If you need medical advice, you ring your doc. Digging a new ’do? Swing by the salon. But if your closet feels cramped, your fridge smells funky, and your tiles look terrifying … Who you gonna call? Grout busters?
Turns out, just like fixing back pain and botched bangs, effective deep cleaning is a lesson best gleaned from the pros. That’s why we’ve reached out to the best in the biz for the ultimate spring cleaning tips, tricks, and straight up hacks for every room in your home. So you can literally clean like it’s your job.
1. Disinfect your sponge in the microwave (we’re not kidding).
Quickly clean your sponge and eliminate bacteria by trying this hack from Maids by Trade:
Fill the sponge with water, set it on a microwaveable plate, and nuke it for two minutes.
Voilà: 99% of bacteria, gone.
2. Clean your vacuum and its attachments with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
According to domestic demigod Martha Stewart, you should already be cleaning your vacuum monthly. We mere mortals can use a damp cloth and mild detergent to wipe any dirt from the unplugged device.
Cori Morenberg of Ms. Green-Clean recommends cleaning specialty attachments with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Air dry all the attachments, except the rug piece.
For the rug piece, use a white cotton utility cloth “to wipe and scrub the brush and superficial underside,” instructs Morenberg. Then dry carefully with a clean towel.
And don’t forget to change any full bags!
3. Sanitize your mop with vinegar.
Start by rinsing the mop until the water runs clear, instructs Julie Bradshaw from Super Maids. Then, place the mop into a bucket filled with 1-2 gallons of water, followed by a cup of vinegar.
After letting it soak for 15 minutes, rinse with water again and air dry.
4. Bang out your broom.
Maids by Trade suggests cleaning your broom by thoroughly whacking it against a tree. Which, as a bonus, is pretty therapeutic.
Afterward, soak the broom in a bucket loaded with warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. Then rinse it off and dry with a cloth, or place it bristles-up in the shower.
To, ahem, brush up between cleanings, try BuzzFeed’s clever broom bristle cleaning hack shown in the video above.
5. Go for a reusable, eco-friendly wipe.
Merry Maids swears by these mighty little cloths from e-cloth. Use them to remove dirt, dust, grease, oil, grime, and over 99% of bacteria from any hard surface.
Bonus: They last up to 300 machine washes, which makes them an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels.
6. Refresh your garbage disposal with ice and citrus.
Bradshaw from Super Maids recommends tossing a couple ice cubes down the drain while the disposal is on. This will also help clean the unit.
Next, add a handful of lemon or orange peels (while the disposal is on) to eliminate any smells.
7. Make sure your dishwasher is running up to snuff.
To revamp your dishwasher, Molly Maid suggests filling a mug with vinegar or baking soda . Or you can do one of each. Place the mug(s) right side up in the top rack without other dishes, then run it for a normal cycle.
If there’s a funky smell permeating your plates, run a normal cycle with detergent plus two cups of vinegar added to the base.
8. Freshen up your fridge with a natural mix.
Martha Stewart recommends combining two tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hot water. Dip a sponge in the mix, and wipe your fridge’s interior. Wipe the surfaces again with a separate damp cloth, and dry with a towel.
Warning: Steer clear of soap and detergents, which leave odors that food might absorb.
Odd smells emanating from old food?
Scatter fresh coffee grounds on a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor dissipates.
9. Defrost your freezer in a flash by turning it into a sauna.
The home cleaning pros at Cleaning Exec shared their speedy, five-step process for defrosting your freezer:
- Unplug your fridge or freezer unit and remove all frozen foods.
- Line the bottom of the freezer with paper towels.
- Fill a bowl or two with boiling hot water, and place them on top of the paper towels.
- Close the freezer door. The steam from the bowls will melt the frost. And in case you’re wondering, the paper towels will absorb the wetness.
- Wipe the freezer down with a sponge and some all-purpose cleaner.
10. Use an eco-friendly alternative to your oven’s self-cleaning mode.
Whip up Molly Maid’s non-toxic paste of vinegar and baking soda . Apply it to any spills, let it sit for at least an hour (preferably overnight), and wipe down with elbow grease.
If your racks are wrecked, Molly Maid has another idea:
Place them in your tub and cover them with hot water. Add a half-cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of dish wash, let the racks soak for two hours, and then rinse them off. Scrub any remaining bits with a brush.
