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The 30 Day Squeaky Clean Challenge

by Inez Anette 7 months ago in house

Take the 30 day challenge and get your home squeaky clean for Spring

The 30 Day Squeaky Clean Challenge
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

It seems like around this time of year everyone begins panicking about getting their Spring cleaning done by... yesterday. The most gut wrenching thing about these people in a panic is that they are handling this like an ostrich with their heads buried in the sand.

The worst thing you can do when you start a project is allow yourself to feel overwhelmed. I promise, I understand that the amount of cleaning it takes to get a house sparkling like new can often seem astronomical, but when you break the process down into steps it's not so bad. In fact, breaking big and difficult tasks into tiny steps helps completing a massive project possible, because you feel accomplished at the end of everyday by check off each step as you go.

That's what this 30-day challenge is all about. I've designated cleaning tasks for different days so that you don't feel exhausted or overwhelmed, and by the end of the month your house is going to shine like the top of the Chrysler building.

If you know someone who you think would love a clean and organized home, share this with them and you can work through it together.

DAY 1: The Fight Begins

Clean microwave and oven (start with the oven first thing in the morning)

Microwave steps:

  • Fill bowl halfway with water & 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
  • Heat in microwave for 5 minutes. Remove bowl and wipe down microwave.
  • Wash turn table like a dish.

Oven Steps:

  • Take everything out of oven including racks.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water (you want a spreadable paste)
  • Spread the paste all over the interior of your oven (minus the heating elements, baking soda will turn a brownish color, it's normal)
  • Allow the paste to sit for 12 hours
  • Begin cleaning the oven racks.
  • Once the 12 hours are up use a damp cloth & wipe off baking soda.
  • Use a spatula to scrape off paste if needed.
  • Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray everywhere that still has baking soda.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down oven until baking soda is gone.
  • Add more vinegar to a cloth, wipe down one more time for super shiny oven.

You did it! You knocked Day 1 out of the park!

DAY 2: Killing It In The Kitchen

Clean dishwasher and appliances.

Appliance Steps:

  • Blender - Pop off the blades & any other removable parts. (Soak them in a sink with warm water and soap.)
  • Toaster - Unplug appliance (Empty the crumb tray). Remove toaster racks (Let them soak in soapy water and scrub with a brush). Scrub inside of toaster with a toothbrush. Wipe down the exterior with a soapy cloth.

Dishwasher Steps:

  • Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 quart of water.
  • Wipe down door with this cleaning solution.
  • Open the door and use a toothbrush with hot soapy water to scrub around door.
  • Wipe up leftover grime with a sponge.
  • Takeout the racks and utensil holders.
  • Wipe off the debris, and scrub the spray arm with a toothbrush.

Voila! Piece of cake easy day!

DAY 3: A Perfect Pantry

Wipe down pantry & toss expired goods.

  • Empty shelves onto counter and toss out anything expired.
  • Fill a bowl with warm soapy water.
  • Use a sponge to wipe down sticky jars.
  • Grab your handheld vacuum to remove crumbs from shelves.
  • Dip sponge in soapy water again and wipe down shelves.
  • Dry shelves with a cloth.
  • Now you can reload your pantry!

I have way too much fun throwing out stuff sometimes. It makes me feel as light as a feather.

DAY 4: Don't Fear The Fridge

Scrub the fridge.

  • Empty your fridge and chunk anything past it's prime in the trash. (Don't forget to recycle glass and plastics!)
  • Remove the drawers and place them in the sink to wash.
  • Wipe down the interior with a multi surface spray.
  • Use a toothbrush and the same cleaner to remove grime from crevices.
  • Insert the drawers back in the fridge.
  • Reload the food.
  • For enameled steel exterior use a multi surface solution & paper towels.
  • For stainless steel exterior dampen a microfiber cloth with distilled white vinegar, and rub in the direction of the grain.

P.S There's never going to be a perfect time to get started on cleaning. Last week probably wasn't perfect, and next week won't be either, but the secret is to just start.

DAY 5: Stop The Sink Stink

Clean kitchen sink & under sink.

