Written by Grove Collaborative

Spring cleaning checklist: your room-by-room guide.

Last Updated: March 22, 2021

Totally tackle-able tasks to make your place shine.

It’s springtime, which is when people tend to tackle a big house clean. After a long winter inside (with messy kids or muddy pets), spring is a great time to address some biannual household chores!

Does spring cleaning sound overwhelming? Just reading the phrase can make some people cringe. But, even if you don’t have the energy to do a full-on spring clean, there are some totally tackle-able tasks that will not only quickly make a room presentable, but also give you a sense of accomplishment. Plus, who doesn’t like crossing something off of that pesky cleaning to-do list?

For each room in your home, we’ve listed out tasks to include in your cleaning checklist, organized by level of effort. Scroll down to find the cleaning breakdown for each room, including kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, and more. Plus, we’ve included eco-friendly cleaning tips and safety tips as you go to boost your efforts while helping the environment.

Here’s how it works: If you’re low on time (and energy), try the “make it pass” cleaning suggestions. These quick cleaning tasks will easily make your rooms presentable.

Want to put in a little more effort? Level up to the “make it pretty” options, which require a little more elbow grease and free time. And, if you’re really into rolling up your sleeves or doing a therapeutic deep scrub (we’re all for taking out frustrations on grimy grout), consider tackling the oft-overlooked or higher-effort places around each room with our “make it shine” suggestions.

If you want to take the spring cleaning checklist with you on the go, scroll to the bottom of this page for a downloadable version. Happy spring cleaning!

Supplies for spring cleaning

Room-by-room tasks

All rooms

There are some tasks that are worth tackling no matter what room you're in, and sometimes the momentum is easier when you can cross an entire item — like cleaning light switches — off your list instead of needing to change gears each time you enter a room.

Make it pass

Tackle the high-touch: Dust or wipe down tabletops, counters, cabinets, and furniture. Don't skip the doorknobs and handles.

Hit the lights: Dust table lamps and lamp shades, wipe down switch plates and lightswitches.

Floor it: Vacuum or mop floors.

Make it pretty

Drape down: Vacuum or wash drapes and other window treatments, or dust blinds.

Reach high: Dust the top of cabinets, ceiling fans, and appliances. Dust overhead lights, and wash glass or ceramic covers.


Look low: Wipe down baseboards, windowsills, and scuffed wall areas.

Spring cleaning tip for a winning streak: Tackle window interiors on an overcast day, when windows are less likely to streak, with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth.

Lift it up: Vacuum or mop under furniture, especially for items you typically avoid lifting.

Make it shine

Vent it out: Vacuum floor heating vents, and wash vent covers.

Finish the windows: Remove and wash window screens; wash the outside surface of windows.

Organize cleaning supplies: Create a designated place in each room for cleaning supplies so you don’t have to drag them from room to room — and you’ll be more inclined to keep things neat!

eco-friendly tip

Switch to cleaning concentrates.


Not only are cleaning concentrates more eco-friendly alternatives to conventional cleaners, but the concentrated formula actually means more bang for your buck, since you’re not paying for the water that’s typically the main ingredient in traditional multi-surface sprays.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the busiest room in the house — and the one most likely to show signs of its use. In addition to hitting those high-touch areas and the periodic wiping down/shining up/sweeping tasks, give the heart of your home some extra attention during a big clean.

Make it pass

Wipe it down: Conquer cabinet and appliance fronts, backsplash.

Clean the stove: Wash stovetop burner covers, and clean around burners.

Tackle the trash: Wipe down the outside of the trash can and recycling containers; empty and clean the compost container.

Organize it: Remove items from cabinets and pantry, and give the shelves a wipe down before returning to items (to an organized spot).

Make it pretty

Clean the microwave: Microwave a bowl or cup of water for four minutes. Keep the door closed, and let the warm water sit to steam up the inside while you tackle other deep cleaning. Come back in an hour to wipe down the condensation as well as the now-loosened crusty bits from the microwave walls and ceiling.

