Spring’s a great time for cleaning. You can open the windows, let fresh air in and scrub the dirt and grime left behind by winter. It can be a lot of work, so here are some helpful tips for spring-cleaning that will help get the job done faster and better.
Before washing outside of the windows, hose them down or wipe with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grime. If you're wiping with a cloth, change the water in the bucket often. Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight as this can cause streaking. Here's a great tip for knowing if streaking is on the inside or out: wipe one side up and down and the other side by side so you know which side of the glass the streaks are on. You can make your own window cleaner, but be careful, because the wrong mixture won't clean your windows. Either it won’t remove as much dirt or it will leave streaks. Generally, commercial glass cleaners work just fine.
While you're cleaning your windows, clean your screens as well. Remove them from your windows and clean with a mix of warm, soapy water. Allow them to dry outside on a blanket, a piece of plastic or just on the grass. You can wash your blinds in a similar fashion. Just lay them out on a piece of plastic and rinse with a hose or bucket. For especially dirty areas, rub gently with warm, soapy water and rinse.
Carpets are a big investment, so it's worth renting a deep cleaning carpet shampooer. Or, if you have a carpet cleaner, spring's the time to use it. If you dread moving furniture completely out of a room (or can't because of its size), clean the room in two sections. Move all the furniture to one side of the room, placing a small piece of wax paper under the legs. The furniture will be easier to move, and the legs won't get wet as the carpet dries. If you don't want to shampoo your carpet, try sprinkling baking soda across it and let it set overnight. Vacuum the next day. This will help keep the carpet smelling clean and fresh.
Ceilings and Walls
If your walls are grimy in spots, it may be time to wash them. First, make sure your walls are washable. Using a mild detergent mixed into warm water, test an area that won't show. If the color doesn't run, go ahead and wash your walls. Be sure to have a bucket of clean water for the rinse -- you don't want to leave a residue on your walls. Of course, sometimes you just need a good feather duster to clean your walls. This is certainly the case with ceilings, which are often porous and won’t withstand washing. Use your vacuum hose attachments to clean out dust and cobwebs that may have accumulated in the corners of your ceilings. To reach the higher spots on your walls, cover the end of a broom with your wash and rinse rags.