After a winter spent largely indoors, it’s time for spring cleaning, BC. Let’s tidy up the clutter and clean our homes and home offices for spring. Here are some tips and tricks to spring clean your whole home, including fresh takes on eco-friendly cleaning plus a room-by-room checklist. You'll want to make sure your home is covered after all that TLC. BCAA Home Insurance will give you peace of mind that your biggest investment is protected. Plus, BCAA Members save up to 20%*!
Step 1: Gather natural cleaning supplies
To make your cleaning routine less wasteful and environmentally harmful, avoid traditional cleaning products which contain ammonia, chlorine, phthalates, perchloroethylene, triclosan, 2-Butoxyethanol and sodium hydroxide.
- Sustainable cleaning solutions and all-in-1 cleaners
- Zero waste dish soap
- Eco-friendly laundry detergents
- Natural toilet bowl cleaners
- Trash bags made from 90% post-consumer plastic
Here are six natural Canadian cleaning products for the eco-conscious home and the natural cleaning company Mint in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.
Step 2: Homemade DIY cleaning solutions
To make a natural all-purpose cleaner yourself, get a clean spray bottle and mix:
- One part vinegar
- One part water
- Lemon rind
- Rosemary sprigs
Let this all infuse for a week, then you’re good to use it as your go-to home cleaning solution. You can use this mixture on most surfaces in your home—just make sure you don’t use it on granite, as the acidic vinegar & lemon could etch the stone. For more tips on natural home cleaning, see our simple ways to make eco-friendly changes at home and on the move.
To clean your granite, quartz, and marble counters, here’s a simple recipe from Clean My Space:
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 5 to 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil
- 1 squirt natural dish soap
Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, shake it really well, then spray onto your stone countertops, and wipe with a clean cloth.
Step 3: Break your cleaning down into 10-minute chunks
Spring cleaning can feel like a marathon. Break it up into productive, 10-minute bursts of cleaning from ceiling to floor:
- Dust your ceiling fan: If you can, put a pillowcase over your fan blade, then pull it towards you to collect the dust. Then reach up with a vacuum hose to clear any remaining dust, then use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to clean each blade.
- Dust: Take a dusting wand from room to room and dust all open surfaces.
- Clean your doors & switch plates: With a damp microfibre cloth, wipe away smudges and fingerprints from your doorknobs and switch plates.
- Baseboards: Quickly clear dust and debris from your baseboards with a vacuum and/or microfibre mop. To clean away scuffs and smudges, use a Magic Eraser and a bucket of warm water
- Fire Extinguisher: We recommend regularly performing a quick inspection on all household fire extinguishers to ensure the unit has not expired, the pressure gauge is still within the correct operating range, and there is no physical damage to the unit. Additionally, make sure to clean any dust, oil or grease off of the extinguisher which could prevent it from functioning correctly.
- Alarms: Test and replace your smoke alarm batteries and CO2 detectors
- Air flow: Check and replace, as needed, your air filters, air vents, and registers
- Lights: Clean or replace your light fixtures, light bulbs, and light switches
- Handles: Sanitize all your door handles
Step 4: Top to bottom, dry to wet
- Before you clean, put your stuff away. Grab everything loose (clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, dishes, dog beds and dishes) and stash it away in cabinets, drawers, closets, on shelves, the dishwasher, and in your garage or mudroom.
- Just like when you’re painting, you want to clean your home from top to bottom. By starting high, you’ll catch all the dust, cobwebs, and dirt if it falls or drips down to the floor. Vacuum the cobwebs from your ceiling and walls, then sweep and vacuum your floors. Next, you’re ready to wet wipe your walls and mop your floors.
