Our 20 Best Spring Cleaning Tips of All Time

These essential cleaning hacks, products, tricks, and techniques will get your home ready for spring.

As soon as the first hint of spring arrives, we're busy making our to-do list, checking it twice, and stocking up on all the essentials for a complete floor-to-ceiling spring clean. To make this year's deep clean your most productive yet, we've rounded up some of our top spring cleaning tips of all time.

These hacks, products, and methods will save you time and make every inch of your home impossibly clean. Whether your spring cleaning routine is an all-weekend marathon or multiple after-work cleaning sessions, these tips and tricks will get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Top Spring Cleaning Tips

01 of 20

Lean Into Your Cleaning Personality

Some people are stress cleaners, while others are chore procrastinators. Identifying your cleaning personality is the first step to developing a plan or routine that works for (rather than against) you.

Chore Avoider

If you tend to procrastinate because you hate cleaning, give yourself incentives to get it done. Do harsh chemicals make you gag? Buy natural cleaning products scented with pleasing essential oils (or make them yourself).

Cleaning Plodder

Do you constantly turn to clean whenever you have a spare moment? Regular, light cleaning is beneficial in many ways. It leads to a neat and healthy home and prevents you from facing colossal clean-ups that take all day.

But it can also lead to a feeling of "never being done." Keep a checklist of even these small tasks, and mark them off when you complete them. This way, you'll regularly benefit from that "got that done" feeling.

Angry Cleaner

You channel your rage into cleaning, which makes that elbow grease 10 times stronger. By all means, use this excess energy (it's better than punching the person you're angry at), but don't reserve all your cleaning for times of disquiet. You don't want to depend on being angry to clean your house, nor do you want to associate cleaning with rage.

02 of 20

Mix Up Your Own All-Natural Cleanser

Whether you're trying to clean with fewer chemicals or want a backup for when you run out of your usual cleanser, know how to mix up your own natural cleaning solutions using ingredients you likely already have around the house. Here's a simple recipe from Melissa Maker of Clean My Space, which can be used on quartz, granite, and marble counters, plus appliances and sinks:

What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 5 to 10 drops of peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil
  • 1 squirt of natural dish soap

How to Make All-Natural Cleaner

  • Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  • Spray onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth.
03 of 20

Break Cleaning Into Chunks

Sometimes, spring cleaning is a marathon—but it doesn't have to be. Instead, break tasks down into short, highly productive chunks of time. Using a cleaning checklist, assign yourself two or three 10-minute tasks a day. Alternatively, you may want to do one 30-minute task a day.

Set your phone timer, start cleaning, and stop once it goes off. You did what you said you'd do, and it wasn't too bad. Check off the chore on your list, and you can relax until tomorrow.

04 of 20

Deodorize Your Gym Clothes

For many of us, warmer weather signals the start of spring cleaning and a renewed commitment to working out. The only problem: How to wash all those smelly gym clothes?

Step 1: Rinse ASAP

Rinse out your gym clothes right away. If you're at a gym, rinse them in the locker room, put them in a plastic bag, and then throw them into the wash as soon as you get home, along with a detergent formulated for synthetics.

Step 2: Soak in Vinegar Solution

Still stinky? Try soaking them in 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts cold water. If that doesn't work, consider switching to cotton blend workout clothes, which tend to release odors better than synthetics.

05 of 20

Make Your Trash Smell Better

Help your kitchen trash can smell a little more pleasant with these tips:

Hose Your Bin Down Regularly

Wash the can out regularly by bringing it outside, hosing it thoroughly with water, spraying a disinfectant, and scrubbing the can with a microfiber cloth or sponge.

Add Dryer Sheets

Once dry, place a couple of dryer sheets (even used ones will work) on the bottom of the can. They will absorb spills and help mask odors.

Sprinkle With Baking Soda

Another option: Sprinkle baking soda inside the bin. Baking soda doesn't disguise odors; it absorbs them.

06 of 20

Make Shower Cleaning Second Nature

There are several low-effort ways to keep a shower clean. Here are a few of them:

Buy a Squeegee

Keep a squeegee in the shower so it's easy to remember to wipe down the walls. It's more efficient than a cloth, which can get saturated with water, and sliding a squeegee down the walls from top to bottom is easy. It literally takes seconds.

Wash as You Go

Cleanse the shower while you're in there. One reader, J.F. from Facebook, offered this suggestion: "I keep a dish wand filled with equal parts dish soap and vinegar in the shower so I can scrub while I'm showering. Works like a charm!"

Spritz Daily

Spray the walls with a daily cleaning spray like Method Daily Shower Spray ($9, amazon.com). It dissolves on the walls and prevents soap scum.