Clean the dishwasher: Run a vinegar or descaling solution through the dishwasher, and be sure to clean the filter.

Clean and disinfect the refrigerator: Empty it of all items and toss expired food. Wipe down shelves and inside the doors with a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose, unscented cleanser.

Soak it up: Fill your clean sink with warm, soapy water. Soak your fridge crisper drawers and your microwave turntable. Rinse and wipe dry before replacing.

Make it shine

Trash time: Wash out trash and recycling containers with warm, soapy water.

Clean the oven: This is an overnight job! Empty the oven, including racks. Make a baking soda paste by combining 1/2c baking soda with 3 tbsp water. With gloved hands, spread the paste throughout the oven’s interior, including inside the oven door, and let sit for 12 hours. The next day, dampen a sponge and wipe away the paste and debris. Finish by adding vinegar to a spray bottle and spraying directly on paste residue, wiping away with a cloth or paper towel.

eco-friendly tip

Reduce food waste by implementing a food labeling system.


Reduce food waste by marking the date your food was made or brought home on a container with tape or with an oil crayon. Food waste contributes 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere each year.

Laundry room

This room or designated area of your house (or garage) is a workhorse, but you can still neaten it up even if it’s getting heavy use. Take a few minutes to clean up your clothes-cleaning station to help ensure your clean clothes stay that way, as they’re shuttled from washer to dryer to drawers.

Make it pass

Dust: storage or shelving.

Wipe down: the outside of both machines.

Clean: the laundry sink; the inside of the washer and dryer drums with washing machine cleaner.

Polish: any faucets or metal handles with a microfiber cloth.

Make it pretty

Scrub: washing machine detergent dispensers.

Run: an empty washing machine with white vinegar to remove soap scum.

Tackle: mineral deposits from the iron soleplate with a mix of baking soda and water.

Make it shine

Clean and disinfect: laundry hamper.

Vacuum: behind both machines, dryer vent, vent to the outside.

Check: dryer hose for cracks.

Extra credit: Run an extended duster or vacuum attachment through the dryer hose (wet/dry vacs are great for this).

eco-friendly tip

Upgrade to a refillable laundry vessel.


Most people overdose on laundry detergent — not only does this waste soap, but it can leave a dull build-up on your clothing. And wait until you have a full load and then do your laundry on cold wash. It not only extends the lifespan of your clothing, it also saves 90% of the energy that would have been used to heat the water.

Bedrooms

They're your oasis, your sanctuary … or maybe just the place where everything gets tossed so visitors won’t see. In any case, it’ll be easier to capture its true relaxation potential after you declutter. Wipe down those high-touch areas, tackle the cast-off jewelry and loose change that’s scattered across your dresser and the “still-clean” clothes you’ve draped over that chair, and put on some music that makes you happy to hang, fold and generally put things away. Once that’s done, you can move on to these heavier duty tasks

Make it pass

Dust and wipe down: Think beyond the obvious — tackle any bookcases (being sure to remove items before dusting), room fans, humidifiers.

Wipe down: the TV remote and any electronics, such as clocks or music players. Don't forget phone chargers or other items that see frequent use.

Launder: sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers, and blankets.

Make it pretty

Think beyond the sheets: Always check manufacturer’s tags first, but other things can hit the washing machine. Many pillows can be washed and machine dried; wash that dust ruffle; and consider throwing entire comforters into large-load washing machines.

Tackle those bedside baskets: Toss and reorganize reading material to prevent clutter.

Make it shine

Flip and rotate mattresses: Now’s the time to recruit some family help to flip regular mattresses. If you’re working with a pillow top or another mattress that has a “top” side, make sure to at least rotate to distribute wear.

Vacuum under the bed: This one might require special vacuum attachments to reach far underneath.

safety tip

Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), you should test your smoke detectors at least once a month and replace batteries once or twice a year. Smoke alarms should be completely replaced every 10 years — check the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm.

Living room/living areas

TV watching, game night, pillow forts — you name it, this room has seen it all. While your general weekly clean up is great, this is the time to dive deeper (especially since a lot of us may find ourselves plunked on the couch more than usual).

