Children are a joy. But they come with their own set of cleaning challenges– wall smudges, toys that are in the mouth as much as the hands, that sort of thing.
Cassity Kmetzsch writes the popular DIY blog Remodelaholic with her husband. She is also a mother of two little ones. We asked her to share some of her cleaning ideas. She came up with terrific cleaning tips that focus on a typical kid’s room. She also offers some ideas on cleaning tasks that will get the kids happily involved in helping with the spring cleaning.
As a mother of two small girls, my house is not always perfectly clean, but it is important to me to teach my children how to clean. So, during this year’s spring cleaning, I am asking my girls to help me get some good cleaning done in their rooms… and who knows, maybe they will catch on and help with the rest of the house!
10 Room Cleaning Ideas Parents of Young Kids
1. Surface Cleaning Toys
This is a great job for kids to help with, after all these little stuffed animals are their babies. Start off with Mom lightly vacuuming the surface of the toy, if necessary. In a small bowl add a couple cups of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Dampen a microfiber cloth or some paper towels in the mixture, being sure to ring the excess water out. The goal is to not get the toys all wet (especially if they are battery operated).
Wipe down each toy, working on any spots until they’re removed. Then place the toys in an open area to dry. Be careful of dark colors bleeding into light colored areas when wiping them down. My daughter loved cleaning her favorite toys, so this is a great place to ask for help.
2. Writing on the Walls
So your little baby is learning how to write their letters? And they have decided to teach the walls. Besides, who needs paper, when you have walls? Thank heaven for Easy Erasers!
Before using an Easy Eraser, test an inconspicuous area on the wall to be sure it works well on your paint. Avoid high gloss paint, as it will remove a bit of the sheen of the paint.
Luckily, this particular offense was done in pencil and it only took about three seconds flat to remove each set of letters. Dampen a corner of your easy eraser, and with just a quick scrub– BAM! Brand new walls!
These erasers have such a bang for their buck, that once I got going, I washed each and every wall! With all the building projects we have done this winter in my daughter’s room, the walls had taken a beating and now they look brand new again!
3. Updating Seasonal Wardrobes
We live in the wonderful Rocky Mountains, so winter means snow and lots of warm clothes. As we get near the end of the season and it is time to put away coats, gloves, hats and boots, we like to make sure they are nice and clean first . This is especially important for items that are still large enough for the next year or will be handed down to another family member. Don’t assume the items are clean–stains can develop over time on clothes from spills that you can’t see. Instead, give everything a nice thorough wash.
To start, we LOVE Oxi Clean Laundry Stain Remover for spraying visible stains, it works miracles! Spray any visible stains, scrub if necessary. Add the clothing to the washer, throw in a Gain laundry flings. Follow the temperature instructions on the clothing, and wash as directed.
For a nice freshened dry and to avoid static, which is a huge problem in this desert, I love to use dryer sheets to add a lovely scent and help keep the static down.
4. Dusting Baseboard Mouldings and Flat Surfaces
Dirty baseboard mouldings can make a whole room look and feel dirty. Such a small detail can have a huge impact. To make them shine it is really one or possibly two quick steps.
First, I like to remove any dry dust and dirt, which is a great kid job. We used a small microfiber duster. My daughter went around the flat surfaces of the whole room and got the extra dirt up. If I were to use a wet cleaner first, some of this dust might get ground in the cracks and crannies, so always dry dust first.
Dusting worked so well, that for the most part the mouldings were clean, but since this is a once or twice a year job, dusting just wasn’t enough. We want really clean, so, for any extra dirt that may be stuck on there, and to avoid the look of buildup over the years, I use Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner and a small dish scrubber to remove any stuck on dirt. Wipe off excess cleaner with a paper towel or microfiber cloth.
5. Clean Windows and Mirrors
Cleaning windows is so wonderful with microfiber washcloths. Have you tried it? It almost makes the job impossible to mess up! No streaks, and it removes any yucky stuff quick and easy without leaving any fuzzy lint on the glass surface.
6. Wiping Doors and Drawers
This is the best helper job from our day of spring cleaning. My girls LOVE wiping things off. You can do this anyway you like. Either a spray of organic cleaner and a microfiber cloth, or antibacterial wipes… Wax on, wax off! Have them wipe off any smudges or stains from the drawers and doors in the room. It is easier and much cheaper than buying new furniture!
7. Washing Pillows
After a long winter season, it is time to wash those pillows! According to basic guidelines, pillows should be washed at least twice a year. Check the care instructions on your pillows to be sure you are doing it right
To keep the load balanced, consider washing two pillows at a time. For the laundry soap of choice use liquid or liquid pods, which will help to avoid residue being left on your pillows, and lastly consider running the rinse cycle twice.
To dry, I like to add a dryer sheet and a couple of tennis balls to the dryer. It really helps to keep your pillows fluffed nicely. Be sure to air dry down or feather pillows completely to avoid mold problems. For synthetic stuffed pillows, keep the dry temperature to low; if it is too hot, it may cause the filling to clump.
8. Clean Doorknobs
Don’t overlook doorknobs. A quick spray down with Lysol works well for doorknobs and other well-handled surfaces. This is Mommy’s job, since this spray needs to be a little more accurate. So, I do the spraying, and then have my daughters wipe the excess off with a rag.
You can also use Lysol for hard toys. If you still have very young children who put toys into their mouths, then a simple vinegar and water mixture is ideal for wiping down hard toys.
9. Clean Ceiling Fan Blades
In the summer, we use our ceiling fans pretty religiously to keep the temperatures down. So, with the seasons changing, I want to make sure they are nice and clean and ready to go. Luckily, the job just got really easy because the Swiffer’s 360 Dusters Extender makes the job a snap, no ladder needed! Just gently wipe the back and edges of each blade.
If it has been a while, and I notice anything is holding on, then I usually use an antibacterial wipe, or you can spray your microfiber towel with cleaner and use it to wipe off any excess grime.
10. Removing Marker From the Carpet
Not only are the walls learning about letters, the rug had its chance too. I really love Resolve Spot and Stain Cleaner for carpet, because it has removed any problem spots without an issue. A quick spray, rub and scrub later and the pen was gone. I really think the secret to removing stains from carpets is the product you use or at least that has been my experience.
Lastly, I let each girl spray a few jets of Febreeze onto the rug just to freshen up the room!
Bedroom spring cleaning is done!
The morning passed quickly, and I rewarded my little helpers with a tricycle ride. I hope your spring cleaning goes as well!