Spring is in the air, it’s the perfect time to freshen up the house, purge unwanted items, and welcome the change of seasons with a little spring cleaning and a homemade glass cleaner recipe!
A clean house can be good for your health, energy, and well-being – but getting started can be overwhelming.
Make this homemade glass cleaner recipe, then employ it using the spring cleaning tips below.
Homemade glass cleaner recipe
Cleaning windows is always an important task on my spring cleaning list. I usually neglect my windows all winter, and it’s nice to see the sun shining through my sparkling windows again in spring. My favorite glass cleaner includes alcohol, a trick professional window washers use to eliminate streaking and residue, so of course we’ll use it in our homemade glass cleaner.
- 1 cup high proof alcohol (Everclear, vodka, etc.)
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon liquid soap, optional for really dirty surfaces (Do not use castile soap.)
Combine alcohol and vinegar in a bucket. Add enough water to make ½ gallon. Add optional liquid soap and stir gently to combine. Pour into spray bottle and store the rest in a clean, well-labeled container with a tight-fitting lid. Use to clean windows, mirrors, glass tables, or even countertops. Spray on surface and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.
Note: Avoid cleaning windows when sun is shining on them. Warm windows will show streaks after drying.
Next up, check out these tips to spruce things up, clear out clutter, and get your cleaning groove on!
Spring cleaning tips
Getting started is the hardest part. The task may seem too large and you may be lacking a plan. Fix yourself a tall, tasty glass of something, turn on some music to keep you moving, and get ready for a cleaning whirlwind!
1) Start with a small space: Choose a corner of a room or a closet and FOCUS. Setting a time limit and sticking to it will help you avoid spending your whole day on one unnoticeable project. The goal is to cover several areas of the house and get a lot accomplished.
2) Organize and purge: Attack each space with a very objective eye. Attempt to simplify the space (and your life) by eliminating things that are duplicate items, don’t fit, are no longer used, or don’t work. Have empty bins or trashbags waiting nearby so you can toss/recycle, sell, or donate anything you part with. Don’t allow yourself to play with long-lost items you uncover while organizing; this will slow you down. Give yourself no more than 10 seconds to consider each item and make a decision to keep or purge.
Have a goal in mind when organizing, it motivates you to purge more. Maybe you want to reduce clutter in the linen closet so items on each shelf can be contained to 12″ x 12″ baskets, or reduce toys in a child’s room so everything fits into one large toy box. Set realistic goals for your lifestyle and keep them in mind as you organize and purge. If you’re having trouble parting with something, take a picture of it. Photos are much easier to store than bulky objects. Chances are you’ll never miss it.
3) Clean from top to bottom: Once things are organized and condensed, gather cleaning supplies and prepare to get down and dirty. A good rule of thumb when cleaning is to clean from top to bottom. (Rationale: If you vacuum before dusting or wiping off surfaces, you’ll end up with crud on your clean floors.) You may even want to start as high as the ceiling fans if you’re feeling ambitious, working your way down to walls/windows, shelves/countertops, furniture, and lastly, floors. Fill a bucket with supplies and non-toxic cleaners that you can carry from room to room. Here are some items I include in my cleaning bucket:
- lots of microfiber cloths, clean rags, and sponges – that can be washed and reused
- cleaning gloves – to save my hands
- homemade glass cleaner – use the above recipe for windows, mirrors, sinks, and most countertops
- dusting spray – for all my wooden surfaces
- a shaker of baking soda – for scouring tough grime and carpet freshening
- (and my vacuum usually gets toted along too!)
More cleaning day strategies
- Open windows if possible; dust and dirt might be stirred up while cleaning, so let some fresh air into your space.
- Have lots of cleaning rags, sponges, or old t-shirt pieces on hand to save waste from paper towels.
- Don’t forget to take breaks during a long cleaning spree! Set a timer if you must, and take breaks for drinks and snacks to sustain energy.
- (Shameless plug for our book…) If you’re interested in making all your own homemade cleaners, check out DIY Natural Household Cleaners (print and ereader editions available).
- Have a cleaning party – invite your spouse, roommate, or children to pitch in and share the responsibility.
- Make the best of your cleaning day by allowing yourself to have fun! Get out your 80’s dance mix, sing along, and let the neighbors wonder what all the raucous is about.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew with spring cleaning, just tackle what you have energy for. Once it’s done you’ll be able to relax in your organized, uncluttered, clean home. Time to channel your inner Tasmanian Devil and start moving!
References and Resources
- Psychological Benefits of Spring Cleaning, video on FamilyCenters.org
- Household Products Database of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Spring Cleaning Checklist on MarthaStewart.com