Cleaning Tips

Spring Cleaning Hacks

man holding cleaning products

You’ve probably done a decent job of keeping your place straightened up during the winter, but now the days are getting longer. Sun is shining through the windows, spotlighting places that may need a little extra attention. It's time to roll up your sleeves and get to some serious spring cleaning, but who wants to clean when it's finally so beautiful outside?

Here's some motivation: keeping house is a great workout! Spring cleaning can burn over 150 calories per hour. Plus, research has shown time and time again that a clean home keeps you feeling happier and more relaxed. But that doesn't mean you want to spend all your time cleaning. We've got spring cleaning hacks for the most time-consuming tasks for each room, using many products you already have in your home. Add these tips to your spring cleaning checklist, then get out and enjoy the warmer weather!

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

yellow rubber gloves cleaning microwave

The kitchen probably receives the most cleaning attention, because it's such a high-traffic area with constant action. For this reason, there are really only a few additional places that may need some attention for a deep clean.

  • The Microwave: Clean your microwave with almost no scrubbing by microwaving a bowl of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1-2 cups of water for 5 minutes or so. (Be careful when removing the bowl afterward.) Simply wipe out the previously cooked-on food spatter with a damp towel.
  • The Coffeepot: Fill the water chamber with full-strength white vinegar, then turn on the coffee maker and allow all of the vinegar to brew through and into the coffee pot. Once it's done, run a few cycles of clear water through the pot, so your coffee doesn't taste like salad dressing!
  • The Sink: It’s always nice to have a clean and shiny sink, but if your disposal stinks to high heaven, shiny can only take you so far. Throw a few ice cubes and some citrus peels down the sink and run the disposal. It will clean the disposal and leave it smelling fresh.

Expert Tip

  • The Refrigerator: "When your refrigerator is empty or before you head to the grocery store, quickly wipe the shelves. If you're doing this weekly, you'll find that the refrigerator is staying clean longer and it's nice to load those groceries on clean shelves and into clean drawers." – Becky, www.cleanmama.com

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

scrubbing the shower head

Perhaps the least enjoyable part of cleaning time is spent in the bathroom. Hard water stains and soap scum buildup can be daunting. Our bathroom cleaning tips will get you results, with slightly less scrubbing required.

  • The Shower Door: If you have neglected to stay on top of cleaning a glass shower, you've got quite a task ahead of you. However, if you are going to put in the effort, you want results. Combine equal parts liquid soap and baking soda. Mix it until it becomes thick like frosting, then use a non-abrasive sponge to spread it on the glass shower door and scrub away!
  • The Faucets and Fixtures: For hard water stains on faucets, use a lemon cut in half and rub on the fixture. Let it sit, then wipe clean. For more stubborn jobs, make a paste with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts salt. The stains should come right off when scrubbed. Polish faucets, sinks, tile, and shower handles with wax. It leaves behind a protective barrier against water and soap buildup, so your hard-earned sparkle will last long enough to make all the scrubbing worth it.
  • The Shower Head: There is no scrubbing required for cleaning a shower head – surprise! Tie a plastic sandwich bag filled with vinegar around the shower head and leave it overnight. The next day, run cold water through it to clear the way. Any remaining residue can be brushed away with an old toothbrush dipped in vinegar.

Expert Tip

  • The Bathtub: "[My wife] cleans it with vinegar throughout the week and then on the weekends, I scrub it with a good bathroom cleaner. Almost all of the kids take a bath in here every night. (And our dog will occasionally jump in when he sees that we have water ready for the kids … he does it when no one is in there, because he knows that he will get into trouble! The wet footprints in the hall, leading down to his crate are a dead giveaway!)" – Mickey, www.yourmoderndad.com

Living Room Cleaning Hacks

man washing window

All the places that you don’t ever think about, such as walls and baseboards, light fixtures, and window coverings, have been collecting dust and cobwebs. Though many places need a touchup, they can be addressed relatively quickly.

