Spring cleaning made easy
Winter is slowly coming to an end, and thorough spring cleaning following the cold months has become somewhat of a tradition for many people. The good intentions are there, and the need to start the year on a fresh note provides the impetus to approach the task of cleaning. But what does spring cleaning entail? And which tools and resources are required? These tips will show you how to get your house looking shipshape quickly and effectively.
What does spring cleaning entail?
When it comes to spring cleaning, allow enough time and decide in advance what you want clean. It is worth writing a list. By spring cleaning in a systematic way, you save valuable time. Ideally you should focus on one room at a time. Generally, things are cleaned from top to bottom in the following order: first dust off all surfaces such as cupboards, tables, windowsills and plants. The second step is to vacuum upholstery and furniture. The floor is cleaned right at the end. Turning our attention to outside the house, cleaning the car and garden furniture is recommended first, before cleaning the terrace and driveway. This avoids unnecessary extra work. The spring clean is also a good opportunity to sort through old things. That is why tidying out and cleaning the garage is also recommended.
• Clean the windows
• Put the curtains in the washing machine
• Remove cobwebs from walls and ceilings
• Wipe dust
• Clean the floors
• Clean the oven and microwave
• Clean the extractor hood
• Thaw out and clean the fridge and freezer
• Clean the sink, bathtub and shower, particularly drains
• Clean the toilet
• Clean mirrors
3. Living room:
• Vacuum sofas using an upholstery nozzle
• Clear out and wipe shelves and cupboards
• Air and turn mattresses
• Gently wash bedding or take it to the cleaners
• Wash pillowcases and curtains
• Clean the car inside and outside
• Remove dirt from terrace and driveway
• Tidy up the garage
• Get garden furniture back in shape
What cleaning equipment belongs in my cupboard?
Less is more – this also applies to detergents required for spring cleaning. In terms of basic equipment, the following five cleaning agents are sufficient:
- Multi-purpose cleaner
- Cream cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Dishwashing detergent
- Acid cleaner
Alongside the right cleaning agents, a few tools are required which every cleaning cupboard should have. These include a dustpan and brush for dirt on small surfaces. A wiping mop and bucket are required for wiping floors. Cleaning sponges are good for removing dirt. For dusting, a feather duster is essential. You should also have both soft cotton cleaning cloths and microfibre cleaning cloths at your disposal. Using the colour system used by professional building service contractors is recommended: red for the toilet, yellow for bathroom surfaces, green for the kitchen and blue for all other surfaces and furniture.
There are usually quite a few different cloths in the cleaning cupboard. But which one should you use for dusting? When combatting the grey stuff, a soft, slightly damp cotton cloth works best, so that dust is not kicked up during wiping. Thanks to their antistatic effect, microfibre cloths are also well suited to the task. This is because dust particles adhere to the cloth without the need for moisture. They can therefore be used on water-sensitive furniture in particular. But be careful when it comes to high-gloss furniture. It may be scratched or become matt as a result of microfibre cloths. Coarse dirt on shelf surfaces and dressers can also be removed using a vacuum cleaner with soft furniture brush.
Following the winter months, cleaning windows is recommended so that the spring sun can find its way into your home. The important thing is to ensure no liquid stays on the glass after cleaning, since this can result in unsightly smears. These can be wiped away using a microfibre cloth. Fast, streak-free results can also be achieved with a Window Vac. This little helper cleans windows in a flash and the dirty water ends up in the tank rather than on the floor, thanks to the handy suction function. Window frames and windowsills must also not be forgotten when cleaning.
Pedicure for floors
The vacuum cleaner is the popular alternative for cleaning. Unlike a brush, which kicks up dirt, it makes short work of crumbs and dust particles. This is important prior to wet cleaning as very coarse dirt cannot be picked up completely or can even leave visible scratches on sensitive surfaces such as parquet. Those who wish to save themselves this extra step can use the floor cleaner FC 5 from Kärcher, which vacuums and wipes in one step.
Show dirt the door!
Grease and encrusted food residues in the oven often require time-consuming scrubbing. Steam cleaners offer an alternative to oven cleaner. The powerful combination of pressure and heat dissolves dirt, and a round brush removes even stubborn encrustations without damaging the surface. The dissolved dirt can then be removed with a cloth. Another advantage is that only water is required for steam cleaning, meaning that detergents can be left in the cupboard. Important: unplug the oven from the power supply before cleaning, i.e. disconnect the relevant fuse.
Car washing after winter
Moisture, cold air, wet dirt and especially road salt – winter is a hard time of year for cars. This aggressive mixture can speed up the formation of rust. This is why thorough car washing is part of spring cleaning. This is quick and thorough with a pressure washer. For this purpose, a flat jet should be used at a distance of about 30 centimetres from the surface. As far as possible, the underbody and wheel arches should be cleaned. Using a detergent makes it easier to dissolve dirt, which then only needs rinsing off. If you prefer to use a wash brush, the car should first be sprayed over completely so that stones and other dirt cannot scratch the paint. Before washing the car, it is definitely worth finding out whether car washing is allowed on the street or private plot of land, as the laws can vary according to the Federal State, city or municipality. The possibility of polluting the groundwater should always be ruled out.
The tiles on the balcony, terrace and paths in front of the house are constantly exposed to weather. This often results in unpleasant dirt. Moss, lichen and greenery can be thoroughly cleaned in a flash using a pressure washer.
Ferrous objects such as garden furniture or lights lying on the ground and getting damp for extended periods of time may cause rust stains to develop. Acid-resistant stones such as granite or slate can be treated with citric acid. For acid-sensitive stones such as marble, a special acid-free rust remover is required.
Ready for the garden season
Garden furniture in storage should be wiped off after the winter using water and dishwashing detergent in order to remove dirt and dust. High-pressure cleaning makes it faster. The additional use of a detergent that has a gentle effect on the surface is also recommended.
Garden furniture padding is subjected to sun and rain. As such, delicate materials and colours should be sprayed with a special stain guard. Synthetic fibre covers are easy to wash, whereas cotton covers should be cleaned chemically.
Caring for wooden surfaces
Whether Douglas fir, Bangkirai wood or modern wood polymers – dirt gets stuck in natural structures more easily and is more difficult to remove than from smooth stone floors. In this instance, it is best to use a pressure washer. This allows for a gentle cleaning procedure – especially on wooden surfaces.
Through the use of a flat jet nozzle and spray lance, water pressure can be adjusted to match the material. Surfaces should be painted with a special wood varnish following cleaning. This protects against weathering and freshens up the colour.