spick + span

I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled spiritual musings to share some cleaning tips today.

The seasons are starting to slowly change here in rainy Kansas. And while most people spring clean, I am a big advocate for fall cleaning. Before we hunker down to spend the next few months in the warm cozy embrace of our homes, let’s make sure they’re up to the challenge.

Especially after the hot months, sweat and dirt become regular tenants in your home. But refreshing everything for a cool transition into autumn won’t take more than a few hours.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to clean and freshen the most trafficked areas of the home.


  • Mattress
    • 1 c. of baking soda + 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender is good for sleeping!)
    • Sprinkle onto a stripped mattress and leave for at least an hour (more if you can)
    • Vacuum it up to lift out odors, stains, and grime
    • (This could be a good time to flip your mattress, too. Either end to end or over to the other side.)
  • Linens
    • Wash all linens. Sheets, pillowcases, blankets, pajamas, spare blankets, pillow shams, even more blankets.
    • Re-evaluate your pillows. If they are yellow or flat, consider new ones or toss them in the washer with tennis balls wrapped in tube socks (yes, I’m serious)
  • Closets
    • Take everything out of your closet. Ev.er.y.thing.
    • Vacuum the shelves and throw away broken hangers, tags, fasteners
    • Donate clothing that doesn’t fit
    • Fold and hang all the remaining clothes nicely


  • Bathtub
    • Run warm water + 1 squirt of dish soap to fill the tub
    • Leave for about an hour
    • Use a dish wand to scrub scrub scrub
    • Drain the tub
  • Medicine cabinet
    • Empty it, take inventory, toss out expired medicine (safely out of reach of children or pets), wipe it out and put the remaining items back in orderly fashion
  • Toilet tank
    • Drop a tablet in there to keep your commode operating fresh and healthy

Living Room

  • Couch
    • Remove cushions and vacuum out old cereal, doll shoes, bread ties, and popcorn kernels
    • Vacuum, fluff, flip, and replace the cushions
  • Entertainment center
    • Get behind your electronics to the hub of cords we know is tangled back there. If you can’t organize them, at least hit the area with a vacuum cord so you’re not mixing massive dust bunnies with electrical currents
  • Fireplace
    • You’re going to have to call in the pros for this one, but I just think it’s worth mentioning that if you have a fireplace, you should make sure it’s ready for winter–free of birds nests, ill-fated squirrels, unexpected flammables, or unsavory infestations.


  • Pantry
    • By now, you know where I’m going with this. Empty it out, toss out the expired stuff, donate things you don’t like anymore or won’t use or have a surplus of, wipe out the shelves and put back the remaining food in. an. orderly. fashion.
  • Critter traps
    • Creepy crawlies are going to start making their way inside you house, aka their vacation home, soon. I recommend starting with Pinterest to find a critter-catching solution that is safe for your family and whatever enemies you’re up against.


(How have I been lucky enough to clean nearly ever kind of floor? I don’t know. But I have. And I have tips for all of them.)

  • Tiles
    • Dry vacuum, don’t sweep
    • 1 c. of cleanser + 1 bucket of hot water (this is my favorite cleanser)
    • Use a ring-out mop in a wide figure-8 motion (and start at the back of the room, lest you mop yourself in a corner, Baby.)
  • Carpets (including stairs)
    • With stains: sprinkle 1 c. baking soda + 10 drops essential oil
    • Without stains: spray fabric refresh spray all over the area; heavy baking soda mixture on stains
    • Let sit for a few minutes
    • Vacuum, vacuum, vaccum
  • Linoleum
    • Sweep with a soft bristled broom
    • Spray degreaser and use a ring-out-mop in a figure-8 motion
    • Note: Degreaser! is! slippery! Clear the area and don’t let people walk on it until it’s dry.
  • Hardwood
    • Use a Microfiber push mop so you can pick up hair and dirt with the power of static instead of sweeping it in between your slats (sad)
    • Drizzle small areas with a hardwood-specific cleaner (my fave)
    • Ring-out-mop with a little water–just enough to keep it wet–in a figure-8 motion
  • Laminate
    • Dry vacuum, don’t sweep
    • Use a micro-fiber dust mop (see my recommendation above) and a spray bottle of homemade cleaner in strait striped motions–laminate floor can’t stay wet so spray only the area you’re just about to mop, then move on
    • 1 c. water + 1 c. vinegar + 1 c. rubbing alcohol + 3 drops of dish soap

Bonus Tips

  • Vacuum out your vents, change your filters, and clip a car fresher on for good smell in the whole room
  • Wash windows (this is my favorite glass cleaner, which I use moderately because of the aerosol) and vacuum/wipe out the window sills
  • Dust and disinfect all surfaces
  • Clean baseboards and walls with your microfiber mop and a mild bucket of soapy water–just don’t soak it!


Got specific questions? Hit me with ’em!

Happy cleaning!


Author: Erin

striving for everyday grace

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