Can you believe it is already March!?!? I can’t believe how quickly the first two months of 2015 have zipped by, but I am so excited to be starting my Spring Cleaning Challenge tomorrow!! Ok, I must confess, I actually started this a week or two ago so that I could be a little ahead of everyone so that I was able to write these posts each week. But not to worry, you won’t be doing this alone each day because I will be going back and spot cleaning everything again each day in accordance with the schedule! So without further ado, let’s look at what the first weeks goals are. You can find the full list for the month here! As you can see, this week we are tackling the Kitchen and starting on the Bathroom!
Day One – Microwave and Oven/Stove Top
Microwave – I have found that the easiest and quickest way to clean the microwave is to add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar to about a cup and a half of water and to boil it in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Be sure to use a microwave save bowl or cup, I personally like to use my Pyrex measuring cups for this! Once you have boiled the vinegar/water concoction, your microwave should be all steamed up, and most messes will easily wipe away with a sponge or rag.
Oven – This one can be a doozy! A lot of newer ovens have a built in self clean, but it’s not the best thing for the oven…and if you ask me…I’m not crazy about the idea of the oven heating to the surface temperature of the sun! Ok…maybe I’m being a BIT dramatic, but it does get hot….and the burning gets stinky, and I’d just rather not! And I really hate to use too many chemicals in something that cooks my food, so off to pinterest I went for a more chemical free cleaning solution. I came across this post, and put it to the test and was really happy with how it turned out! You still have to put a little elbow grease behind it, but it got the job done, and now if I drop a french fry on the door, I’m not going to be afraid of left over chemicals poisoning me! Also, I like to line the bottom of my oven with tin foil, it makes cleaning up spills and drippings so much quicker and easier!!
A quick little run down of what goes into this oven cleaner: Some baking soda, water, vinegar and a little dish soap to cut through any grease. I switched it up a little after reading several of the other cleaning solutions out there and made mine like this:
I mixed about 2 cups of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. This helps you avoid that volcano experiment from 2nd grade! I mixed in a little dish soap and then spread it around in my oven. I let it sit for a few hours and then came back, sprayed with some vinegar and let sit for another 20 or so minutes. Then I wiped it all clean with a wet kitchen sponge!
Stove top – You can use what’s left of the baking soda paste to wipe down your stove top, finishing with a spray of vinegar and a wet sponge!
Day Two – Fridge and Freezer
This one is pretty straight forward, clean out that fridge and freezer and free up some valuable real estate! Toss any old and expired condiments and other food items and give it a quick wipe down. I used some Clorox wipes to clean it all out so that it would help disinfect while it cleaned up the bigger spills! Don’t forget to really get into those gaskets too, you’d be surprised how gross they can get! And give the outside, especially the handles, a good wipe down too! And that’s it, day two done!!
Day Three – Pantry
Time to clean out and organize that pantry (or if you’re like me and not lucky enough to have a pantry, clean out the kitchen cabinets stuffed to the brim)! Toss anything expired, donate any dry goods that are still good but you know you’ll never eat, and give the shelves a good wipe down! Even though I have a small space, I was impressed with how much had gotten buried in the back and had expired before I ever had the chance to use it!
Day Four – Sink, Dishwasher and Under Sink Storage
Dishwasher – Break out that vinegar again!!! Pour a cup or two in a heavy dishwasher safe glass or bowl (again, I use my Pyrex measuring cups because they are nice and heavy). You don’t want the cup/bowl to be too deep though so that the vinegar can work itself out during the cleaning. Put your cup on the top shelf, and run the dishwasher on a normal cycle. Easy peasy!
Sink – I’ve found a great and effective way to get my sink all clean and sparkly is to take a lemon, cut it in half, sprinkle a little coarse salt on and just go to town scrubbing the sink! Then once I’m done I cut some of the peel off and toss it down my disposal after running some ice through. Ice is a great way to really clean and catch some of the larger pieces caught in your disposal and the lemon peel disinfects while freshening up at the same time!!! (But never throw the entire half of the lemon down, the seeds are not good for the disposal!)
Under Sink Storage – I don’t know how, but this space in the house always seems to become a crazy chaotic mess in no time at all! Pull those cleaners out, toss what you purchased with high hopes but they still didn’t clean like they promised and organize by cleaning type! I’ve found it helps to have little bins to help keep everything nice and neat.
Day Five – Back Splash and Garbage Can
Backsplash – Take equal parts warm water and vinegar and wipe down the back with a cloth. Pay special attention around the stove where lots of splatters occur.
Garbage Can – It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it! I like to mix up some warm water, vinegar and dish soap and just give it a good scrub down inside and out! It’s unbelievable how sticky and gross garbage cans get, but if you stay on top of it and clean it every couple of months, it doesn’t get so gross you just want to toss it out and buy a new one! Also, wipe up around where your garbage can is, especially the walls around it!
Day Six – Counters, Cabinets and Floors
Counters – Wipe down your counters and any counter top appliances. I love using Clorox wipes for this because it cleans and disinfects all at the same time! I actually keep a tub of Clorox wipes under every sink in my house to help keep things clean on a daily bases!!
Cabinets – Grab a rag and wipe down those cabinets! Dust the upper ones, and really scrub those lower ones since more stuff gets dropped on those when you’re working in the kitchen!
Floors – Once you’ve finished everything up high, run a vacuum through and then mop! I’m personally a big fan of the good ol’ get on your hands and knees and with a rag and bucket, but feel free to go about it however you like!! 🙂
And guess what…your kitchen should be pretty spotless by now!! To keep it looking this great be sure to:
– Daily, Clorox wipe those counters and back splashes.
– Weekly, work on that fridge, purge last weeks leftover and wipe up any spills.
Day Seven – Shower/Tub
Shower/Tub – Time to scrub that shower up! I have recently started using this concoction for cleaning my bathrooms and I must say, I’m pretty happy with it! All it takes is equal parts dish soap and vinegar (can you tell I like cleaning with vinegar)! If you have any extra dirty areas on your tub or shower, toss some baking soda on it first and then scrub! Go ahead and replace any plastic/vinyl curtains, and launder any fabric curtains you have.
And that is it!!! Week One is in the books!!! Not too bad right?!?! Next week we’ll finish those bathrooms and tackle the bedrooms!!!
Do you have any great cleaning secrets or tricks you learned growing up? Be sure to share them in the comments so we can all give them a try!!