Show Your Love with a Valentine’s Day Cleaning

man cleaningLooking to make a grand gesture that your spouse or partner will appreciate this Valentine’s Day? Or maybe you’ve agreed to give DIY Valentine’s Day gifts?

Either way, if you’re not typically in charge of the housekeeping, presenting your sweetie with a clean home is likely to set hearts aflutter. At the very least, it will make your valentine feel like you appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping a tidy home. But first, you have to know how to clean a house.

Note: Before you use any of the below cleaning solutions, check manufacturer’s instructions for household items like the toilet and lid, kitchen countertops, floors and so forth. Otherwise, you could cause damage or void a warranty. Also, it’s helpful to know that stone surfaces and vinegar do not play well together. Many of the following DIY cleaners incorporate vinegar. Take precautions to keep them off your stone floors, walls or counters.

Handle Unpleasant Business First

When you start your Valentine’s Day cleaning, you want to tackle the most difficult room first. Surprisingly, the room that’s the toughest to clean is also the smallest. That’s right, it’s the bathroom. Here are the areas you’ll need to clean and how to clean them:

Toilet:

Spray under the rim of your toilet with distilled white vinegar. Use the toilet brush to scrub any grime out. Really get in there. Next, pour ½ cup of vinegar into the bowl and let that sit for about five minutes. Scrub the bowl with the brush and flush the toilet. You can clean the outer rim and the seat by spritzing them with vinegar and wiping away any residue with a dry microfiber cloth.

Shower:

Make a hard water stain cleaner by mixing ¼ cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of water. In a microwave-safe bowl, nuke this combo for about 60 seconds. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and mist your surfaces. Let that sit for three minutes, then wipe the cleaner away with a microfiber cloth.

Tub and sink:

The method you use to clean your bathtub will depend on whether your tub is made from acrylic, enamel or porcelain. You can find cleaning instructions for each type of bathtub in this post. These solutions can also be used for your bathroom sink. Alternatively, you could sprinkle baking soda on your tub and sink surfaces and wash them off using warm water and a microfiber cloth.

Brownie-point bonus #1: Take your Valentine’s Day cleaning to the next level by washing the floor, cleaning the mirror and laying out fresh towels and a clean bathmat.

Blast Those Dust Bunnies

Dusting is the next step when you give the gift of house cleaning. You want to do this before vacuuming so you can zap any dust that may have fallen as you dusted.

Overall, this is probably the easiest task you’ll tackle. Work your way through the house with a duster and some dry microfiber cloths. Simply wipe the dust away using the appropriate tool, making sure not to forget about areas, such as ceiling fans, baseboards and blinds. Additionally, if you’re dusting fans above furniture or beds or other hard-to-reach places, you may want to lay down an old sheet to catch any falling debris.

Brownie-point bonus #2: Wipe off knickknacks and such as you’re cleaning desks, dressers and bookshelves.

Vacuum for Your Valentine

Now your floors should be nice and dusty. Vacuum throughout the house, even on uncarpeted floors. If you do have carpet, sprinkle a little baking soda as you go, especially if you have pets. This will neutralize any unpleasant household odors. And if you got dust on the furniture during your Valentine’s Day cleaning, no sweat: Just hoover it up with the appropriate attachment.

Clean the Kitchen

You definitely don’t want to leave the kitchen out of your Valentine’s Day cleaning. Here are the areas you’ll need to focus on:

Countertops, cabinets and stovetops:

After clearing your countertops, combine dishwashing liquid with warm water in a bucket or sink. Dip a clean microfiber cloth — just get it damp, don’t saturate it — into the solution and wipe down your counters. Be sure to regularly rinse the cloth clean as you go, so that you’re not just spreading jelly residue and toast crumbs around. Once that’s done, buff the countertops with a dry microfiber cloth and replace any items you removed from the counter.

Cleaning cabinets and stovetops is as easy as emptying a box of heart-shaped chocolates in one sitting. Simply dampen a clean microfiber cloth with water and wipe down cabinet surfaces. Then retrace your swipes with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any streaks that were left behind. Repeat these instructions on your stovetop with a fresh set of microfiber cloths.

Dishes:

No Valentine wants to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. Load the dishwasher or take the time to do the dishes by hand. If you have drip pans on your stove, give them a wash, too.

Brownie-point bonus #3: After dishes have been cleaned and dried, put them away and wipe down the sink.

Add Some Final Touches

There are two more Valentine’s Day cleaning steps you can take to really wow your one and only: Do the laundry and freshen up the bed linens. You’ve probably got laundry covered. Just be careful not to toss any delicates into the washer.

Now you need to get those sheets and pillowcases fresh and clean. Wash them separately from anything else, so that they don’t pick up lint. You’ll want to use a gentle detergent and warm water (warm, not hot). Tumble dry on low.

You can wash and dry your duvet cover just as you did your sheets. Make sure you take the duvet itself out and distribute the cover evenly in the washing machine.

Brownie-point bonus #4: Top off the clean bed with some rose petals to set the tone and call attention to the job well done.

If you want to make sure your gift keeps giving, take it one step further than a Valentine’s Day cleaning: Give the gift of housecleaning to your one true love with a Merry Maids house cleaning gift certificate.

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