If you are like us, we couldn’t be more excited that spring has finally sprung in the Okanagan – sunshine, short sleeves, and sandals – it doesn’t get much better. Perhaps a little less exciting (unless you are us) is seeing the long list of spring cleaning that needs to happen ahead of the summer months.
Our vehicles, our homes, and our workplaces are a melting pot for dirt and grime over the harsh winter months. With so much to be done, it can be overwhelming at best. Often that’s because we have trouble knowing where to start or feel that the job is a lot more challenging than it truly is (cue the procrastination).
Fear not, young cleaning apprentice – our team of cleaning professionals has crafted the ultimate guide packed with our hottest tips and tricks that will bring any space back into tip-top shape.
We teach you the principles our team follows when cleaning any space, we share a few at-home cleaning recipes using staples from the pantry, and lastly, we will send you away with a comprehensive, printable cleaning checklist to put your new knowledge to work.
The Eight Principles of Cleaning:
Tools of the trade.
“Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” the old adage goes. The same is true of cleaning and it is important not to count pennies when investing in good cleaning equipment. The good news is a lot of the agents and surfactants we use as professionals can be found in the pantries of most homes – things like vinegar, Dawn dishwashing liquid, baking soda, liquid bleach, and powdered Tide laundry detergent. Scroll to see a list of tried and true at-home recipes our team loves.
Top to bottom.
Pick a starting point in each room and work from the top to the bottom. Starting from the top helps to ensure that dust and debris are headed in one direction and one direction only – down. Cleaning the kitchen countertops, for example, before cleaning the kitchen cabinets mounted above is sure to amount to an unwelcome lesson on Newton’s laws of gravity. If you thought cleaning was tough, try having to clean something twice.
Left to right.
Similar to the top-to-bottom principle, choose a starting point in each room and work left to right in a clockwise direction. This helps to ensure that you don’t miss anything as you go about sprucing up your space. Need a break? Place a cloth or rag where you left things off so you can jump right back in on your return. No more cleaning twice!
Dry to wet.
This is the all-time favourite principle that has saved us hours upon hours in time cleaning. If you clean the toilet at home (hopefully you do), you know that running a damp cloth over a dusty cistern creates a clumpy mess that clings onto porcelain like there is no tomorrow. The trick is to not let dust and debris become wet. Consider starting with a vacuum cleaner with a horse-hair brush attachment instead and hit the skirting boards, the kitchen drawers, and toilet cisterns first before following up with a damp cloth.
Do you even lift, bro?
Take the time to lift items up and out of the way so that you can clean behind and underneath them, not just skirt around them.
One step at a time.
Sometimes cleaning can be akin to opening a can of worms – the more you get into it, the longer the list becomes. To avoid being overwhelmed, start in one room and see it through right to the bitter end before moving on to the next. If the task ahead is a big one, it is a good idea to break it down into parts or sections to take breaks often without losing where you are up to.
Even as professional cleaners, we often tend to focus our attention on the cleanliness of the floors beneath our feet. The same is true when we clean our homes – vacuuming always makes it to the to-do list, but rarely does dusting the skirting boards or wiping down scuff marks on walls and doors. I often refer to this as tasks that are in the cleaner’s peripheral – it is so important to stop, lift the gaze, and search for opportunities to detail. This trait is the difference between a good cleaner and a great cleaner.
This is a time-saving tip I like to share with members of our team to help them to remain present and productive. A lot of time can be wasted moving about a large building, whether be up and down stairwells, through long winding corridors, or backwards and forwards from the janitorial cupboard. I encourage our team members to think about what tasks can be completed in transit. Descending a stairwell? Run a microfibre cloth with disinfectant down the handrails. Riding the elevator? Polish the call buttons and clean the elevator tracks. In combination, these simple hacks help to cut down on time spent idle.
The Cauldron of At-Home Cleaners.
I often cringe at the number of harmful household cleaners most homeowners have sitting beneath their kitchen sink. The honest truth is that so many of the cleaning challenges we face at home can be solved using just a small handful of common kitchen staples – and at a fraction of the cost. Here are a handful of our favourite at-home cleaning recipes.
For glass shower doors and fixtures:
Mix into a spray bottle:
- 1 cup white vinegar; and
- 2 tablespoons of classic blue Dawn dishwashing detergent.
Give the shower a good hosing down with this mixture, let dwell, and wipe with a wet green scouring pad.
For walls, doors, and skirting boards:
Mix into a bucket:
- 1 gallon of hot water;
- 1/3 cup of bleach (2 to 10% sodium hypochlorite); and
- 1 teaspoon of classic powdered Tide laundry detergent.
Soak a microfibre cloth and get wiping!
For windows and mirrors:
Mix into a window bucket:
- 1 gallon of hot water;
- 2 tablespoons of classic blue Dawn dishwashing detergent; and
- 1/4 cup of hydrosol from our friends at Okanagan Lavender Farm (for a streak-free finish)
Soap up the window and use a rubber blade working top to bottom.
Call in the big guns.
Need a helping hand to handle those more challenging tasks on the cleaning checklist? From carpet stains that won’t budge through to hard-to-reach windows – our team can help. Check out our full list of services or ask us how we can breathe new life into your space.
Download our Free Spring Cleaning Checklist.
Now it’s time to put your new knowledge to work! Click the link below to download our complete cleaning checklist to guide you through your spring spruce-up.