When the weather starts to warm up, it's a sign to bust open your windows — and your cleaning supplies cabinet. Yes, it's already that time of year again. Don't know where to start? Use this list, which includes all the spots you've likely neglected for the past year and how to tackle them like a pro.
Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner, amazon.com, $13 for 2 pacs
To ensure this heavy-duty cleaning appliance gets all the tomato sauce stains off your dinner plates, you have to clean it too. First, remove any bits of food on the bottom. Then, run a cycle with a specialty cleanser, like a pac, once a month.
The first step to preventing granite stains: Seal your countertops as soon as they're installed, says kitchen designer . You'll know they're sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. To maintain, have them sealed again a year later and make sure you wipe up accidental spills as soon as they happen.
Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream, amazon.com, $7 per bottle
Over time, build-up can collect on your kitchen cabinets — especially if you don't run the exhaust hood over your range while you cook to keep grease from settling. To remove, use Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream to cut through the dirt and leave wood moisturized.
Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol, amazon.com, $5 per bottle
What's the point of having stainless steel in your kitchen if it's not bright and clean? To make your surface sparkle again, Adam Kamens of suggests using a specialty spray, like , once or twice a week. Make sure you don't put on too much or you might leave the surface grimy.
Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner, amazon.com, $6 per bottle
Instead of just wiping down the inside, make sure you take to the outdoors with Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner during spring cleaning season to remove spots and smudges you don't usually have time to tackle. Pro tip? Wash them on a cloudy day to ensure that the sun won't dry the cleanser before you're done wiping.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, amazon.com, $8 per bottle
Even though you might think you should mop your wooden floors every week, this chore could ruin them. Instead, you should only them once every one to two months with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, and spot-clean as needed. Then make sure you use trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage and use furniture protectors to avoid scratches.
This means the outside and inside. Pull out all of your fridge's interior shelving and wash them with warm soapy water. Then wipe down the surfaces that can't be removed on the inside with a sponge before putting shelves back in their place.
Read: Your pillows and comforter — since you should be washing things like pillowcases and sheets every two weeks. These fluffy sleeping accessories should be thrown into your washing machine (just reach the manufacturer's label first!) two to three times per year.
Don't wash your clothes in a . Instead, disinfect it with distilled and to keep it fresh and high-functioning. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents, and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, restart your machine, let the water drain, and wipe it dry.
Hagerty Silver Foam Cleaner, amazon.com, $11 per bottle
Metal restorer says to use a toothbrush and Hagerty Silver Foam on your silver because it's not too abrasive and it's water-soluble. He also says to never put your silver in the dishwasher and store it in anti-tarnish cloth bag ($13, ) when you're not using it.
If you ever start to smell something burning when you turn on your oven, it might be time to give it a deep clean. First, from your range, then spritz burnt-on food with . Sprinkle and a few drops of on the bottom, let it bubble up, then whisk away the grime with a sponge.
You're going to love this: According to Paul Iskyan, owner of , less-trafficked areas of your carpet only have to be cleaned once or twice a year, and every 18 months for a bedroom. For higher-traffic areas, the most often you'd need to bring in professionals would be three or four times a year, although once you see that your carpet's dirty, you probably should have it cleaned for health reasons.
Marty Hoffman of suggests cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles with a cleaner that has "neutral pH" on the label. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. For grout, use the same and water mixture, but for tough stains, call in the pros.
The good news: You don't have to clean these things every single year. Philip Costikyan of says you should clean them every four or five years — or every ten years if a rug is not walked on much. Over cleaning contributes to wear and tear. But you can treat stains at home with . Stains caused by pets, coffee, orange soda, red wine, and anything with dye or an acid base are the hardest to remove, and the key is to act quickly.
Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Your closet will look appealing, and your everyday routine will be easier.
Dust bunnies, be gone! To get rid of these annoying cling-ons, swish your broom around in warm, soapy water as needed. Another option? Try to zap it with the nozzle on your vacuum, just make sure you clean out the attachment afterwards.
Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, amazon.com, $4 per bottle
Maintenance is crucial to keeping a crisp paint job looking fresh. To do this, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at , suggests spot cleaning your walls with a cloth or sponge and water. If that doesn't work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap (the milder the better). If the stain persists, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the wet sponge or cloth you're using. Then make sure you rinse the wall afterward with plain water.
Bissell Pet Stain and Odor Remover, amazon.com, $14 per bottle
The perfect time to pay attention to what's under your bedding? When your sheets and comforter are being washed too. Use your vacuum's crevice tool to clean the surface and sides, then spot-clean stains with Bissell Pet Stain and Odor Remover. Sanitize with a spritz of Lysol Disinfectant Spray afterwards ($9, ).
Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets (unless you think they might have value). Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows.
Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, amazon.com, $4 per bottle
Before outdoor season begins, wipe down your chairs (minus the cushions) and tables with a mixture of warm water and a squirt of Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap. Then hose off the solution with water from your garden hose and let air dry before enjoying.