  • The Blinds: Wash slatted blinds by using a sock and a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Once the blinds have been dusted off, dip the sock in the soapy solution, wring it out and put it on your hand. Pinch the individual blind slat while running your hand along the length of it. Rinse the sock as necessary.
  • The Windows: Once you can see through your freshly cleaned blinds, you may notice the windows could use a wash on the outside. Spray them down with a hose and use a scrub brush to quickly scrub a mixture of warm water, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2–3 tablespoons laundry detergent on the windows. Spray the windows with the hose again, and you’re done.
  • The Trim: A dryer sheet is great for cleaning window trim, door frames, and baseboards because it eliminates static, which reduces dust accumulation, and it actually coats as it cleans. This leaves residual dust-fighting power after you wipe down the trim.

Expert Tip

  • The Pet Hair on the Couch: "Use a rubber glove!!! Something so simple … I just rub my rubber-gloved hand in a circular motion at first (wax on wax off haha) … then up and down and back and forth … then it [doesn't] really matter what direction cuz by golly miss molly, it [will] work!" – Alicia, www.thriftyandchic.com

Bedroom Cleaning Hacks

father and son making bed

  • The Mattress: Add a few drops of essential oil to some baking soda, then sprinkle a few shakes across your mattress. Use your vacuum's tube attachment to sweep across the mattress a few times to remove the mixture, and you'll instantly have a better-smelling place to sleep at night.
  • The Lamps: Remove dust bunnies from your favorite lamps by gently passing a lint roller along each lampshade. Don't forget the inside of the lamp! It may be easier to remove the shade and bulb beforehand, depending on the type of lamp.
  • The Ceiling Fan: Ceiling fans are great for air movement, particularly in the summer, but flinging accumulated dust around can make for quite a sneezing fit. Slide a pillowcase over each blade and, while removing it, clasp the blade with your hands. The dust will collect inside the pillowcase, which means less (or no) cleaning afterward.

Expert Tip

  • Dusting: "The important thing to know about dusting is that dust falls from the top to the bottom, so you want to start at the top and work your way down. That's why we start with the high dusting. Prepare your high and low dusting tool now, by placing a dampened microfiber cloth over the end of a mop pole and securing it with a hair elastic. Start at your 12 o'clock point and raise the tool up to the seam where the ceiling meets the wall. Walk it from corner to corner around the room (moving clockwise) dragging it along the corners and edges along the seam (cobweb central). While you're at it, you can also clean any door frames, vents, or light fixtures (which should be off if you are cleaning them)." – Melissa, www.cleanmyspace.com

These spring cleaning tips should save you tons of time – and make the time you do spend on cleaning as productive as possible. What are some time-saving ideas you have discovered?

Cleaning Tips from the CubeSmart Fam

"To get rings out of the toilet, use a can of Coke or a packet of lemon Kool-Aid." –Chandler, AZ CubeSmart Team

"Having a hard time keeping those windows clean? Ditch those dirty rags for a squeegee. A lot of people don’t think about them because rags are always on hand, but for $5.00 you can save yourself a lot of time and elbow grease, all while leaving your windows squeegee clean!" – Aaron Jarnigan, Store Manager at CubeSmart of Hixson, TN

"Once a month, after I clean the filters of my vacuum at home, I tear a disinfecting wipe into thirds and vacuum that up so it wipes and disinfects the inside of my vacuum :)" – Anittah Patrick, CubeSmart Director of Digital Marketing

"Sponge paint brushes come in a variety of sizes and they can be dipped into soap and water for easy cleaning. Larger sizes work wonders inside the tracks of storage units and smaller sizes work well in your home for cleaning window sills and tracks. They work great in the tracks of sliding shower doors to prevent buildup after showers. Use them to clean the rim of your Instant Pot when you have a spill. You can also use the smaller sizes for dusting hard to reach places, like the vents in your car." – Dawn Walters-Smith, Senior Manager at CubeSmart of Fairfax Station, VA

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The Storage Queens

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  • What great little things to do for spring cleaning. I never would have guessed to use lemon to cut through soap scum. There really is something about being able to have those kind of tricks that really can make cleaning easy. I was curious if you had any cleaning tips for the windows? Thank you for sharing this great information. http://www.dillydoor.com/windows/

  • Thank you so much for all the tips on how to clean. I really like the tip to clean my blinds. I always forget to clean there and not it just looks terrible. Hopefully this tip to use a sock and soapy solution to clean the blinds will work. Thank you so much again for these tips. I will definitely try them out.

