30 Spring Cleaning Tasks to Add to Your Checklist

Start thinking of spring cleaning as the calendar turns a page. Develop a plan with these tips on what to clean and helpful hints on how to clean them.

1 / 30
vacuum air conditionerFamily Handyman

Clean Air Conditioner Condensers and Evaporators

Cleaning your air conditioner at the start of the season will help both your wallet and your comfort level later when summer’s heat sets in. Most of the job can be done without the help of a professional, and by servicing and testing out your cooling system now, you will have plenty of time to make an appointment with an air conditioning contractor if there are any unforeseen issues.

After cutting off the electricity to the unit, vacuum the outdoor condenser’s exterior fins with a soft-bristled brush, and clear away bushes, weeds, and overgrown grass within two feet of the unit. Indoors, replace the furnace filter on the evaporator unit, vacuum the blower compartment, and clean the condensation drain.

2 / 30

Women cleaning windows in apartmentSouth_agency/Getty Images

Wash Your Windows

Wash your windows the fastest way with crystal clear, streak-free results. Try washing windows with a squeegee and we bet you’ll never go back to a spray bottle and paper towels. Squeegees get your glass clear and streak free in a fraction of the time it takes with paper towels. In this article, we’ll show you the equipment you need and simple steps to follow for fast, clear results.

3 / 30

The Family Handyman

Wash the Exterior of Your Home

Vinyl siding gets stained, but it’s fairly easy to clean, even the toughest stains. A homemade mix of dish soap and hot water can handle most of the dirt. (You can also use an all-purpose cleaner in place of dish soap.) For a brick exterior, a mix of vinegar and water can take care of most dirt and grime.

4 / 30

Closet DresserGoodboy Picture Company/Getty Images

Get Your Closets in Order

For cleaning a closet, the most important task is decluttering it and organizing your things. There’s a simple four-step decluttering process for taking care of the junk in your closet, and while you have everything pulled out of there, be sure to vacuum the floor and dust inside the closet.

5 / 30

Hand in rubber protective glove cleaning baseboard on the floor from dust with rag at the wall. Early spring cleaning or regular clean up. Maid cleans house.FotoDuets/Getty Images

Speed Clean Some Messes

No one likes cleaning the house, but we can make the chore take a lot less time. We asked cleaning pros for their favorite cleaning tips and cleaning products to keep your house sparkling and save you several hours of cleaning per week. You won’t have to spend a lot of money either-some of these products that help you work smarter cost less than $5.

6 / 30

Bathroom cleaningiStock/SolStock

Prevent Mold Build-up in Your Bathroom

Once established, mold around a bathtub or shower can be hard to get rid of, but simple steps like using a squeegee on the walls, running the vent fan and sealing grout will help eliminate bathroom moisture and help prevent mold from building up there.

7 / 30

dustFamily Handyman

Prevent Dust from Building Up

There’s just no way around it; you’re going to have to dust your home regularly. However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent dust from piling up. Simple tasks like upgrading your furnace filter, cleaning ceiling fans, running an air purifier, and more can help prevent dust from getting out of control.

8 / 30

clean weep holes in windowsThe Family Handyman

Clean Weep Holes

Weep holes may be the tiniest feature of many sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows, but they serve a big function. The little holes, located on the exterior bottom of the frame, are an outlet for rainwater to drain away from the home, but they often can become clogged up with debris.

To make sure they’re working properly, spray the outside of the window with a garden hose – a steady stream of clean water should exit from the holes. If it doesn’t, use a wire hanger or compressed air to force the blockage out. Re-test with fresh water to ensure they’re completely cleaned.

9 / 30

The Family Handyman

Tune-Up the Lawn Mower

A few upgrades to your lawnmower in early spring will extend the life of the machine and give your grass a cleaner cut. At the start of the season, empty any old gasoline leftover from the previous year into a clearly-marked container and replace it with fresh fuel. Next, change the oil, this should be done every 25 hours of use or so. Run the mower for a few minutes to get the oil warmed up, which will help it to drain more smoothly. Last, swap out the old air filter and change the spark plug. Spark plugs can be found at the hardware store for about $3, and are critical in starting and running the engine.

10 / 30

fh15jau_smokea_10 smoke alarm detector safetyFamily Handyman

Test and Replace the Batteries in Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors should be tested monthly, and the batteries should be replaced every year, so it’s a good habit to make this part of your regular spring maintenance routine. Test the batteries by simply pressing the ‘test’ button and making sure the unit chirps. Even if it works, replace the battery (or back-up battery, if your is a hardwired model) and re-test it. If the alarm does not pass the test, replace it immediately.

Smoke detectors have a lifespan of 10 years, so look for a ‘replace by’ sticker or date embossed on the inside of the unit to see if it needs to be replaced, even if it passes the chirp test. If you can’t find a date, replace it anyway immediately. On new detectors, make sure to write the ‘installed’ date on the inside cover on a piece of masking tape.

11 / 30

The Family Handyman

Tune-Up Outdoor Gas Grills

No matter what your recipe is, the best burgers are cooked on a clean, well-maintained grill. Before cookout season kicks off, give your grill a once-over. Look for food drippings and grease buildup on the exterior, which can attract pests, and scrub these spots with a brass-bristle brush and soapy water. To clean the grates, light the burners, close the lid, and let the grease drip off for 15 minutes. Turn the flame off and let the grill cool until it’s warm, which will make easier work of removing any grime. Use a brass-bristled brush or wadded-up aluminum foil for this step.

