Throw open the windows, it’s time to clear out the dust and depression from this horrific winter. Begone, bad spirits, snow sludge, street salt and dust. Let’s clear all that out so we can truly be ready for sunshine, rooftops, and sundresses.
Don’t think I’m going to condone your using toxic cleaners, however. It may save you a couple minutes, but you’ve been talking about how you need to exercise more. So we’re scrubbing today, and using some non-toxic neat tricks that work. And since you’re a classy lady/guy, I’ve chosen only the most delightful scents and matching cleaning tools. We want to make this pleasant, don’t we?
What You’ll Need
Cleaning the Kitchen
1. Clear it out. Take down all your pots and cookbooks, your knick knacks and appliances, and move them out of the kitchen. I promise, it looks bad now, but with cleaning, everything looks terrifying before it gets better.
2. Wash your curtains. If you have them, take them down and put them in the laundry.
3. Clean your oven and stove. We’re going to skip the toxic oven cleaner because this method works better. (Unless you have a self-cleaning oven. Good for you. But do open the windows because it will smell.) First, pull all the removable parts off the stove (knobs, grills) and throw them in the sink to soak. Then, create a nice thick paste out of baking soda and water, and spread it along the walls, floor and inside door of the oven. Spread it over the stove too. Now leave it alone to dry. We’ll come back to it later.
4. Clean the fridge. Empty out all the contents. Check the expiration date on all items (or just check for mold). Have a double-bagged compost bag ready for food, and recycle all the containers. Then use the all-purpose cleaner to scrub it down. Pull out the drawers and shelves, while you’re at it. This is not Lazy Day. And don’t forget the freezer! Sort through all items there, too, and if your freezer has built-up frost, unplug the whole refrigerator for defrosting. When you put everything back in, add a bag of Moso air cleaner.
5. Pull out the drip catcher from under the fridge. Didn’t know it was there? Now you do. Have fun with what you find. (My mom once found a dead mouse.)
6. Let’s talk dust. Grab your long handled duster, or climb up on your cabinets and get to dustin’. Make sure to reach the corners of the ceilings.
7. Next, the walls. You probably haven’t looked at them closely but just take a peek. Yeah, that is gross. Grab your reusable bamboo towel and all-purpose cleaner and get to work, girl.
8. Clean all the appliances. Use your bamboo towel and all-purpose cleaner. Dump the crumbs out of your toaster using the swing door at the bottom. You might also find the bamboo scraper useful here. Clean the inside of your microwave, if you have one. If it’s got stuck-on gunk, put a cup of vinegar and water inside and bring it to boiling, so the steam loosens it and the vinegar purifies the air.
9. Clean out the kitchen cabinets and drawers. Toss stuff in the to donate pile, or recycle them. Clean the drawers and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner and put everything back in.
10. Wash down the empty counters with counter spray. Don’t forget the backsplash.
11. Clean the sink with all-purpose cleaner, or baking soda and vinegar if it’s in bad shape. Pour vinegar and baking soda down the drain to unclog and combat smells.
12. Scrub all the dried baking soda off the oven and stove with steel wool. The black, crusty stuff will come with it. Then wipe it all down with a clean, wet bamboo towel.
13. Blast any lingering baking soda out of your stove components with the dust cleaner, so that it will continue to light.
14. Wash all oven and stove components and reattach them.
15. Empty the trash and recycling, and clean both receptacles with bathroom cleaner.
16. Sweep and mop the floors.
Cleaning the Bathroom
1. Launder curtains/drapes and bathroom rugs.
2. Dust down ceilings.
3. Then clean them with bathroom cleaner.
4. Dust the vents and fans.
5. Scrub the shower and tub with a scrub brush and then with a toothbrush.
6. Scrub down the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and toilet bowl brush. Don’t forget the outside of the bowl and behind. Icky, but necessary.
7. Wash your mirror with vinegar and a bamboo towel.
8. Clean sink, countertop, cabinet, handles and fixtures with bathroom cleaner.
9. Sweep and mop floor.
10. Empty and clean trash can with bathroom cleaner.
Cleaning the Living and Dining Areas
1. Launder curtains.
2. Dust down walls, shelves, art, lights and ceiling fans.
3. Spot clean walls with all purpose cleaner, and if spots persist baking soda or scrub.
4. Clean couches and chairs. Take couch cushions off and launder covers. Use hose attachment on your vacuum for unremovable portions. Spot clean with laundry detergent and rug cleaner, if you have this machine.
5. Have rugs professionally cleaned.
6. Clean wooden furniture with a damp cloth, then with wood conditioner. Use vinegar on glass furniture.
7. Vacuum floors, then clean with mop and floor cleaner if you have wooden or concrete floors.
Cleaning the Bedroom
1. Launder curtains/drapes.
2. Dust down walls, corners, shelves, and art.
3. Wash all bed linens. Not just your sheets, but your comforter, mattress cover, and pillows.
4. Vacuum and spot clean your mattress, then flip it. (This keeps it from sagging on one side.)
5. Clean wooden furniture with damp cloth and wood polish.
6. Empty closet, store your winter clothes, pull out your spring/summer clothes, put some things in the donate/sell pile, and put everything back in neatly.
7. Clean under the bed. Pull everything out, and vacuum floor underneath.
8. Spot clean carpet, or use mop and floor cleaner on wooden floor.
10. Get rugs professionally cleaned.
1. Burn sage and walk around your apartment several times. Think happy thoughts. This clears out negative energy.
2. Light some soy candles.
3. Relax. You just won at spring cleaning.
Here’s what I want to know:
1. What is your favorite non-toxic alternative to conventional cleaners?
2. Are there any toxic cleaners you just can’t bring yourself to give up?
Let me know in the comments, please!