Have you seen GEICO’s TV commercial that features an exhilarated camel walking through an office building asking his coworkers to guess what day it is? Well, guess what week it is? It’s National Cleaning Week, celebrated from March 24 –30. And we are about to give you a whole lot of tips on how to deep clean your house (really get in there with the broom, mop, and duster) along with a few other tips. By the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’ll have plenty of ideas for cleaning many areas of your home and maybe even make some money on the side.
7 Days of Cleaning Divided Into 28 Chores
One of the things that most people complain about is, “where do I start?” Yes, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out which area to tackle first. This is why we have divided 28 chores into 7 days to make it easier for you.
Before we get started, you’re going to need some cleaning solutions. You could purchase them. But you could eliminate some toxins and chemicals from your house and save some money by making them yourself . White vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. However, check out The Ultimate Guide to Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes for over a dozen homemade recipes for cleaning everything from the oven to carpet stains.
1. Install Door Sweeps
I can hear you, “What’s a door sweep, and what’s it got to do with cleaning the house?” Before proceeding to cleaning the interior, get new door sweeps installed. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. Not only will they help keep dust out of the house, they’ll help you save on energy bills too.
2. Re-seal the Windows
You can tell the window seals are broken if you’re looking at condensation build up on the insides of window panes, or if can you see the curtains moving when the wind blows. If you’re a DIYer with all your own tools and some extra time on your hands, just go on YouTube and watch a video on how to re-seal the windows yourself. But it’s never as easy as it looks, so you may want to call a window treatment service to get the windows re-sealed.
3. Remove the Spider Webs
The reason this chore is near the top of our National Cleaning Week list is because you need to handle the mess up top first. This way, when you’re cleaning the floor, you won’t have to worry about dust and dirt falling from above. A great way to capture dust and spider webs hanging out in the really high corners is a disposable duster with an extendable handle and pivoting head. Disposable dusters are made of materials that cause the dust to cling rather than getting scattered around. If you don’t have a disposable duster, use a clean microfiber cloth and secure it to a broom or mop handle with a rubber band. Simply raise your improvised duster and twirl it to wrap the spider webs around the cloth.
4. Dust the Ceiling Fans
Up next are the ceiling fans. All you need is a pillowcase to clean the blades. Here’s an easy trick to prevent the dust from falling to the floor: place a ladder underneath the fan and climb up. Slide the pillowcase on the fan’s blade and slowly pull it towards yourself. Clean the remaining dust particles with a wet cloth.
We still have more dust to remove today.
5. Clean Lighting Fixtures
Flies and other insects seem to like going to lighting fixtures to die. So, remove all the lighting covers and clean them. Now unscrew the bulbs and wipe them. Dust can create a dark halo, which blocks some of the light. So make sure the fixtures are clean so the bulbs are at full strength.
6. Clean Curtains and Blinds
Take off the curtains and throw them in the washing machine or send them to they dry cleaner. As for the blind, use a blower to remove the dust. For cleaning the window pane, make a DIY solution with 1 part water or rubbing alcohol, 1 part vinegar and 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and clean away. For cleaning the window ledge, make a DIY solution with baking powder, water and dishwashing liquid. Spray it on the ledge and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. For hard to reach corners, consider using an earbud cleaning stick or other pointed object.
7. Clean Windows and Screens
While you have the curtains and blinds down is the perfect time to do the windows. To clean your mesh window screens, use a dry cloth first to knock off the loose dust. Then go over the screen with a soft brush vacuum cleaner attachment.
8. Dust Shelves
Dusting shelves is as easy as 1, 2, 3: remove all items from the shelves and dust them individually before putting them n a box. Use a duster to remove the dust shelves and then wipe them using an all-purpose cleaner before replacing the items from the box.
9. Clean Indoor Furniture
Cleaning furniture makes it more attractive and can increase its lifespan. Check out this article 5 Ways to Clean Furniture – wikiHow to learn methods for cleaning most kinds of furniture.
10. Clean the Clothes Closets
If you haven’t cleaned your closets in ages the first thing to do is take out all your clothes and divide them into three piles: 1) I want to keep, 2) give to charity, and 3) sell on eBay or at a garage sale.
Now, to protect all the clothes you’re keeping, follow Martha Stewart’s The Basics of Mothproofing. She deals with carpet beetles too which are more of an issue for most regions of the country than moths. She also provides information about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of cedar closets, mothballs, and lavender.