07 of 20

Refresh Stained Coffee Mugs

Yes, it's true. Baking soda can clean almost anything—including cleaning stained teacups and coffee mugs. (Fun fact: Did you know the Statue of Liberty was cleaned with baking soda on its centennial?) Here's how to let it work its magic on your drinkware:

Step 1: Mix Baking Soda and Water

Fill the mug with one part baking soda and two parts water. For an average-sized coffee mug, that would be 1 cup of water and ½ cup of baking soda.

Step 2: Soak

Baking soda needs time to work, so let it soak for at least two hours or overnight. Giving it time can also neutralize odors.

Step 3: Wipe Off Stains

Rub with a sponge and rinse. Baking soda has natural, gentle abrasive properties, but it's also completely safe.

08 of 20

Dust Blinds in Half the Time

The beginning of spring makes us want to let the light in, which means it's time to clean our window treatments. Some tips for dusting blinds:

Use a Dry Dust Cloth

A dry microfiber cloth will pick up the most dust. If you add water, it can make a gloppy mess.

Try a Blind Dusting Tool

Instead of tediously wiping each individual blind, use a cleaning tool that dusts multiple blinds at once, like the Casabella Blinds Duster ($11, amazon.com).

Remove Stuck-On Dirt

Get rid of stubborn, stuck-on dirt or stains after you've dusted. Mix equal parts of cleaning vinegar and water. Dampen a sock with the solution, put your hand inside, and run it over the blade. Leave the blinds open to dry completely.

09 of 20

Clean the Toilet Correctly (And Without Gagging)

Cleaning the toilet lands near the top of the most-dreaded cleaning tasks list. Perhaps that's why people don't take the time to learn how to do it right. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep in mind when polishing your porcelain throne:

Let the Toilet Cleaner Do Its Job

Spray the toilet cleaner inside the bowl, covering the whole surface up to the top. Then let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Toilet bowl cleaners need this much time to disinfect surfaces. Finally, scrub with a hard bristle brush. You might also use a toilet wand.

Spray Disinfectant on All Surfaces

While waiting for the cleaner to cleanse the toilet bowl, spray down the entire rest of the toilet, including the seat, under the seat, the base, and even the floor area around the base. Wipe it down with paper towels and then toss them in the trash.

Don't Forget Inside the Tank

While the tank doesn't have to be cleaned as often as the toilet itself, occasionally check it for stains from mineral buildup. To clean the tank:

  • Remove the lid and add 4 cups of vinegar.
  • Let it sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain the tank by switching off the water to your toilet and flushing it.
  • Scrub the tank with a toilet brush.
  • Turn on the water and allow the tank to fill.
  • Flush the toilet three times to rinse out the tank.
10 of 20

Clear Gunk off Your Oven Door

Cleaning the door of the oven requires a slightly different technique than cleaning an oven in general. If the inside of your glass oven door is caked with sauce splatters and baked-on food, try one of these tricks:

  • Debra Johnson, a cleaning expert at Merry Maids, warns against using cleaners with harsh chemicals on the door. "To de-grime the inside of the oven door (including the glass) without using chemicals or scratching, wet a scouring pumice stone, scrub, then wipe clean with a wet microfiber cloth," she says.
  • Jessica Samson, spokesperson for The Maids also recommends using a less aggressive scrubbing technique. "Mix baking soda and water for a thick paste," she says. "Spread the paste generously on the glass and let it sit for 20 or more minutes. After, gently wipe up the paste with a microfiber cloth, rinse thoroughly with water, and buff it dry for a sparkling shine."
11 of 20

Clean High-Touch Surfaces

High-touch surfaces are all the places in your home that people often touch with bare hands. We're talking doorknobs, light switch plates, appliance handles, faucets, and TV remotes.

Regularly wipe these items down with a microfiber cloth dampened with warm, soapy water (plain dish soap is fine) or an all-purpose cleaner. If someone in your family has a cold or flu, switch to a disinfectant spray or create your own disinfectant.

12 of 20

Clean Baseboards

Baseboards aren't an obvious cleaning task, but they need to be cleaned about once a month.

  • Use a vacuum brush attachment or a microfiber mop to get at the initial layer of dust.
  • Wipe them clean with warm water and a bit of cleaning vinegar.
  • Dry them off with a microfiber cloth and run a dryer sheet over them to alleviate more dust buildup.
13 of 20

Dust Ceiling Fans

Look up. Do you see a ceiling fan in your home? It probably needs dusting! Neglect this task and you might be flinging dust particles around the room when you turn the fan on. Here's how to clean a ceiling fan:

Step 1: Spread a Sheet on the Floor

A sheet or drop cloth will catch dust that would otherwise need to be vacuumed after this chore. And who wants a second chore after you've completed this one? This way, you can just toss the sheet in the laundry when you're done.

