It's never fun to Spring & Fall clean, but our homes need it!
MOTIVATION:Find some type of motivation to do it. My motivation is that at least twice a year, if not more often, when people are over if they open up a cabinet or drawer or are being nosey, I want them to find it clean and orderly. I also just feel good when it's done.
BATHROOM:Deep clean everything: shower/bath, grout, sink, faucets, toilet, floors. Don't forget to clean up on high shelves, in cabinets and drawers, on all surfaces like the cabinets & walls, behind the toilet, etc. I even vacuum out the drawers and shelves before I use a Clorox wipe to clean them. Organize linen closet and refold towels and sheets if necessary. I do this every other month.
KITCHEN:OVEN: If you ever use your oven, then it inevitably gets dirty (especially if your husby uses it for BBQ). 1. If you have a self cleaning function, do that first to release as much gunk as possible. I do it anywhere from 3-8 hours depending on how much gunk and how long it's been there. Remember to remove the racks first because you don't want them to warp. 2. Soak racks in warm water and Dawn dish washing liquid for a few hours. You may have to turn them occasionally. Scrub with a scouring pad and then rinse well and dry with a clean towel. If when you scrub your stainless steel racks need extra help (Don't do this for aluminum racks. They'll discolor.), apply a homemade paste of 3/4 C baking soda and 1/4 C warm water and "paint it on" with a paint brush and let set overnight. Then use the scouring pad and warm/hot water to scrape off the gunk. Rinse and dry. 3. For the oven, clean out the oven with wet paper towel or I use my Dyson vacuum extension. 4. Make a paste of 3/4 C baking soda and 1/4 C warm water. 5. Fill in any holes in the oven with foil and wrap coils in foil. 6. With a clean paint brush, "paint" on the mixture on the oven but NOT the oven door or coils or screws/bolts or any other type metal. Also don't put it on the light. Leave on overnight if you do this in the evening. If you do it in the morning then leave it until nighttime. 7. Using a plastic scraper from your local hardware store or a Pampered Chef scraper, remove the dried paste, wetting as needed with warm water. 8. Wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel, repeat as necessary to remove streaks. 9. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Clean the oven door with a soft cloth or paper towel. Avoid wetting the gasket as it can erode due to the vinegar.
Knobs: Remove knobs and wash with warm water and Dawn. Do not soak in water or use a cleaner that contains ammonia or abrasives. Dry thoroughly before replacing.
Gas stove top? Take off grates, griddles, etc. If gunk is heavy, place parts on a newspaper outside or in garage. Spray with commercial oven cleaner & follow those instructions. Let sit for a few hours or overnight. Wash grates in hot water and Dawn or other dish washing liquid. Use a scouring pad on noncoated grates and a sponge on coated parts. Dry thoroughly before replacing. Clean ports clear of any blockages with a pin or paper clip. Soak a cloth in hot water and place over a spill for a few minutes. Remove buildup with a rubber scraper like a Pampered Chef one or other pan scraper. Use a damp but NOT soaked sponge or cloth to wipe the surface clean. You don't want any extra water seeping out and damaging the igniter. Using a cotton cloth or paper towel, wipe the stove top dry.
Electric stove top? Remove coils and bowls. Wipe coils with damp sponge. Clean bowls in hot water with Dawn or other dish washing liquid. Open stove top and wipe with damp sponge. If you have the nasty gunk on the coils, turn your hood exhaust fan on high and turn the burners on high for 10-20 minutes.
Glass stove top? For ours, I use a Kirkland Costco brand scrubbing wipe or a paper towel and Young Living's Household Thieves oil cleaner to scrub away any gunk. If using the Thieves oil cleaner, spread it thinly with your hand and leave for a few minutes. Then come back and wipe/scrub it all off. After it's clean, I then use either an equal warm water & vinegar mixture with a paper towel to wipe all streaks away or a special glass stove top wipe like Weiman's Cooktop quick wipes.
Stainless steel? Always wipe with the grain.
Back Splash: Make sure to wipe the walls behind the stove with a Clorox wipe, damp sponge/cloth or other to remove spatters.
HOOD: I think this is one of the worst parts if you don't clean it weekly or monthly! If you do it weekly or even bi-monthly you can just wipe it off with a Clorox wipe. If not, wipe/scrub the hood with hot, soapy water & cloth/paper towel. Then wipe off with a dry paper towel/cloth. If it's stainless steel remember to always wipe with the direction of the grain. For the inside of the hood: Remove filters and light covers and place in hot water with Dawn and leave for 5-10 min. Brush with a nylon scrub brush. Rinse in hot water and dry. Use either Clorox wipes or hot, soapy water to clean the insides, then dry with paper towels/cloths.
TOASTER: Always make sure that small appliances are unplugged. Using a thin soft brush like a bottle brush (I used the bottle brush that came with my Pampered Chef decorator bottle set), remove crumbs stuck inside. Remove the crumb tray and clean it. If you don't have a removable tray, turn the toaster upside down and shake.
BLENDER: Wash the jar and cover in the dishwasher. Wipe the base with all it's parts and knobs with a damp cloth or Clorox wipe; obviously you should never submerge in water or put in the dishwasher.
MICROWAVE: Heat 1 C water in a bowl for 3 minutes on high to loosen all the gunk. If it smells, add 1/2 C lemon juice to the water before heating. Then let it sit with door closed for 5 minutes. Using a damp sponge/cloth with hot, soapy water, wipe out interior. Then rinse with clean water on a damp sponge/cloth. Clean outside of microwave with Clorox wipes or other. I also do this about once a month.
GEORGE FOREMAN OR OTHER GRILL: Remove all loose crumbs and build up then wipe everything with a damp soft cloth. I have to use a silicon or plastic scraper usually. I do this every time I cook on mine.
REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER: Take everything out of the refrigerator and wipe out with Clorox wipes or warm, soapy water on a cloth/sponge. Clean in warm, soapy water the drawers and shelves and dry thoroughly. Do the same with the freezer. Place everything back in their proper place, organizing by what it is (dressings, jams, dairy, drinks, etc.). Look at all expiration dates and throw out what's expired, bulging or gone bad/rotten. I do this 4 -6 times a year and organize the contents about once a month so that it's not such a huge job once or twice a year.
CABINETS: Remove all contents from cabinet. Also since I'm removing all my dishes and pots and such at this time, I wash everything. Vacuum out any debris which is likely after 6 months to a year. Clean all sides and bottom and shelves with Clorox wipes or other cleaner. Make sure everything is dry then place everything back into the cabinet. This is also a great time to clean out what you know in your heart of hearts that you're never going to use again and donate it to your local thrift store or adoption agency. (Make sure that it's an adoption agency that houses & helps take care of pregnant mothers.)
Remove contents from pantry and do the same.
Make sure to clean all appliances including all the small ones along with the large ones.
Use a steam mop if you have one or borrow one to really get those floors clean.
Clean out and organize all your closets and cabinets. Again this is a great time to donate unused and unwanted items to your local thrift store or adoption agency. (Make sure that it's an adoption agency that houses & helps take care of pregnant mothers.)
Wash all blankets.
Steam clean carpeting.
Clean out fireplace or pellet stove.
Clean off porches.
I've posted this before. Clean windows by spraying vinegar on windows and wipe in a circular motion with dry, crinkled newspaper.
Other vinegar uses: http://kimbersgreatscott.blogspot.com/2011/02/uses-for-vinegar.html