DON’T WORK HARD, CLEAN SMART! Try these 10 Out of the Box Spring Cleaning Hacks

10 out of the box spring cleaning hacks

MAKE YOUR LIFE A LITTLE MORE FABULOUS – 10 Out-of-the-Box Spring Cleaning Hacks

In the mountains of North Carolina, when the crocus burst through the soil and the hydrangea are starting to stir, it’s time!  For what you may ask? For a few fabulous spring cleaning hacks to help us work smart, not hard!

You may greet the Spring season with mixed emotions, I know I do.  You’d like to throw open a few windows and break out your happy dance… until you remember your nemesis.  The dreaded specter of Spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Checklist printable pdfBut with a comprehensive total house Spring Cleaning Checklist printout by your side, you’ll get it all done in no time! 

Especially if you use any of the 10 out of the box Spring cleaning hacks I’ll be giving you in this post.

You want to be ready for all the warm weather entertaining you’ll be doing this year, don’t you?

So come along with me, and we’ll start with baby steps, I promise.  ‘Cause, dirty windows don’t clean themselves.

TRUE CONFESSION TIME:  Since moving, we now live on the side of a mountain.  No yard means we can’t reach most of our windows, so we have a service do them now.  But, that’s also an option for you too!

It’s actually not that expensive when you consider the amount of time the task takes each Spring. It would literally take a full day’s work  for most homes.  You do the math, if it makes sense, hire the job out.  “Living the good Life” might mean NOT DOING YOUR OWN WINDOWS ANY MORE.



We’re going to get started by discussing a few of the tasks on the Spring Cleaning Checklist.  After reading this entire article, you’ll be cleaning your home like the pro you are. 


spring cleaning

Below I’ve broken out a few items from the list to provide you with some great tips and, unfortunately, some kind-of-icky stuff that you should probably know too.  Ignorance isn’t always bliss my friends. 



I like to wet clean my wood floors every 2 months or so with a hardwood cleaner, depending on the weather and use.  Spot cleaning them after vacuuming each week keeps the floors looking nice.


spring cleaning

What I really, really like to do, is give the floors a once-over with my trusty floor steam-cleaner.  It eradicates the deep ground-in dirt that can accumulate in high traffic areas.  (this is not recommended for unsealed wood floors)

The process is extremely effective, but only necessary once or twice a year.  You might want to consider getting a floor steamer, especially if your floors get lots of foot traffic.


TOILETS AND BATHROOM SURFACES (Here comes that ICK factor I mentioned!)

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FLUSH THE TOILET AFTER USE BEFORE CLOSING THE LID. Let me be very clear here, EVER.  Why you ask?  Okay, but remember, you wanted to know…

A flushed toilet can spread tainted water particles and germs as far as six feet if the lid is open when flushed. Uh, gross!  It’s a habit you should cultivate, like right now.  Oh, and don’t forget to get the family on board too or all is for naught!

Wipe down the bathroom surfaces and toilet (in that order, please) with a disinfectant wipe or cleaner at least once a week.  More often if small children still do, or on occasion, inhabit your environment.



I like some of the stainless spray cleaners out there, they do a good job. But, having said that, all my appliances are stainless so I tend to use the following method instead.  It’s quick, easy and I have one less bottle under my sink. ‘Nuff said.

10 out of the box spring cleaning hacks

  •  Dip a soft cloth in warm water mixed with a mild dish detergent. Wipe the surface, rinse the cloth and wipe again, then dry with a towel to prevent water spots.  If you still see fingerprints, spray a glass cleaner onto a soft cloth and wipe them away. 
  • To remove baked-on food and grease, make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Gently rub onto the surface using a soft cloth or sponge. Wipe with a clean wet cloth and towel dry.



spring cleaning checklist


  • Clean out the debris catcher on the bottom of your machine.
  • Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom, add your normal detergent and run on the pot/pan cycle, or use a product especially designed for this task.


Both options provide great results.  I try to do this every three or four months, as my beautiful stainless interior tends to get stained easily.  Plus, that “smell” that it gets after awhile — what’s in that little catcher-thing now? Ugh.


