So I work in a school. That means in the summer, when I’m home, I have time for things I don’t normally get to do during the school year. Things like doing a DEEP CLEAN of my house.
Honestly, I’m pretty okay at the day to day chores and enlist my boys to help me out (sometimes that’s more trouble that it’s worth!). But I thrive on having the time to clean a little DEEPER than normal.
Maybe you have time to do this during your year – if I stayed home with the kiddos during the school year, I would probably need to schedule it into my year because I really feel like it’s important to do!! So, without further ado. I give you my DEEP CLEANING PROTOCOL.
Did anyone else’s mom make them do this in the summer? Just mine? Huh. Well, now that I’m a grown up (sorta), I know that I like to wash my walls yearly. Maybe that’s weird, but have you thought about what is on your walls? My boys have splashed juice boxes on the walls, wiped grubby (mostly cheese crackery) fingers on the wall, probably wiped other things on the wall, and that’s not to mention the dust and spiderwebs hanging out.
Let me preface my wall washing recipes with a warning – if you are going to use water on your walls, you need to have them painted or wallpapered with at minimum an eggshell paint. If you have matte paint or primer, it could be possible to ruin the walls. Okay? Just wipe them with a dry cloth in that case.
I like to use warm water with a teeny bit of soap (I useDr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap or Sal-Suds for everything). The key is to REALLY WRING out your cloth and just wipe away. I usually go top to bottom, but that could be my Type-A-ness coming through. You can also use 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 warm water.
Windows: Wells, Inside, Outside
So the inside of my windows are pretty darn clean. We wash those weekly. I LOVE Thieves Household Cleaner for windows. If you haven’t tried it – it works SO well! In the spring, when the sun re-emerges, I love sparkly clean windows!! If the windows are particularly dusty (like they were this year when we had a dry spring) I will usually start with soapy water first. It will be pretty smeary, so then I end with Thieves Cleaner and a squeegee to wipe the cleaner off. For window wells, I assign the children to those. They vacuum, scrape, and spray with Thieves Cleaner and wipe with a cloth. Done.
I love open windows, but our screens get dusty and allergens get stuck in the screens, so since I have seasonal allergies and asthma I use a blend of essential oils on screens after I wipe them off with soapy water and spray them with the hose. This is another great job for kids on a sunny day. Put on their swimsuits and give them a hose. I bring screens outside one at a time, so I don’t get them all messed up – who knows what damage I could do! I wipe them, and they spray them down. Before I put the screens back in the windows, I spray them down with this cleaner:
Mix 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 cups Water, and 10 drops Thieves Essential Oil in a spray bottle. I use glass so the oil doesn’t leach chemicals into my air/screens. The Thieves has cinnamon and clove oils in it, which are great anti-microbial agents. This helps so fungus, molds, and bacteria doesn’t attach to your screen and then fly into your house.
I own a Sleep Number bed, which I love because I can literally unzip the top and vacuum out the inside of my bed. This is AWESOME for my allergies. For my kids, who have regular mattresses, I just take a vacuum and vacuum the top of the mattress. If there are any stains, you can wash those with vinegar, soap and water (really wring out the towel – you don’t want a sopping wet mattress). Sprinkle baking soda over the whole thing for freshness and vacuum up again. My secret tip is that I have a jar of baking soda and Lavender essential oil that I shake over the bed, leaving behind the calming scent of Lavender.
Wash sheets, comforters, duvets, and PILLOWS. Yes, you can wash those pillows. I have a nice HE washing machine, so I can shove 2-4 pillows in there and get them clean. I just have to usually run an extra “extract/spin” cycle to get the water out. I toss pillows in the dryer with wool dryer balls (like these from my friend’s sheep: Dryer Balls), and put a few drops of Lavender on the balls for some added scent.
Baseboards and Cupboards
I also spend a lot of time in my kitchen taking everything out of the cupboards, wiping them down and putting things back in. This allows for 2 things: Reorganization of my junk/food products/dishes/spices AND a chance to get rid of things that I haven’t used in a year. You know what those things are. Toss them. Give them to someone who needs them. Donate them to the Epilepsy Foundation. Have a Garage Sale.
Diffuse Purification and Lemon in the kitchen and throw on LOUD music and the job gets done FAST!! My kids also like to help because they think it’s fun to take all the things OUT of the cupboards. You guys, they are 9. It’s still fun to make a giant mess that mom has to clean up. Am I right??
Toss The Junk
I also use this time of year to go through clothes (mine and the kids), closets, books, and toys. I get rid of clothes that don’t fit us, are ruined, or no one wore in the past year or so.
I want to hear about YOUR Deep Cleaning routines. Do you have anything I need to add to my list?