum the frame of the couch. Use that trusty paint brush to dust cracks and crevices of dining chairs and details of furniture where dust gathers. Wipe these items down with a damp cloth and dry immediately, as wood and water are not friends.
☑️ Day 10 – Linen Closet. Remove EVERYTHING. Toss things like old hair products and makeup.
- Folding towels with the exact same folding method makes things fit better. We like the half, half, thirds method: Fold towel long ways in half, then in half again. Then turn and fold into thirds by folding the left side in, and the right side over for storing. Makes kind of a “G” shape when you see it on the shelf. Organizing the towels by color is a visual trick that makes the linen closet LOOK even MORE organized.
- Fold sheet sets by style; stacking the folded matching pillow cases, flat, and fitted sheets in a pile together. Use one of the pillow cases from each set to store the whole set in. This keeps them from getting separated from their matches, and also keeps them from falling all over the closet when you go to pull a new set. Makes them easy to identify and grab by design too!
☑️ Day 11 – THE REFRIGERATOR. Again, remove everything. Toss expired items. Clean shelving and drawers by removing them. Dawn dishsoap works great for this task. Organize for an easier time finding things. If you need more ideas on organizing the refrigerator, see our past article.
☑️ Day 12 – The “JUNK” Drawer. Toss the random soy sauces and add the pennies to your change jar. Pencil trays (ours are from the Dollar Tree) make great organizers for grouping like items together in catch-all drawers like this. For example, we have several trays in ours; one for batteries; one for scissors/ screw drivers/ Allen wrenches; another for rulers/ tape measures; one for rubber bands, nails, and thumb tacks, one that gathers all the other randomness that ends up in this drawer.
☑️ Day 13 – The primary closet. This one is always a doozy for us, so we wrote a whole article about it HERE.
☑️ Day 14 – Vacuum the fridge coils and change the water filter. Did you know: Dust build-up is one of the biggest reason refrigerators need repair? Vacuum the dust build-up from under and behind the fridge to keep this appliance COOL. They make tools for this task that look like super long bottle cleaners; found at any home improvement store.
☑️ Day 15 – STOVE/OVENS. Time to scrub the oven, and clean the floor underneath it. Chances are things have dripped down there over the last few months. (Thanksgiving, anyone?!) Check your owner’s manual for the proper way to perform this maintenance on your oven brand/model. This is a good time to clean and detail the microwave too. For microwaves that hang over stoves; the oil and steam from cooking builds up in the fan areas of the microwave. Be sure to really scrutinize it.
☑️ Day 16 – GROUT. Investing in a steam mop may be the easiest and most effective way we’ve found to clean tile grout. We give our recommendation of brand and model below. Our steam mop DRASTICALLY cut down the time or need to scrub the entirety of our floor grout with a toothbrush. THANK GOD!
Our MOST-LOVED cleaning supplies:
Dawn Power Shot – If you have not tried this stuff yet, YOU MUST! Simply spray those tough-to-clean, (or even dried-on dishes, or burnt-on pans once they are cooled) with this stuff and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will wash away with a little sponge scrubbing like nothing. It’s amazing. We’ve even used it on soap scum.
Pro Tip: If cleaning canvas (like on outdoor furniture); plain blue Dawn dish wash with a little water and scrubbing by hand got the mildew stains out like magic, without breaking down the fabric like bleach does. Simply spray off the surface with a hose, apply some Dawn, scrub and let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.
Mrs. Meyers Spray Cleaners – THESE SMELL AMAZING! Our favorite is the lavender and the verbena. Great for bathrooms and kitchens to make you feel like you might live in an actual spa.
Molly’s Marvelous Scrubbing Stones – Hard water build up on toilets or porcelain sinks be gone! Just make sure to use a very light hand, you want to scratch away the mineral build up, not the surface of the porcelain.
Murphy’s Wood Floor Cleaner – The smell of this stuff is amazing. I break it out to wipe down cabinets, floor boards, blinds, and doors; leaving the whole area smelling like a lemon pine dream!
Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami – Hard water stains are broken down so much easier with this powder. It’s also great on pan bottoms to keep them not only looking good, but conducting heat properly.
HandyClean – Rinse Free Sanitizing Wipes – This is our go-to cleaner-and-towel in one. It makes cleaning so quick!
Swiffer Dusters – I’ve tried the off brands and they never work as well as these lil beauties. The Swiffer duster model with the extending arm saves me from working harder than I need too.
Swiffer Wet Jet Mop – This little mop makes mopping the quickest part of cleaning. I will never go back to a regular giant mop and sloshing bucket full of water.
Bissell Pro Heat Carpet Cleaner – If you have pets or kids, or even just lighter colored carpets, a carpet cleaner like this can be very beneficial.
Bissell Steam Mop – If you have tile and grout, you need a steamer mop. This is the secret to keeping your grout as clean and as close to its original color as possible.
Shark Rocket Duo Clean Vacuum – PERFECT cord length. The BEST vacuum for hardwood floors and tiles because it has one roller that is fluffy for polishing. It’s the smallest vacuum I have ever owned, and yet it is also the most powerful one I have ever owned. Seriously, sometimes this thing is trying to run away from me. I love it!