KITCHEN CABINETS – Yes, my lovelies, after the holidays, they’re really dirty too!

spring cleaning hacks

Cooking grease settles on your cabinet surfaces and can turn into a sticky mess. I like to use a liquid wood soap that cuts through the oily layer with ease.  Then I’ll  finish with a light coat of a wood conditioning oil, used as directed, to give the wood a nice glow.

And don’t forget to organize any big messes INSIDE too!

Yes, just like us gals, wood needs a good moisturizer too!



guest room and bath prep for house guestsThis is actually something I do twice a year.  I like to change up my bedroom “look” a little between our cold and warm weather seasons. No need for duvets in the summer!

If that’s too much for you, make sure you get them done during your Spring Cleaning blitz.  Trust me, you’ll be a happy camper when you remake your bed with the freshly cleaned bedding.

As far as your quilts, comforters and duvet covers go, as always, wash or dry clean according to manufacturer’s instructions.  I’m assuming you wash your blankets on a more regular basis, but if not, throw them into the mix too.

Dryers are a cruel mistress!   Our king size bedding are usually more of a financial investment, so I tend to like to line dry these items when possible.

When I was young and foolish, I ended up with a shrunken, puckered comforter that looked like it had been washed in a bathtub full of blood.  Gross, I know, but oh, so true.



rotten-vegetablesI won’t regale you with any of my refrigerator “horror stories” in this post, I already did that!

If you want to take a “deep-dive” into cleaning out your refrigerator, then you’ll want to read this article too.

It not only gives you the “down and dirty” scoop on cleaning your refrigerator, but also on organization and products to keep it fresh and clean afterwards!

You can check out the post here:  “Refrigerator Resolutions” – How to Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator


10 OUT OF THE BOX SPRING CLEANING HACKS  – Don’t scoff, they actually work!

I know that a few of these hacks are going to sound a little “out there”, but you’ll have to try them.  Not only do they work, but they work really well!


Olive Oil as a Wood Polish or Stainless Steel Cleaner

  • If  you want to polish wood furniture or floors, olive oil is an excellent wood polish. The natural oils will nourish wood surfaces and details leaving a soft luster, there by prolonging the life of the wood. 
  • Use a few drops of the olive oil and a soft cloth to remove smears and fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances.  Then use a dry rag to polish the surface and clean away any excess olive oil.


olive oil



Lint rollers are great for removing pet hair and crumbs, but they have many other uses too.   You can freshen up your suede shoes and jackets, but they are also great for removing dust!

They can really come in handy when you need to dust your textile items such as throw pillows, velvet covers or heavy drapes. Roll it over your textile lamp shades and you’ll be amazed how much dust they collect!


3:  SHOWER MOLD AND MILDEW – Offer it a cocktail!

Mold and mildew in the shower are not only ugly, but can be harmful to your health.  Some types of mold have been proven to be carcinogenic.


vodka bottle lying down

That’s why it’s important to deal with mildew in your bathroom right away.  

  • Pour VODKA into a spray bottle.  Heavily spritz the affected areas and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Clean the surfaces with your normal cleansers and rinse well with clear water.

The alcohol not only gets rid of the mold and mildew, but also helps to disinfect your bathroom surfaces.  



When most people have to deal with stains on their wall, they usually reach for a wet rag. But that can be a big mistake!


spring cleaning equipment

Moisture tends to help spread dirt, making it more difficult to remove. Instead of using a wet rag, try scrubbing the wall with a dry micro-fiber towel or MR. CLEAN ERASER PRODUCT.   If the spot is too stubborn, you can also try cleaning it with a pencil eraser.  IT REALLY WORKS!



spring cleaning checklistObviously, you don’t want to use the pillowcase you sleep on every night!  But using a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans is a hack that you need to try ASAP.

The pillowcase holds the dust so it doesn’t fall on a table or bed.  Just use a cloth to swipe the dust right into the pillowcase.

When you’re finished with all the fans in the house, just take the pillow case outside, turn inside-out and empty.  EASY-PEASY!


