It is time…. Spring Cleaning!!! After the Great Purge of my closet and reorganizing, I am on a roll and now I have got SPRING FEVER and have been a cleaning machine. My fragrance of the month seems to be a mixture of Tilex, Clorox, and Pine Sol. Oh, but how I love a clean house. Today we are going to talk about spring cleaning. The winter has been too long and I have had a major case of the “I don’t want to”. But with the taste of the warm weather the past 2 weeks, I am re-energized and ready to go.
Before you dive headfirst into the spring cleaning project, let’s make a list of some of the things we want to tackle. It can be a major project, but if you get organized beforehand and divide it into smaller tasks it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Let’s Start With The Kitchen
The kitchen is the first area I like to tackle. For the most part, I keep this area clean all the time, but there are some ‘special tasks” that need to get some yearly or seasonal attention. The first is to clean the oven- yuck! Most ovens nowadays are self-cleaning (stinks up the house) but you have to actually wipe it out. My oven gets a workout over the winter so I do the old toxic Easy Off Oven Cleaner. I wear gloves and a mask. There are some non-toxic cleaning methods such as baking soda/vinegar/salt. I have tried but did not find it efficient. I believe someone said Goo Be Gone has a new “non-toxic” oven cleaner. After I have cleaned the oven, I add a shiny new oven liner. Some of newer ovens say you should not use an oven liner. Check your oven manual if you are unsure.
Next, I give my cabinets a good wipe down with hot water and Pine Sol. Love the smell and it seems to help remove the grease and grime cabinets collect in a year. You will be floored by how dirty they are and I do this every spring.
Now roll back the refrigerator and clean behind and use the vacuum hose to get dust from back coil area and front. This will help your fridge run more efficiently.
We are on a ROLL… Next the biggie. Purging. Yes, we are going to purge the kitchen cabinets, pantry, fridge, and freezer. Even with all the preservatives in food, they still have a shelf life for flavor. Use your purging skills to remove unwanted or never used items. It is just taking up the valuable real estate. Overstuffed freezers do not work as well. While you are purging, take this time to wipe out any dirt, defrost your ice maker, and clean the drawers and shelves in your fridge. It is also a great time for some organization. When I do this, I take one project at a time. Day one, the fridge, day two, the freezer, day 3 the cabinets, day 4 the pantry. That way you are not overwhelmed, and it is broken down into short, small, quick tasks. Be brutal!
After you have cleaned and purged your fridge and freezer, change out those handy Arm & Hammer Baking Soda boxes and use old ones for the sink and disposal clean.
Did you know you can clean your dishwasher? My repairman told me to keep my old dishwasher as long as possible because the new ones with their fancy computer chips are problems. So we need to take extra care with our dishwashers. I NEVER put dishes with food particles in the dishwasher. This just clogs up the bottom and the line. Use the dishwasher to sterilize. With that in mind, to clean the dishwasher run a clean cycle and pour a cup of vinegar in the bottom. It will help break up any grease and grime. If you have trouble with mold you can use bleach to clean, but NEVER add bleach and vinegar together. Also, bleach is not recommended for dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.
What is that smell? It is probably your sink and disposal. This area is a collector of grease, grime, bacteria. I first do a clean by using baking soda and vinegar. This helps to remove the grime. Let the baking soda and vinegar, mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Afterward, pour hot water down the drain with disposal running. Finally, add some bleach for a final rinse. This will help remove bacteria and mold from the line.
Last but not least, give that garbage can a really GOOD clean. I spray mine with bleach, rinse and let it dry in the sun. Check to see if you have a fire extinguisher, and if you don’t, get one, if you do, check the expiration date. Make sure all in the household knows where it is located.
I have attached some expiration charts to help you in your purge of the cabinet, fridge, and freezer. Don’t tackle everything at once, break it into smaller tasks.
Expiration and Shelf Life Charts
Pantry Storage/Shelf LIfe
Refridgerator Shelf Life/Expiration
I hope this helps you in your Spring Cleaning. With the rainy, cold weekend ahead, it is a great time to start tackling these tasks. Next, we will tackle the laundry room.