To service the burner assembly, unfasten the burner and disconnect the gas tubes from the gas lines. Lift out the whole unit and use a soft cloth and soapy water to clean the gas tubes and burner unit. Finally, clean the drip pan thoroughly with warm, soapy water.

12 / 30
Family Handyman

Clean the ‘Tough’ Problems

Shower door soap scum, greasy dirt on lamps and kitchen cabinets…some things around the house just don’t come clean. We talked to professional house cleaners and got them to spill their best-kept cleaning secrets for removing even the most gnarly messes.

13 / 30
Family Handyman

Clean Up After Your Pets

Your dog will soon be shedding that winter coat and with it will come plenty of hair around the house. Fortunately, we’ve got solutions on how to corral the loose hair flying around easily. These 14 tips for pet owners offer practical solutions for everything from cleaning up fur to keeping pets off the furniture.

14 / 30
The Family Handyman

Remove Stains

Remove rust stains from toilets, sinks, and bathtubs quickly and easily with the resin bed cleaner used for water softeners.

15 / 30
Sparse and modern home interior with fireplace and isolated kitchenExperienceInteriors/Getty Images

Clean the Dining Room

The place where you eat can get surprisingly dirty, and anywhere there’s food is not a place you want dust and grime lurking around, so cleaning the dining room needs to be on your checklist too. While vacuuming the floor is important, there’s more to it than that. Start up high by cleaning the dust and dirt off the light fixtures and ceiling fans. Then, move down to the wall and the stuff hanging on them. Don’t forget to clean the furniture too.

16 / 30
Family Handyman

Clean the Bathrooms

Clean a bathroom faster and better with some heavy-duty solutions for dirt and grime.

17 / 30
vacuuming carpetArtFamily/Shutterstock

Vacuum Everything

Vacuum everything around the house this spring but before you get started find the right vacuum cleaner. With so many different choices and price points, how do you know which vacuum cleaner to buy? Whether canister or upright, bagged or bagless, the best models have features that work together to maximize airflow and agitation.

18 / 30
Family Handyman

Wash the Floors

If your vinyl floor has tough stains or scuffs that don’t come up with ordinary cleaning, it’s time to break out the chemicals.

19 / 30
The Family Handyman

Clean the Carpet

Your carpet will need a good cleaning to get rid of any winter residue. And you’ll need to take steps to make sure no one stampedes through the house with muddy shoes. Properly cleaned and maintained carpet will last twice as long.

20 / 30
FH13NOV_STINKY_01 clean garbage disposalFamily Handyman

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Does your kitchen sink smell bad? Is it coming from your garbage disposal? It’s a good idea to keep an old toothbrush around in your kitchen as they are a really useful tool for cleaning out all the nooks and crannies of your garbage disposal to start to clean out the grime.

21 / 30

Family Handyman

Clean Out the Car

Your car will take on loads of grime and salt if you live in a snowy climate. Once winter has passed it’s vitally important to get any and all residue off of your vehicle to prevent potential rust issues.

22 / 30
Family Handyman

Clean the Kitchen

Cleaning the kitchen should be a routine habit, but spring is also a good time to dive into a deep clean. No one wants a dirty, smelly kitchen. Luckily, you won’t have one if you follow these tips for making your kitchen sparkle and smell great.

23 / 30
The Family Handyman

Clean the Utility Spaces

There will be plenty of outdoor projects awaiting you in the spring. But don’t overlook your soffits because it could end up costing you money. Blow out debris from your soffit (eave) vents to maintain good attic ventilation. It’ll save on air conditioning costs in summer and protect your roof from condensation in winter.

24 / 30
The Family Handyman

Clean Out the Dryer Lint

Thousands of dryer fires are caused by lint every year, yet they can be easily prevented with a few minutes of cleaning. Here’s a general guide to where lint is, how to get at it, and the best way to clean it out.

25 / 30
Family Handyman

Eliminate Bad Smells

Win the battle against stinkiness. The solution can be as simple as a homemade cleaner like baking soda and vinegar. If you’ve got a bad smell in the house, these tips will help you stamp out the stink.

26 / 30
The Family Handyman

Clean Your Electronics

If you get in front of your computer, then you don’t need to be told what can end up under the keys of your keyboard. Before it gets too gross to look at, make sure you clean out the keyboard. Clean a dirty computer screen and keyboard without harming the computer by using a lint-free cloth, compressed air, and a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

27 / 30
The Family Handyman

Give Your Appliances a Deep Clean

If you ever get stains between the glass panels of an oven door, you know how obnoxious of a sight it is, not to mention a Scarlet letter on your cleaning abilities. Cleaning between the glass panels of an oven door looks impossible, but all you really need to do is disassemble the door.

28 / 30
The Family Handyman

Clean and Organize the Garage

During the winter the garage is usually one of the last places you want to spend any amount of time in. That means the cleaning work has had months to pile up as spring arrives. It’s imperative to start cleaning the garage because you’ll be rummaging through there to get at the lawnmower and other landscaping tools. These tips will help you reduce the clutter and get your garage back in order.

29 / 30
How to Test for Mold

Remove All Mold and Mildew

Mold can become an issue before you know it so it’s important to keep vigilant to curb its spread. Here’s how to properly handle mold and mildew and keep it from coming back.

30 / 30
The Family Handyman

Pressure Wash Your House

Gas or electric pressure washers will clean almost anything outdoors, and they work so quickly and dramatically that they’re actually fun. You’ll need one to clean up your fence, deck, or driveway in the spring. Here’s how to use a pressure washer safely and efficiently.