11. Remove everything from under the beds so you can vacuum. Organize everything before putting it back under the beds
12. Clean Your Home Office
Office cleaning is pretty simple. Since most people keep their offices pretty organized, all that needs to be done is a little dusting, wiping the surfaces and vacuuming the carpet.
Now that all of the places above the floors have been dusted, cleaned and wiped, vacuum the entire house to remove any remaining signs of dust.
14. Deep Clean Carpets
The easiest way to deep clean carpets is to call a cleaning service. They will get this job done for you within hours, and you can move on to the outside chores. If you want to do it yourself, see How to Deep Clean Carpet. If you just have trouble spots you need to clean, check out 10 Carpet-Cleaning Secrets From the Pros on the Popular Mechanics website.
15. Clean Under the Sinks
If you have expired chemical cleaners underneath the sink, discard them and place the rest of them in a rectangular bucket. This will conserve space and allow you to easily remove them to clean the cabinet next time. And unless the bucket is directly under the leak, it may also keep your cleaners dry if the water or drain pipes ever spring a leak.
16. Clean Out the Fridge
The 2-year-old sauce bottles and freezer burnt burgers you never got around to eating—they have got to go. Throw out everything that is expired and then clean the fridge with this DIY solution in a spray bottle: 1 part vinegar, 2 parts hot water and a few drops of lemon essential oil. This will loosen any food stuck inside and remove the nasty odor permeating the fridge.
17. Clean Major Appliances
Major appliances include the washing machine, clothes dryer and everything in the kitchen. On the outside surfaces, use your old pal baking soda. Sprinkle it on, then take a mild scrubber and clean away. Make sure to clean the dryer vent. There are 15,000 house fires every year in the USA because of lint build up in the dryer vent, so it’s a real safety concern. Check out this video for how to clean it.
Here’s a tip for cleaning the inside of the microwave. Put a bowl of water inside and put it on a high heat. The steam will loosen any stuck on food so you can wipe it off with a wet sponge. When you’re finished, rinse any visible grime off your sponge and place it in the microwave and power on for a minute to kill any germs and bacteria that may have transferred.
If you have a gas stove, here’s a tip for cleaning the burners and grates. Put them in a large sealed ziploc bag with a half cup of ammonia and leave them overnight. You don’t need soak them under the ammonia. The fumes alone will make it so the crud wipes right off in the morning.
18. Wash Garbage Cans
Garbage cans can present an awful sight. Collect all the garbage cans and wash them. You can pour the dirty water into the toilet. The kitchen garbage can tends to be the nastiest one to clean. Consider lining it with two bags instead of one. The first bag will catch all the leaks from the inside bag and make the job of cleaning the kitchen can easier next time around.
19. Store Food in Air Tight Containers
To avoid pests like cockroaches, mice and ants, make sure you store all the foodstuff in air-tight containers. For a thorough list of food storage tips see How to Keep Your Food Storage Protected From Pests.
20. Identify Leaky Faucets and Replace Worn Washers and Seals
Call a plumber and get the bathroom, kitchen, basement and attic inspected for leaks. Leaky faucets are always first on the plumber’s to-do list, but be sure to have them look for other leaks too. If they find any, chances are pretty good there’s a crack somewhere in a pipe which is causing the leak.
21. Put away the snow blower, snow shovels, and ice scrapers. Get the hoses and gardening equipment ready
22. Make sure your lawn mower is in working order and sharpen the blade. Find the grass rakes and hang them in a convenient spot.
23. Wash outdoor furniture, awnings, and umbrellas with soap and water.
24. Clean the Grill
Weekends will soon be booked for barbecue dinners. Better prep the grill now, so you don’t have to rush at the end. Using the ammonia trick mentioned in 17 will make it easier to get the any leftover crud from last season off the grilling grate.
25. Get Your Yard Ready for Spring
Trim branches and bushes. Rake-up all of the dried-up leaves that have collected under bushes. Use your mower to grind them up into smaller pieces. But before you mow, pick-up the branches you just trimmed. Trying to grind them up when mowing will not reduce them to small enough pieces. Plus, they will dull your mower blade.
26. Power wash the siding, walks and driveway
27. Sweep and spray off the porch ceilings walls, railings, floor, and stairs.
28. Organize the Garage
Remove everything and sweep the floor, walls and ceiling. Organize everything you need. Trash or donate the ones you don’t need.
Now that you’re done with 7 Days of Cleaning Divided Into 28 Chores and have some boxes full of things you no longer want, you can have a garage sale to end your National Cleaning Week. Remember, the purpose of the garage sale is to get rid of the things that you no longer need. Whatever is left in the end can go to charity.