39 Expert-Approved Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

White coffee table wiped with blue towel and spray bottle for spring cleaning

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Whatever time of year you tackle the task, spring is the traditional season of renewal after the stillness of winter. It is also the time to freshen and renew our homes by spring cleaning inside and outside.

If you're in the market to spring clean your home this year, you're likely looking to remove set-in dirt, grime, and clutter a bit more vigorously than you do regularly. Spring cleaning often refers to chores you do only once a year inside and outside your home.

We've talked to cleaning experts and gathered our best tips from across The Spruce to help you clean more easily and productively. After browsing this comprehensive list of spring cleaning tips and tasks, you'll be ready to get started.

  • 01 of 39

    In Preparation, First Get Rid of Clutter

    putting items into different piles

    ​The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    This tip came from every expert: remove clutter. Clutter can be outgrown clothes, broken toys, outdated papers, or expired foods. Whatever mess may look like in your home, eliminating it before starting to spring clean will make cleaning every room easier.

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  • 02 of 39

    Prepare Your Equipment

    Caddy full of cleaning supplies

    Tammy Hanratty / Getty Images

    Cleaning expert Katie Berry of Housewife How-Tos says to check your supplies before you begin. "If you run out of a necessary product, it can disrupt your whole day and make it less likely that you'll finish the job—and this could lead to rushed or even abandoned cleaning tasks," she says.

    Berry suggests making sure your equipment is prepped: check your vacuum cleaner's roller bars for threads, empty the bin or bag, and change the filters. Ensure you have all the necessary vacuum attachments and that your mop heads and cleaning rags are clean and ready to use.

    "As with running out of supplies, if your equipment isn't ready for use, it's likely to disrupt your spring cleaning plans," she says.

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  • 03 of 39

    Have a Plan

    Spray bottle on folded blue towel and green gloves on corner of white coffee table

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    Setting a goal before starting to clean is helpful for deciding how extensive your tidying needs to be, according to Jennifer Rodriguez, the chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers. Once you know what you want to achieve when you get rid of clutter, you’ll find it easier to start work.

    Creating an "organize my house” checklist is a great way of turning a big task into smaller, more manageable parts, Rodriguez shares with The Spruce. "It also helps you to focus on the areas that matter most," she adds.

    Berry likes to tackle the hardest areas or tasks first. This will be different in every home, but the idea is to get the most labor-intensive work over with when you're full of energy, she suggests.

    "Spring cleaning can be a significant undertaking that can go on for days or even weeks, depending on how thorough you are and how busy your schedule is," she says. "Have a written schedule for the tasks you want to accomplish—this will help you stay on task and avoid spending time on diversions like rearranging furniture or redecorating instead of actually cleaning."

    Expert Becky Rapinchuk of Clean Mama agrees and recommends making a simple, realistic list before beginning. "Walk through your house and take note of the things that need to be done and tackle those first," she says. "If you don't get to something, save the list and make note of the to-dos at a later date."

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  • 04 of 39

    Put Everyone to Work and Have Some Fun

    Woman Cleaning and Watching Her Kids
    Hero Images/Getty Images

    Everyone who lives in the home benefits from spring cleaning, which means everyone who is able should get involved, according to Berry. She says that even little ones can pitch in by dusting baseboards and floor vents, and older kids can tackle entire rooms if you give them written directions.

    Rodriguez offers ideas for making cleaning more fun: create a motivating playlist or pick an audiobook to listen to as you work. "This method will help you create a relaxing environment while you organize your home and will have a positive impact on the people around you," she explains.

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  • 05 of 39

    Give to Others

    Where to donate during covid - clothes, books in donation box
    Getty Images

    We all have items that we no longer use that others can put to good use. Rodriquez suggests making a donation box, and a good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year. 

    "As you’re rearranging your belongings, think about how you’re going to use them," she says. "Spring cleaning is about making the most of your home and the possessions you keep."

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  • 06 of 39

    Keep Cleaning Supplies Clean and Simple

    still life of cleaning supplies on a shelf

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    Rapinchuk stresses that you do not need to get complicated to spring clean. Basics, like an all-purpose cleaning spray, dish soap, and baking soda are all you really need to complete a thorough spring cleaning. 


