Sara Tramp for Emily Henderson
1 Your Cabinets
Regan Baker Design
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.
BUY NOW Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream, $7
2 Your Windows
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.
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3 Your Countertops
The first step to preventing granite stains: Seal your countertops as soon as they’re installed, says kitchen designer Florence Perchuk. 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.
BUY NOW Williams Sonoma Countertop Spray, $10
4 Your Wood Floors
Even though you might think you should mop your wooden floors every week, this chore could ruin them. Instead, you should only wet-clean 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.
BUY NOW Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, $8
5 Your Bedding
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 read the manufacturer’s label first!) two to three times per year.
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6 Your Stainless Steel
PHOTO: Alexandra Ribar; DESIGN: Leanne Ford Interiors
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 Amuneal Manufacturing Corp. suggests using a specialty spray, like Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol, once or twice a week. Make sure you don’t put on too much or you might leave the surface grimy.
BUY NOW Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol, $5
7 Your Tiled Surfaces
Regan Baker Design
Marty Hoffman of Hoffman Brothers Floors 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 baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture, but for tough stains, call in the pros.
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8 Your Carpet
You’re going to love this: According to Paul Iskyan, owner of Rug Renovating, 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.
BUY NOW Bissell Portable Carpet Cleaner, $89
9 Your Refrigerator
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.
BUY NOW Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Concentrate, $8
10 Your Area Rugs
The good news: You don’t have to clean these things every single year. Philip Costikyan of Restoration by Costikyan 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 club soda. 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.
BUY NOW Schweppes Club Soda, $5
11 Your Dishwasher
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 Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner pac, once a month.
BUY NOW Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner, $13
12 Your Washing Machine
PHOTO: Tessa Neustadt; DESIGN: Amber Interiors
Don’t wash your clothes in a smelly machine. Instead, disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda 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.
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13 Your Oven
PHOTO: Dustin Askland; DESIGN: Elizabeth Roberts
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, chip off loose pieces from your range, then spritz burnt-on food with ammonia. Sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom, let it bubble up, then whisk away the grime with a sponge.
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14 Your Patio Furniture
PHOTO: Scott Hargis; DESIGN: Regan Baker
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.
BUY NOW Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, $4
15 Your Closet
PHOTO: Max Kim Bee; DESIGN: Leanne Ford Interiors
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.
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16 Your Painted Walls
Maintenance is crucial to keeping a crisp paint job looking fresh. To do this, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at Benjamin Moore, 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.
BUY NOW Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, $4
17 Your Silver
Metal restorer Paul Karner 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, amazon.com) when you’re not using it.
BUY NOW Hagerty Silver Foam Cleaner, $8
18 Your Broom
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
BUY NOW OXO Good Grips Any Angle Broom, $20
19 Your Bookshelves
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.
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20 Your Mattress
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, amazon.com).
BUY NOW Bissell Pet Stain and Odor Remover, $20
Design Editor Hadley Mendelsohn is House Beautiful’s design editor, and when she’s not busy obsessing over all things decor-related, you can find her scouring vintage stores, reading, or stumbling about because she probably lost her glasses again.