Make it pass

Wipe down: the TV remote, video game controllers, and any electronics with a disinfecting wipe, being careful to avoid screens. Dust TV screen.

Vacuum your seat: Give the couch and any other upholstered furniture a pass with the vacuum. If leather, use a leather cleaner/conditioner and a cloth.

Sweep under the rug: In addition to vacuuming any rugs, lift them up and sweep and vacuum the dirt and crumbs hiding underneath.

Make it pretty

Organize storage and media consoles: Sort through DVDs, old games, and odds and ends. Have a random bag of wires and chargers? Now’s the time to figure out where they belong. Consider organizing into reusable bags labeled by function for easy discoverability (and to save yourself this exercise next year).

Wash throws and pillows: Check tags for instructions. Tags faded or nonexistent? Many can handle the right-sized washing machine, but skip the dryer to err on the safe side.

Place feet here: Give your welcome mats a good scrub to ensure visitors (and your family members) aren’t tracking dirt into your home.

Make it shine

Go high: Vacuum the top of bookcases or storage units.

The art of clean: Remove art from walls and clean walls (always test on a hidden area if cleaning paint or wallpaper).

Conquer the fireplace: Consider investing in an ash vacuum for clearing out lingering ash from a wood- or pellet-burning fireplace to improve air quality during your next burn. Note: Not recommended for household vacuums.

Clean the (literal) nooks and crannies: Clear out sliding door runners with a damp cloth wrapped around a butter knife (or chopstick), then vacuum.

eco-friendly tip

Wipe up with microfiber cleaning cloths.


In addition to being lint-free and nonabrasive, microfiber cloths are superabsorbent and contain more fibers per square inch than traditional cleaning cloths, making them more effective at cleaning — they require less cleaning sprays or solutions for similar jobs. Plus, washable means reusable! Try a microfiber towel when you’d traditionally reach for a paper towel, and see your environmental impact decrease.

Bathrooms

You know they're not perfect, but you keep your bathrooms clean enough, right? We hate to break it to you — germs and other nasties can be lurking in your overlooked areas. Tackle these chores as part of a deep spring clean, and go way beyond the typical toilet bowl and shower scrub.

Make it pass

Wipe down overlooked areas: the walls, around the toilet paper holder, around the bottom of the bathtub or shower stall, around the base of the toilet.

Polish: faucet and handles with microfiber cloth.

Organize the medicine cabinet: Check for expired medication, toiletries, and makeup; update any first aid kits.

Make it shine: Clean mirrors with glass cleaner and lint-free microfiber cloths, and be sure to dust tops and any surrounding surfaces.

Make it pretty

Window wash: If your window opens, clean the window tracks with brush. If not, make sure to wipe down the window interior.

Clean shower glass: Tackle soap scum with a shower cleaner spray.

Clean the shower stall tracks: Scrub with a brush and cleaner.

Make it shine

Clean the shower curtain: Launder in washing machine on gentle cycle (check manufacturer’s label first). You can also wash the liner — consider adding a towel into the wash to aid with scrubbing.

Clean the showerhead: Mineral deposit buildup on your faucet or showerhead? Mix 50/50 water and vinegar in a plastic bag. Secure it around the faucet/showerhead with an elastic band and leave on for several hours or overnight. Run water until clear.

eco-friendly tip

Change to scrubbing with bamboo- and coconut-based brushes.


Not only are they non-abrasive cleaners, but they also won’t leave behind plastic residue — and most breakdown more easily than their plastic counterparts once they’ve outlived their usefulness in your cleaning routine.


Looking for more cleaning ideas, spring cleaning tips, or other cleaning inspiration? Grove has you covered. From basics like the most overlooked germy items you're bringing into your home — and how to tackle them — to the ultimate guide to handwashing and hand sanitizer, we're here to answer your most pressing questions. And if you're in the mood for a spring refresh, discover Grove Collaborative's spring cherry blossom collection, seasonal must-haves, and other cleaning essentials.

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