    Rapinchuk suggests making sure your cleaning cloths, dusters, scrub brushes, and vacuums are clean before you start—that way, you aren't just pushing dirt around.

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  • 07 of 39

    Spring Cleaning the Kitchen: Clean Cabinets

    person cleaning cabinets

    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Rodriguez suggests first emptying your cupboards and pantry to get a real feel for how they should be organized. Deep clean and continue by organizing your belongings by usage.

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  • 08 of 39

    Don't Forget the Kitchen Sink and Faucet

    Bathroom faucet next to dish soap and vinegar bottles and folded towels with toothbrush on top

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    When it comes to spring cleaning, the kitchen sink is one of the most overlooked areas of the home, according to organizing expert Katherine Picott of Tidy Milso.

    "Even with a deep cleaning routine, the kitchen sink still will have some spots that need extra 'TLC' like stains near the strainer and or the food debris in the faucet aerator," she says.

    To clean the aerator, Picott recommends clearing the debris with a toothbrush or a toothpick to clear out any blocked holes in the screen. "You will need a few tools handy to detach the aerator from the faucet, but it is worth it when you see what’s been hiding inside," she says.

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  • 09 of 39

    A Clean Dishwasher Means Cleaner Dishes

    preparing to clean a dishwasher

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Clean your dishwasher to prevent the buildup of food residue and soap scum, recommends Morgan Eberhard, senior scientist for P&G’s North America Home Care. Eberhard recommends monthly cleaning with Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner and stresses not to forget the filter—which is probably dirtier than you think.

    "If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it once a month, clean off any food or grime, and throw away anything trapped inside," she says.

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  • 10 of 39

    Give Your Garbage Disposal Some Attention

    materials to clean a garbage disposal

    The Spruce / Lacey Johnson 

    Even with all of the water that runs through a garbage disposal, it needs a thorough cleaning to remove food splatters that stick under the rubber baffle. Tackle this next to ensure your disposal is sparkling clean.

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  • 11 of 39

    Use Steam to Make Oven Cleaning Easier

    Filling a container to use for oven steam cleaning

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    Cleaning the oven after winter baking is a big part of spring cleaning the kitchen. Make the task easier by using steam to soften baked-on grease and grime before you clean. Don't forget to make your gas, electric coil, or ceramic stovetop sparkle along with drip pans, if you have them.

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  • 12 of 39

    Steam the Microwave

    clean sponge soaking inside of microwave with lemon cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Cleaning the microwave is one of the easiest spring cleaning tasks. Just boil some water and add lemon slices to help remove food odors.

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  • 13 of 39

    Clean the Inside and Outside of the Refrigerator or Freezer

    cleaning out a refridgerator

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  

    Start by emptying everything (use ice chests to keep foods cold) and then clean the inside of your refrigerator or freezer. When you are cleaning the outside, don't forget to move the appliance away from the wall so you can vacuum the fan and coils on the back to help it work more efficiently.

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  • 14 of 39

    Give Beverage Appliances a Springtime Boost

    Repeating a cleaning cycle on the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Even if your appliances are usually just filled with water, they still need to be cleaned. Use distilled white vinegar to descale coffee makers and tea kettles for better-tasting beverages.

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  • 15 of 39

    Make Stainless Steel Sparkle

    Dishwashing liquid and white sponge quickly cleaning stainless steel sink

    The Spruce / Olivia Inman

    Fill one spray bottle with undiluted distilled white vinegar (don't forget to label it clearly) and a second spray bottle with plain water. Spray the vinegar on stainless steel appliances or sinks and rub away streaks with a microfiber cloth. Rinse the surfaces with water, and dry well to prevent streaks.

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  • 16 of 39

    Spring Cleaning the Bathroom: Give the Toilet Your Full Attention

    preparing to clean a toilet tank

    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Picott shares her favorite way to thoroughly clean a toilet: start at the base of the toilet then work your way up.

    "Usually, I pass a dry microfiber cloth to pick up any dust or hair, then grab another cloth, all-purpose cleaner, and a disinfectant cleaner and tackle the rest," she adds, "For a thorough clean, I would recommend removing the toilet seat."