Step 2: Set Up a Ladder

Yes, you can stand on a chair to reach some ceiling fans. But the safest option is a sturdy, trustworthy ladder. Consider investing in a good ladder if your ceiling fan is several feet high.

Step 3: Place a Pillowcase Over Fan Blades

Close the pillowcase over the far end of the blade and slide it toward you to collect the dust. Then carefully remove the case with the open side held shut to keep the dust inside. Carry it to a trash can and shake out the dust. Move on to the next blade until you've cleaned them all.

Wipe Blades With Cloth

After dusting, use a microfiber cloth dipped in warm, soapy water (dish soap is fine) to clean each blade. Use another dry cloth to dry.

14 of 20

Speed Clean Your Fridge

A refrigerator can be deep cleaned in 20 minutes. Do you only have 10? Here's the basic minimum you can do until you can get to this chore:

Toss Out Past-Prime Items

Do a quick inventory of your refrigerated food. Check labels for expiration dates, and throw out anything past its prime. The USDA recommends tossing leftovers after three or four days.

Wipe Up Spills

Remove the food items around that spilled soy sauce or ketchup, and wipe up the spills with a cloth dampened with hot water and an all-purpose spray. When you have time, it's best to remove all the items, wipe down the entire interior (and remove and wash the drawers in the sink with hot, soapy water).

Clean the Exterior

For enameled steel, wipe the front of the fridge with a cloth and the same multipurpose spray. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with distilled white vinegar if your fridge is stainless steel.

15 of 20

Wash Your Shower Curtain

You can clean a shower curtain and liner without a washing machine. But if you do have a machine, toss them in with your regular laundry cycle about once a month. Here's how:

Step 1: Put in Washing Machine

Put the curtain and liner in the washing machine with a few towels and ½ cup of baking soda. This should be its own load; wash your other laundry separately.

Step 2: Add Vinegar

During the rinse cycle, add ½ cup vinegar. It's a natural way to reduce mold and mildew.

Step 3: Air Dry

Hang the curtain and liner to dry. Some curtains can go in the dryer, but liners should always be air-dried.

16 of 20

Purge Your Old Makeup Products

You may be in and out of your makeup bag daily, but when was the last time you cleaned it out? Start by throwing out items that are old or that you don't use anymore. Mascara and liquid eyeliner generally have a 3-4 month expiration date, while eye and lip pencils are usable for up to 3-5 years. Don't just discard the old stuff, since some beauty products can be recycled.

17 of 20

Touch Up Grout

You should clean grout weekly, but here's how to do a quick touch-up on discolored grout with a grout pen:

Step 1: Shake the Pen

Mix up the ink formula inside the pen and prime the tip by pressing it against a paper towel or rag.

Step 2: Run Along Grout Lines

Drag the pen tip along the grout lines, taking care not to get it on the tile. If you ran over onto the tile, don't worry. Just use a cotton ball or swab to wipe the tile.

Step 3: Dry

Allow at least 10 minutes for it to dry.

18 of 20

De-Stink Your Sneakers

Smelly sneakers—whether your own or someone in your household's—are a fact of life. The good news is: Lots of sneakers are machine washable. Run them through a regular cycle with a small amount of detergent and a cup of white vinegar. Then let them air dry.

Cleaning white leather sneakers is trickier. One option is to rub off dirt and grime with a dampened Magic Eraser. This works on the soles as well. Then dry the shoes thoroughly with a towel.

19 of 20

Clean Your Mattress

Laundering your sheets about once a week is a no-brainer. But cleaning your mattress is a less obvious task. Still, you should be doing it twice a year. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Vacuum

With the hose attachment, get rid of any dust, debris, or loose dirt that's accumulated on the mattress.

Step 2: Add Baking Soda

Lightly dust the mattress with baking soda and let it sit for an hour or so. Baking soda deodorizes and neutralizes bacteria.

Step 3: Vacuum Again

Suck up all the baking soda (and any remaining dirt or dust), digging into the crevices to get everything out. If you can flip your mattress, do so and repeat the process on the other side.

20 of 20

Disinfect Your Smart Phone

Yes, your smartphone is a breeding ground for germs. In fact, a report issued by the National Institutes of Health referred to "the possible role of mobile phones as a ‘Trojan horse’ contributing to the transmission of microbial infections in epidemics and pandemics." So, what do you say we learn how to clean that phone? Here's how:

Step 1: Remove the Case and Swab Phone With Disinfecting Wipes

After turning off your phone, remove the case. Gently wipe all sides of the phone (including the screen) with a disinfecting wipe. Alternatively, spray 70 percent isopropyl alcohol onto a microfiber cloth and wipe your phone. Don't get the charging port wet.

Step 2: Wash Case and Replace

Take off the case and clean it with mild dish soap and warm water. Rinse the case and dry it with a towel. Make sure it's completely dry before you replace it on your phone.

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