11. Sprinkle this one ingredient to clean your stove top.
Unplug cooled coils and wipe them down with a wet cloth or sponge, says Maids by Trade. To get rid of grease buildup, coat with baking soda and wipe with a wet cloth.
Wish there was an easy way to keep drip pans clean for future use?
Cover them snugly with aluminum foil.
12. Rejuvinate your cabinets with simple ingredients you already own.
Since cabinet and pantry materials vary, Merry Maids recommends keeping the cabinet cleaning process simple: Use hot water and a disposable cloth or paper towel to spot clean.
To remove grease, Frugally Blonde mixes a paste of 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ tablespoon dish soap, and ½ tablespoon water.
To clean smudges from glass-front enclosures, wipe them with a microfiber cloth and Windex.
13. The secret to getting gunk out of your coffeemaker is…
According to Saudia Davis, founder and CEO of Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, here’s the secret combo for clearing out any oily residue or hard-water deposits your coffeemaker has accumulated over the years:
A 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Yep, that’s it.
“Halfway through the cycle, turn it off for at least 30 minutes — allowing the mixture to steam-clean your machine — before turning it back on to finish,” she says. Finish with two or three cycles of only water.
14. Use this everyday product to revive your rugs.
Spill booze on your berber?
Resist the urge to scrub, warns Joseph from Maid Sailors. “The best way to get out a stain in any rug, especially when it’s fresh, is to simply dab it,” he says. This pulls up any excess material that hasn’t yet settled.
Then apply your secret weapon: Shaving cream.
Apply the cream directly to the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then do another dab. Spray the stain with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Finally, wipe it dry, like this:
15. Clear windows with this Windex alternative.
Wash your windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaking. And forget traditional glass cleaner – NYC and Chicago cleaning service MyClean recommends mixing 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar for a DIY solution. Then wipe the panes down with a coffee filter or newspaper.
Sounds insane, but it works.
16. Quickly wipe your blinds dry.
Since most of what you’ll find on blinds is dust, Merry Maids advises keeping the cleaning process dry.
Use your handy microfiber cloth to wipe the convex side of your blinds from top to bottom. Then turn the rod and repeat on the other side.
Or, cut your cleaning time in half by attaching a clean rag to tongs, á la A Cultivated Nest. Clamp the tongs on a blind to clean both sides of it at the same time.
Last but not least, vacuum any spilled dust.
17. Take proper care of your hardwood floors.
First you’ll need to vacuum or dust, says TIDY. Next, fill a bucket with warm water and add ¼ cup of either white vinegar or all-purpose cleaner. Dip your microfiber towel in the solution, wring it out, and attach it to a mop handle.
Important: Take special care not to get your floor too wet while cleaning. And be sure to wipe away any excess water when you’re done.
18. Freshen up your carpet’s look – and smell.
No carpet powder? No problem. According to King of Maids, you can simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum after at least 30 minutes. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for an extra fresh touch.
For particularly stubborn stains, blot the area with club soda on a cloth, then spray it with a 1:1 mix of water and white vinegar. Rinse with just water, and use your hands to readjust the carpet hairs in their natural direction. Dry with a paper towel.
19. Use this awesome guide to declutter your closet.
Organize your wardrobe – on the cheap! – with our comprehensive guide on how to organize your closet.
20. Wash your pillows in the washing machine.
Your pillow type will determine how you wash it, says says Merry Maids.
Put down- and fiber pillows in the wash on a warm, gentle cycle. Follow with an extra rinse to get all the detergent out, and tumble dry low with clean tennis balls to restore your pillows’ fluffiness.
Heads up: Foam pillows require gentle hand washing with mild detergent.
21. Sprinkle this white powder on your mattress.
In addition to stepping up your mattress game and flipping it every six months, Maid Brigade has this simple mattress deodorizing hack:
Sift baking soda on the surface, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up.
22. Obliterate soap scum with these eco-safe grime fighters.
The Maids recommends coating the shower surface with a 1:1 mix of baking soda and water, then spraying with a 1:1 combo of vinegar and water before wiping it down.
23. Use vinegar to spruce up your shower curtains.
Merry Maids advises pretreating new plastic shower curtains in the wash on a warm rinse cycle with distilled white vinegar.
On the other hand, an older shower curtain requires more TLC. Hand wash it under warm water with a microfiber cloth and baking soda. You can also put it in the wash with either vinegar, baking soda, or a gentle detergent.
