Spring Cleaning Tips from The Ellen Clark Team

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Spring is upon us! Whether you are gearing up to sell or simply want to freshen up your abode, we have compiled a simple list of techniques and suggestions to enhance the inside of your home.
  1. Dust Everything: This includes all the hard to reach places, baseboards, ceiling fans, window casings, you name it. Start at the top and work your way down. Don’t forget to dust light fixtures, lamps, lampshades, and book shelves. Make sure to dust appliances, and anything that hangs from your walls.  An easy trick for cleaning ceiling fans is using a pillowcase to dust. This keeps dust and debris from scattering all over the room saving you extra clean up time.
  2. Clean Upholstery: Wipe down and vacuum out under cushions of furniture along with the base. Use a simple hand held steamer for stains if necessary or the simple technique of blotting, and brushing out stains. Make sure to check the pieces to ensure you follow proper care instructions. You can detail the crevices of your furniture with the attachment hose of your vacuum.
  3. Condition Leather Furniture: Wipe down furniture to ensure it is dust free. Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil and shake. Use a towel to work the mixture into the leather in small circular motions. Let soak for 8-10 hours. Once fully absorbed buff with a clean towel.
  4. Clean Ceilings, Doors, and Walls: Make sure you have dusted walls and baseboards before you begin. You can use a broom with a towel over. You can remove stubborn surface grime from walls with a solvent free degreaser. You can also use a two/three tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a half filled bucket of water. Use a sponge or paint roller working top to bottom. Make sure to test a small surface area of your wall before you get started to ensure your paint doesn’t incur damage.  Mr. Clean erasers are great for marks on doors caused by the day to day wear and tear. For severe marks/stains a paint touch up may be necessary.
  5.  Clean floors: You can sweep or vacuum most flooring in no time. Mop with an all purpose cleaner and disinfectant. For vinyl and linoleum floors that are lacking shine try using a wax polish. Stone/tile flooring can be treated with liquid wax. For hard wood floors mop and seal with a thin coat of wax. If you have tough scuff marks that won’t come up you can use a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge for easy removal.
  6. Vacuum and shampoo rugs/carpet: Remove rugs to shake out debris, then vacuum. Synthetic carpet can be cleaned with a shampoo machine. For hard to remove stains, mix salt and white vinegar into stain. Wait for it to dry then vacuum up. If stain is darker or older try adding Borax to the mixture and follow the same steps. Oriental rugs will need to be cleaned by a professional. If you have a shag carpet (yes, these have made a come back!) make sure you use the hose attachment of your vacuum as most vacuums have too much suction and can do damage to your shag.
  7. Polish: Use liquid polish on metal doors, window hardware, door handles, etc. Polish wood furniture with standard furniture polish, or you can clean your wooden furniture with a soft damp cloth, and apply Butcher’s wax making sure to buff after you’ve let dry. If you’re feeling adventurous you can tackle your stainless steel appliances in the kitchen with commercial cleaner or even a microfiber towel and club soda. You can also use glass cleaner or if you want to try a more natural approach use white vinegar to remove grime and a little olive oil to polish.
  8. Wash Windows: This is a personal favorite, and includes getting the glass down to the curtains. You can clean blinds with a sponge or for the detail clean- take blinds down, rinse off in your tub, allow to dry, wipe, and rehang. Use a glass cleaner or distilled white vinegar with a microfiber cloth and squeegee for a streak free shine. Many curtains/drapes are machine washable. It is recommended to hang dry curtains but you can fluff in a dryer for 15-20 minutes to avoid wrinkles. Some fabric shades may need to be dry cleaned. You can wash your window screens with mild dish soap and warm water, scrub gently with a brush and rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and other allergens.
  9.  Clean Air Vents : Make sure you turn off the power connected to your heating/ac system. Unscrew the grilles or air duct covers and use a brush or towel with water and mild dish soap to remove dust and grime. Vacuum out ducts as much as possible . If grilles are located in the ceiling use a broom to remove dust. It is recommended to wear a mask to protect yourself from debris that may fall down. While doing this it is also good to change air filters.
  10. Reseal Grout Lines: In the kitchen, bathroom, or on your counter top tiles, grout lines can crack and stain easily as they are extremely porous. Protect these with a grout sealer that you apply with a foam brush. This can be done in tile floors as well.
We also suggest changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  We hope this list is helpful in your spring cleaning endeavors and wish you the best of luck!