Spring is coming, and with it comes the need to clean your home. Spring cleaning may not be something you look forward to, but it doesn’t have to be something you dread either. Here are a few spring cleaning tips to get you started:
Start with the easiest task: cleaning the doors. Storm doors, which are usually made of metal or plastic, can be cleaned with a solution of one part mild soap and three parts water on the frames. The glass can be cleaned with regular window cleaner, eco-friendly window cleaner or a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar. To avoid streaks, try using newspaper instead of a cloth or paper towel to wipe the glass.
Next, it’s time to get to work on the main door. Most household doors are made of wood. Some are painted. Some have glass. Cleaning a main door that’s behind a storm door might require nothing more than a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. If your main door is exposed to the elements, it may require a little extra attention. First, test a solution of one part Murphy’s Oil Soap and two parts water in a discrete part of your door. If no discoloration occurs, then it’s safe to use to clean your door, whether painted or varnished. Never use a soaking wet rag as this could cause the wood to warp, and you don’t want that. Clean the glass on your main door the same way you cleaned the glass on your storm door.
It’s probably safe to say that most people hate cleaning windows; however, those who have the kind that pop out or tilt inward have an easier cleaning job than those who don’t. Again, you can use regular or environmentally safe window cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. If you have a one-floor house, then cleaning the outside of your windows should be as simple as cleaning the inside. Houses with two floors or more make cleaning exterior windows more than a little challenging. A sponge on an extended pole is probably the ideal way to clean the outside of second-floor windows. Climbing up on a ladder to reach upper windows is also an option, but make sure you use extreme caution. Clean windows aren’t worth dying or breaking bones over!
Once your doors and windows are clean, it’s time to take care of your vinyl siding. Assuming you know the siding on your home is vinyl and not wood or aluminum, you can clean it with ordinary household cleaners like bleach or Fantastik. Mix a solution of three parts water and one part cleaner. A scrub brush on a long handle is the ideal tool for cleaning siding -- after you’ve tested the solution on a discrete portion of the siding to make sure it won’t cause any damage, that is. Scrub the walls from bottom to top, then rinse the cleaner off with a hose. Cover anything that could be damaged by the cleaner, particularly if using bleach, with plastic.
Fortunately, spring cleaning only comes around once a year. Periodic cleaning of your doors and the interior of your windows during the winter can make it less of a chore. Or you could hire someone else to do it … but where’s the fun in that?