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  • 17 of 39

    Don't Forget the Lowly Toilet Cleaning Tools

    Bathroom bowl cleaned with multi-purpose bathroom cleaner and scrub brush

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

    Picott also recommends cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting the tools that you use to clean the bathroom, like the plunger and toilet brush.

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  • 18 of 39

    Use Disinfecting Wipes Correctly

    Light switch being wiped down with disinfectant wipe for weekly cleaning

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

    Disinfecting wipes are a gift when it comes to cleaning bathroom surfaces. Callum Couser, R&D operations manager at Reckitt, offers the right way to effectively use Lysol Disinfecting Wipes to clean around your home.

    "Pull wipes at an angle to remove them from the canister and securely replace the cap between uses," Couser recommends. "To disinfect, always use a fresh wipe and allow surfaces to remain wet for four minutes, and then air dry." 

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  • 19 of 39

    Unclog the Showerhead

    Cleaned showerhead replaced on shower arm

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    Turns out, you can clean your showerhead with just vinegar. Fix sputtering showerheads by using distilled white vinegar to cut through the mineral deposits that are clogging the water jets.

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  • 20 of 39

    Get Rid of Mold in the Bathroom

    White bathroom wall being rinsed with brass shower hose after scrubbing pink mold

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    If there is pink or green or black mold growing in your bathroom, clean it away from ceilingswood, and grout—mold won't go away on its own, and it's best to treat it as soon as you see it. If this means tackling it before spring cleaning, go for it—clean it as soon as possible.

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  • 21 of 39

    Use Vinegar to Remove Soap Scum

    Cleaning the bathtub

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    To remove soap scum from ceramic tile or fiberglass fixtures, fill a spray bottle with two parts distilled white vinegar, one part dishwashing liquid, and two parts water. Spray onto dirty surfaces and allow to sit for five minutes and then scrub with a nylon-bristled brush or wipe away with a microfiber cloth.

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  • 22 of 39

    Get Rid of Water Spots on Glass Shower Doors

    Glass shower door with houseplants in front of brightly-lit shower

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

    To remove water spots on glass shower doors, pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Pour the warm vinegar into a spray bottle, then add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray it onto the doors and allow it to work for five minutes before sponging away. Rinse the doors and dry them with a microfiber cloth.

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  • 23 of 39

    Keep the Air Fresh by Cleaning the Bathroom Fan

    Dusting the interior of the bathroom fan

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    If your bathroom fan sounds like a jet engine, mold is thriving, or the air remains pretty stale, clean the fan to remove dust and grime to help it function properly.

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  • 24 of 39

    Spring Cleaning the Bedroom: Start with the Closet

    The 4 container decluttering method for closets

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    Spring is the perfect time to empty every clothes closet and other storage spaces and sort clothes. While the closet is empty, clean it well to ensure that no harmful pests that can ruin clothes are lurking. Unwanted items should be sold, donated, or discarded. Clothes that you want to store until next year should be laundered or dry-cleaned and stored away properly.

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  • 25 of 39

    Wash Pillows and Bedding

    Feather pillow placed in washing machine for cleaning

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    The breezy weather of spring is the perfect time to wash all kinds of pillows—foamfeather, and polyester fiberfill—to remove odors, dust, and dust mites. Don't forget to wash all the bedding including mattress padssheetsblanketscomforters, and quilts before storing heavier items away until cold weather.

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  • 26 of 39

    Clean the Mattress

    Black steamer nozzle held up over mattress for cleaning

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    A mattress supports your sleep cycle nightly—and since you're spending so much time there, it's going to need a proper cleaning. Take the time to clean and remove stains and odors from the mattress. If you have a  foam mattress topper be sure to clean both sides before you put it back on the bed.

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  • 27 of 39

    Move the Furniture and Clean Under the Bed

    White metal bed frame wiped down by hand with blue towel

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    We're all guilty of cleaning only the most visible dirt and skipping the hard-to-reach spots, like the area under the bed. Maybe you've even forgotten that these things can get dirty. Remove everything that is stored under the bed and vacuum the flooring and the underside of the bed frame. Use closed storage for items you are returning to the space under the bed.