Emphasis on the “or,” unless you want your washing machine to erupt like a volcano.
24. Try this crazy simple hack to unclog your shower head.
Your shower head works hard to keep you so fresh and so clean. Return the favor.
Kim from A Real-Life Housewife pours distilled white vinegar in a plastic bag and fastens it to the shower head with a rubber band. She advises letting it soak for an hour before wiping clean with a wet cloth.
25. Citrify your bathtub.
For the ultimate green clean, Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning suggests pairing grapefruit with salt.
“After wetting down your tub,” she instructs, “slice the grapefruit in half, sprinkle with salt [Davis recommends coarse kosher salt], and scrub the grapefruit around your tub.” Margaritas optional.
26. Bon Ami + Dish Soap = Immaculate Toilet
If you scrub your toilet regularly, just some all-purpose cleaner will suffice, according to King of Maids.
Got a bit of buildup?
Morenberg of Ms. Green-Clean recommends a “little dish cleaning liquid,” alongside a dash of non-abrasive, eco-friendly cleaner like Bon Ami.
27. Safely clean grout with these two kitchen staples.
Joseph from Maid Sailors shares his trusty, five-step process for cleaning grout like a boss:
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the grout, taking care to cover all affected areas.
- Wipe away excess powder.
- Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spritz the powdered part of the grout.
- Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes, but not for too long, or else the grime will settle back in.
- Scrub with an old toothbrush.
“It’ll get messy,” warns Joseph, so have some water on hand. But not too much water, since you want the solution to stay gritty for easy scrubbing.
Wipe up, vacuum any leftover powder, and clean the area as usual.
28. Clean mold the same way you clean cuts.
“Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water,” says Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning. (Bonus: Add a few drops of castile soap to make it a multipurpose cleaner as well.)
“Wipe the mixture on mold, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, scrub the area to remove all mold and stains, and wipe down the surface.”
Now that the mold is gone, how do you prevent it from growing in the future?
Easy: Spray the surface with a mixture of 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 cups of water.
29. Eliminate musty mildew funk with your favorite natural face wash
Joseph from Maid Sailors shared a natural anti-odor solution:
Simply mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water, pour it in a spray bottle, spray the affected area, and let it dry.
After a few days, the smell will vanish.
30. Revamp your washing machine with a little TLC.
Tend to the door of the machine first, instructs Martha Stewart. Put some rubber gloves on and make a solution that’s one cup chlorine bleach to two cups of warm water. Wipe down the door’s seal, especially the lower portion, using your mix and a soft cloth.
Then move on to cleaning the inside. All you have to do is fill the bleach dispenser with bleach and run the machine on the hot-water cycle.
Can’t stand the smell of bleach and/or prefer a natural alternative?
Use, you guessed it, vinegar. But only vinegar! Because mixing vinegar and bleach creates toxic fumes.
31. De-lint the dryer in a flash with this cheap tool.
According to Ms. Stewart, you can easily eliminate residual dust and lint in your dryer with just one cheap tool: a vacuum crevice tool or dryer vent brush, like this one from Home Depot.
32. Clean your iron like Salt Bae.
Unplug and make sure the iron is totally cooled, warns Maids by Trade. Then, place wax paper or a paper towel on a flat surface and sprinkle a tablespoon of coarse salt on top. Just like this:
Turn the iron on and crank it to the highest setting, but turn off the steam. Lightly press the iron down on the salted paper, moving it back and forth a few times until the sole plate is clean. Unplug and let cool.
33. Spot check your desk for rings.
Keep an eye out for coffee and beverage rings, advises David Salsone, director of operations for the office-cleaning experts at Managed by Q. Wipe those spots down with an all-purpose cleaning solution and a rag.
34. Use a DIY solution to clean your computer screen.
Remember the magic mix you used on your coffee cleaner? The one that was just water and white vinegar?
Turns out, it works for cleaning your computer, too. Spray and wipe down with your microfiber BFF for a streak-free shine.
All done? Congrats! There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a deeply-cleaned home.
Except, of course, a deeply-cleaned, spacious home. So, MakeSpace for spring!
Schedule a MakeSpace pickup and pack your space-eating skis, snowboard, and bulky winter gear. We’ll transport everything to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility and create an online photo catalog of each item, so you never forget what you packed.
When you need something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.