Now here’s a room-by-room cleaning checklist:
The kitchen’s a big one, given how many meals you’ve cooked and heated up during the pandemic. Let’s cover them one by one:
- Dust and wipe high kitchen surfaces like your walls and tops of your fridge, microwave, range hood and cabinets
- Clear and clean off your countertops
- Clean your stovetop and grates (read this if you have a gas stove)
- Clean your oven with a natural/homemade cleaning solution (traditional chemical oven cleaners are bad for your health)
- Purge old/expired/unwanted food & condiments in your pantry, fridge, and freezer
- Clean your appliances and fridge, defrost your freezer and wipe all fridge drawers, shelves, and seals
- Clean grease off your cabinet doors and backsplash
- Deodorize and degrease your kitchen drain (here’s how to naturally clean your kitchen sink and disposal)
- Wash your dish rags and clean your bacteria-laden sponges
- Wipe baseboards and then mop the floor
The dining room tends to get neglected most often. Top to bottom, dry to wet, you want to:
- Vacuum dust and cobwebs high on the walls
- Dust and clean your light fixtures
- Dust, vacuum, and naturally clean your blinds, curtains and curtain rods
- Clean your windows and window sills
- Vacuum and spot clean your chairs/cushions
- Vacuum and shampoo the floor, rugs, and carpets (learn how to deep green clean your carpets)
Bathrooms are full of bacteria so you’ll need a whole army of cleaning approaches and solutions. Start by:
- Discarding old/expired personal care products and makeup
- Bring old medications to your local pharmacy
- Wipe the walls and ceiling
- Clean the cabinet top
- Sweep/vacuum the floor
- Naturally clean & defog your mirror
- Clean your shower and tub with a solution of vinegar, warm water, and microfibre cloth
- Clean your showerhead (try this baking soda & plastic bag trick)
- Clean your shower curtain liner
- Clean your toilet and hardware
- Wipe baseboards and mop the floor
Ironically, our laundry rooms (where we make things clean) are often the filthiest room in the house. Here’s how to whip it into shape:
- Vacuum/wipe the ceiling and walls
- Tidy the entire room and clean your laundry supplies & jugs
- Clean your dryer vent and clear out the lint trap
- Clean your washing machine (use orange or lemon Kool-Aid powder as the citric acid crystals scrub away rust and gunk)
- Wipe those baseboards
- Vacuum and mop the floor
- Tuck the vacuum out of your way
- Open the window to air it out
- Tidy/organize your closets
- Donate your old, unwanted clothing
- Vacuum cobwebs on the ceiling so the spiders don’t crawl down into your sleeping mouth
- Strip the bed and wash your sheets, duvet, pillowcases. Wash your pillows to make them white again.
- Green clean your windows and wipe your window sills
- Vacuum and clean your curtains, blinds and curtain rods
- Flip the mattress
- Wipe baseboards
- Deodorize your carpet with baking soda
- Vacuum the carpet and/or mop the floor (here’s how to deep green clean your carpets)
Pretend you have guests coming over and need to clean up fast.
- Vacuum and wipe the ceiling, walls and ceiling fan
- Vacuum and dust your blinds, curtains and curtain rods
- Clean the window sills
- Wash your windows
- Dust and clean your lamp shades
- Dust and polish your furniture
- Wash your throw pillows and blankets
- Vacuum your couch
- Dust your electronics and media stand
- Clean and sanitize the remote controls
- Vacuum, mop and/or shampoo your floor, rugs and carpet
Guaranteed that this will be one of the grubbiest rooms in the house.
Are your co-workers wincing on camera when they see the mess behind you? Time to clean up your home office. Start with:
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle anything cluttering your office like unneeded paperwork
- Tidy your desk
- Move items that aren’t work- related (e.g., sports gear, vacuum cleaner) into the room or closet it’s supposed to live in
- Vacuum and wipe the ceiling and walls
- Dust and polish your furniture
- Dust the bookshelf where you display the books you haven’t finished
- Dust your electronics, monitor, and devices
- Sanitize your keyboard and mouse
Clean your car outside, then open the garage door to air it out. Here’s a great To Do list for organizing & cleaning your garage. It includes:
- Declutter your tools, sports gear, cleaning gear, and toys
- Vacuum the ceiling & walls, then wipe the walls
- Building clever/cheap storage solutions like how to hang bins from your ceiling
- Sweep the floor
- Use a Shop-Vac to vacuum up wet/dry debris
- Clean your garage door and door frame
- Vacuum / clean your work shelves
- Clean the windows
- Replace the batteries in your garage door openers
And there you go: the inside of your home is now clean and ready for spring. There’s just one last thing to make sure you’re ready for barbecue season:
Insure your beautiful home
Now that you’ve shown some love to your whole home, protect it with BCAA Home Insurance. Our exceptional home insurance covers homeowners, renters, landlords, vacation properties, and mobile homes. Visit bcaa.com/home to get a quote today. Plus, save 5% when you buy online and if you’re a BCAA Member, you can save up to 20% on Home Insurance*.
* BCAA Member savings on insurance products are only available with Basic, Plus, or Premier Membership plans. For full details, please visit bcaa.com/plans.