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  • 28 of 39

    Make Windows Sparkle

    Window cleaned outside with blue sponge and soapy water

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

    This tip applies to every window and glass door around the house. Taking time to clean windows brightens a home and makes everything feel cleaner. Picott reminds us to clean window vents, tracks, and window sills.

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  • 29 of 39

    Clean Windows Deserve Clean Window Treatments

    steam-cleaning a curtain

    The Spruce / Nelly Cuanalo

    Some curtains can be tossed in the washer but most drapery requires dry cleaning. Clean fabricwood, and vinyl window blinds. Use a garden hose to get rid of dust before installing window screens.

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  • 30 of 39

    Spring Cleaning Your Living Areas: Check Your Smoke and CO2 Detectors

    Backup battery inserted into smoke detector

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors takes only a few minutes. Even a small kitchen or laundry room fire can cause damage that costs thousands of dollars to repair. Battery-operated smoke detectors and CO detectors have a limited lifespan. If yours are more than 10 years old, it's probably time to replace them.

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  • 31 of 39

    Give Every Piece of Furniture a Good Cleaning

    Blue microfiber couch being cleaned with bristled brush next to basket of cleaning materials

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

    Upholstered couches and chairs should be deep cleaned to remove stains and odor. Wood furniture should be dusted and polished to remove grime. Keep leather furniture soft and supple with cleaning and conditioning.

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  • 32 of 39

    Get Rid of Corner Spiderwebs

    dusting ceiling corners

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    Use a long-handled duster, a clean, dry sponge mop, or broom to whisk down the dust and spider webs that have collected on your ceilings and moldings.

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  • 33 of 39

    Get Rid of Smudges and Dirt on Walls

    Walls rinsed with clean water and blue microfiber cloth

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    Walls can become dusty and dirty. Take the time to clean grime from painted and wallpapered walls and don't forget to clean the baseboards to remove dust and scuff marks.

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  • 34 of 39

    Sanitize Soft Surfaces

    Striped throw pillow wiped with clean and damp cloth for rinsing

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

    While it's impossible to disinfect all soft surfaces like carpet and throw pillows, Couser shares the best ways to sanitize these surfaces. Use Lysol Disinfectant Spray and spray for 3-4 seconds until covered. Let the surface remain wet for 10 minutes for soft surfaces and then air dry. Or, you can dampen your soft surfaces with a mild detergent and dab it with a wet cloth to clean.

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  • 35 of 39

    Clean Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans

    Closeup of a person dusting off a ceiling fan

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    Use a disposable duster that traps dust particles with an extendable handle to clean ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures. Don't forget to clean the lightbulbs!

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  • 36 of 39

    Clean and Change HVAC Filters

    Plant next to an air filter

    skaman306 / Getty Images

    Vacuum and clean HVAC vent covers by using a disposable duster or vacuum with a hose and upholstery brush attachment to remove dust. If possible, remove vent covers and rinse them in a sink or soak them in some hot, soapy water to remove stuck-on dirt. Change or clean the filters before replacing the vent covers.

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  • 37 of 39

    Clean Your Electronics

    Disinfectant wipe cleaning over computer monitor housing

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    Every remote, game controller, and keyboard should be cleaned and sanitized. Remove dust and grime safely from laptops, computer monitors, and all electronics.

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  • 38 of 39

    Tackle Every Type of Flooring

    Damp mop passing over marble floor for cleaning

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

    Deep clean carpeting and area rugs to remove stains and odors. This can be a DIY process or you can hire a carpet cleaning company. Bring solid wood floors back to a shine and clean laminate, LVP, and tile floors correctly.

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  • 39 of 39

    Use a HEPA Vacuum

    Pink vacuum passing over ruffled rug on wooden floor

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    While you're vacuuming every room, use the best vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap the most dust and dirt rather than spreading it around.

Originally written by
Sarah Aguirre
Sarah Aguirre is a housekeeping expert with over 20 years of experience cleaning residentially and commercially. Over that time, she has been writing about tips and tricks for housekeeping and organizing a home for national publications.
Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process