6: CLEAN YOUR VACUUM WITH A VACUUM?how to clean your vacuum

The typical way to clean the filter of a bagless vacuum is to tap it against the inside of a trash can. Unfortunately, that usually raises a cloud of dust and doesn’t get the filter completely clean.


A much faster and cleaner method is to get you shop vacuum out of the garage! 

Just remember to be gentle with the shop vacuum’s nozzle, as some filters have a coating that you can scrape off if you press too hard.  Wish I would have known this hack years ago!



Did you know that you can clean and protect your manual can opener with simple wax paper?


how to spring clean your can opener

Here’s how to do it:

  • Fold a sheet of wax paper a few times, then clamp the can opener onto an edge of the wax paper.
  • Turn the handle several times, using the same action you would use to open a can.
  • The waxed sheet will remove bits of food and dirt from the wheels of the can opener.
  • Wax paper will leave a coating that will lightly lubricate the parts for smoother operation.


8: USE A TENNIS RACQUET TO “BEAT” THE DUST FROM YOUR CUSHIONS10 out of the box spring cleaning hacks

Upholstery accumulates a ton of dust throughout the seasons.  And every time you sit on your chair or sofa, it sends a “cloud” of unseen dust and dirt into your rooms. Yuck!

Routine vacuuming can help reduce the situation, but it won’t take care of the deep-down dirt.

The best solution is to carry your cushions outside, preferably away from windows and doors. Then, “beat the tar” out of them with your tennis racquet!  If it’s a windy day, so much the better.  That way the dust won’t accumulate on you too! 




Blankets, pillows and curtains not only trap household dust, but they create it too! Over time, they tend to shed as the fabric slowly disintegrates with age.

Drapes and curtain in particular, get dirty as they absorb moisture and dirt from the outside.  Add to that their tendency to attract dust from ceiling fans and air vents, and you’ve got some dirty window treatments!


using a clothes dryer to dust drapes

This tip is a great reason to consider purchasing machine-washable items and launder them twice a year. Okay, maybe just put in on your Spring cleaning checklist! 

For non-machine-washable textiles, throw them in the dryer on the air-fluff setting (no heat) for 20 minutes with a damp towel. The damp towel will attract pet hair, and the tumbling movement and airflow will remove the smaller particles for you.  

That beats the old method of vacuuming!  At 5’1″, it was not an easy task for Nan!



10 out of the box spring cleaning hacks

Try using a liquid toilet bowl cleaner to wash the inside of a dirty trash can.

It’s clings to the sides of the can as it flows, cleaning as it goes!  BUT DON’T TAKE THIS TIP TOO FAR, DO NOT USE YOUR TOILET BRUSH!  Cross-contamination is not a good thing!

Using a long-handle scrub brush is a much better idea!.  Just make sure you rinse both the can and brush well when you’re done.

Keep in mind that you won’t want to do this task in your yard, as the toilet cleaner is toxic and will kill your grass!


THE REST IS UP TO YOU I’M AFRAID… (take heart, I’ve got a scrub brush in my hand too!)

Well, I’ve shared some of my personal tips and a little commentary too, the rest is up to you.

First, make sure you print out the SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST PDF.  Then start making appointments with yourself in your daily planner to begin “ticking” the items off the list.

Hey, I’m getting started on my list too!  I’ll see you in THE FAB LIFE and we’ll talk…

Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life!  That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.  



Now, you’ve got 10 out of the box Spring cleaning hacks to help you CLEAN SMART, NOT HARD! 

And you’ll be ready to tackle the whole house with my SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST!  It’s laid out by room, with a general section that covers the remainder of the house, including the laundry room and garage!

Spring Cleaning Checklist printable pdf

It’s time to download my “Spring Cleaning Checklist”!  It covers every room in your home, including the garage!

What’s that, you’re not on our list yet?

Grab your SPRING CLEAING CHECKLIST PDF by subscribing to our Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Newsletter right now.  

Why not join in on the fun!

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There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, don’t you want to stay in the loop?  

And while you’re at it, come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life!  That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.  






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