  • You are right, those hard water stains are the worst to try and remove.  Cleaning the bathroom has always been something that I put off for way too long.  My roommate suggested that we hire a cleaning service to keep our apartment clean.  Personally, I think that would be a great idea.

  • Now, I will say that I am not that lazy, but these tips are still pretty awesome. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my shower head and then I read the vinegar idea. This is great because it also helps to avoid rust from forming on the metal.

  • I never knew that you could clean your microwave by simply microwaving a bowl of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1-2 cups of water for 5 minutes. I have a sister who loves to clean and this might be good advice for her to consider. Being able to know tips like these to help keep your home clean seems like it might help you save money in the long run. I also didn’t know that you could use a squeegee to pick up pet hair. My sister also has a couple cats who like to sleep on her couches and this might be a good tip for her to keep her pillows clean. 

  • These are fantastic tips for making cleaning a breeze! I just recently moved and the previous tenants neglected to clean the place before they left, so I’ve had quite a job cleaning up after them to make it more livable. I’ll definitely be using that trick to clean our microwave since it hasn’t actually been cleaned in years! However, if there’s any hard scrubbing that needs to be done, I might just hire someone else to do the hard cleaning for me.

  • Thank you so much for the spring cleaning tips! I really like the tip on how to wash my blinds. I didn’t know that you could use a sock to efficiently clean your blinds. Hopefully when I try it, it will work. I also like the tip to use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water as a cleaning agent. The vinegar will act as an acid and cause the dirt on the blinds to come off easier. 

  • Spring cleaning can be really hard some years. But these tips seems like they would make things easier. I liked your tip about putting a bag filled with lemon juice over your shower head. Do you have any tips on how to clean upholstery. It seems to me that the best thing to do is hire someone to come in and clean them professional.

  • These hacks are brilliant! I’ll definitely be using the ziplock bag over the shower head. I want to get down to spring cleaning as soon as possible, but there are some things that need to be cleaned that an expert. I want to get my couches and carpets steamed after tracking water in all winter.

  • These are some great hacks! I don’t hate cleaning once I get started.  The hardest part for me is just getting myself to actually start doing it.  These sound like some very convenient cleaning hacks though.  I’ll have to try the tip about putting a pillow case of ceiling fan blades.

  • Thank you so much for all of these spring cleaning tips. I really like the tip on how to get rid of pet hair from carpet and upholstery. I had  no idea that you could use a squeegee to get rid of the hair. How does that work exactly? It seems too easy to do. However, I will try it though. If it makes my life easier, then I will do it. 

  • My biggest challenge has always been window cleaning. It’s laborious, painful, and slow. I would just as soon get someone else to do it for me. If they had special equipment and training, I’m sure that would only make the final result even better!

  • I just wish cleaning didn’t take so long or take so much energy! I need to find ways to do little bits of cleaning at a time so that it doesn’t overwhelm me. I especially liked your suggestions for how to make cleaning your kitchen easier, since that seems to be the hardest room for me to keep clean! It’s unfortunate too, because a lot of pests like to make their homes there. http://greatercincinnatimaids.com/services/

  • I didn’t know that a lemon could help with hard water stains. I’ll have to try that on my bathroom faucet. Do you have a suggestion for cleaning windows? The outside of my windows are really dirty and regular cleaner is just leaving streaks behind.

  • I’m happy that you put a bit in here about cleaning your bathroom. That is probably the area where I struggle the most. It isn’t that I hate how much time that it takes. It is how gross of a job it is. If I could find a way to cut back on the time it takes to clean a bathroom, then I will be all over that. Maybe I will try out your tips here. http://skg.net.au/services/overview/

  • I didn’t know that it could be a good idea to add detergent to a window cleaning solution.   However, it would make some sense because soap seems to help clean all kinds of different things.    It makes me wonder as well if cleaning with things like that could help with hard water or other stains. http://www.whiteshark.ca

  • It would be smart if you hate cleaning your shower to get a really durable shower door. That way you don’t have to clean it and you don’t have to scrub hard. It seems like it would be a good thing to look into. http://www.rexshowerdoors.com