  • Remove all dirty dishes & any leftover food from your sink.
  • Wash down the entire surface with dish soap.
  • Pour 1tsp of baking soda & 1/4 cup of lemon juice over the entire surface.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with hot water.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of juice (pour down drain)
  • Then pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain.
  • Rinse entire sink with hot water afterwards.

DAY 6: Wall Revival

Wipe down kitchen walls & wash trash can.

Kitchen walls:

  • Vacuum kitchen walls with the dust brush attachment. Or use a broom head covered with a clean soft cloth to wipe down walls.
  • Combine ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, and warm water in bucket. Lay towels on floor to catch any drips and put on rubber gloves to protect hands & arms from dripping dirty water.
  • Soak sponge in solution, wring out, and begin washing walls. Use a gentle circular motion and work from the top down.
  • For tough dirt and grim, make a paste with baking soda and warm water in a bowl. Apply paste to dirt spots; let dry. Wipe off with a cloth.
  • Run a clean cloth under warm water and gently rinse walls to remove leftover residue.
  • Dry walls with a clean towel.

Trash Can:

  • Lay trash can on your lawn. Squirt dish soap in it and on it. Use a sprayer attached to a hose and spray it down! Empty water, and repeat if necessary. Dry with clean cloth.

DAY 7: Don't Get Burned By Your Stove

Clean stove top & kitchen surfaces.

Stove top:

  • Remove grates and soak them with soapy water in your sink, along with burner caps.
  • With a dry brush or paper towel, brush any loose crumbs from the stove top.
  • Spray your stove top generously with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar & water, and let it sit for one minute.
  • Wipe down with a clean rag. (If your stove had lots of grease build up you’ll need to attack it with soap afterwards.)
  • Place hardware back on stove after washing.

Kitchen surfaces:

  • Plastic laminate countertops- Clean with a brush & mild soap. Lift stains with a 3:1 baking soda to water mixture, then dry the countertop.
  • Marble Countertops- Crush up some chalk, dip damp cloth in the powder, and rub it all over the surface. Follow with a water rinse.
  • Wood cabinets- Use a mild dishwashing soap with warm water. Follow with an oil soap. Wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Congratulations on completing your first week of the cleaning challenge! We’ve spent a lot of time on the kitchen, but it’s one of the dirtiest rooms in a home, aside from the bathrooms. So, it’s okay to give it the extra attention to get it sparkling.

DAY 8: Floor Wars

Kitchen floor.

  • Ceramic Tile Flooring- damp mop with mild detergent and rinse with warm water. Cork Floor- Place ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle with 1 drop of dish soap and warm water. No need to shake mixture. Spray the floor in sections and wipe with a damp microfiber mop as you go.
  • Hardwood Floor- Mix ¼ cup of pH neutral soap with water in a bucket. (Acidic vinegar solutions can dull wood floors.) Then damp-mop, use a cloth to wipe up any excess moisture.
  • Bamboo Floor- Same cleaning steps as hardwood flooring.
  • Vinyl Floor- Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with one drop of dish soap into a spray bottle, with warm water, spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.
  • Stone Floor-Use a pH neutral, non-chelating cleaner that won’t react adversely to the minerals in natural surfaces.
  • Porcelain Tile Floor- ¼ cup of vinegar placed in a 16-ounce spray bottle with one drop of dish soap and warm water. Spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.

This is the last day that we will be working on getting the kitchen cleaned. Isn’t it nice to clean your house without feeling exhausted afterwards? We are taking tiny steps and doing a little every day, which lets us keep our momentum.

DAY 9: Out With The Old- In With The New

Clean medicine cabinet & storage.

Check medicine label for storage instructions and expiration dates.

Any expired medicines should be disposed of at your local pharmacy.

Toss out any unwanted cosmetics.

I always have music blaring when I clean my home, it helps me stay energetic and keep a good pace. If you need some music to jam out to while cleaning checkout my cleaning playlist here:

DAY 10: Shower Power

Clean shower, tub, shower curtains, and walls.

Shower:

  • Pour white vinegar in a plastic grocery bag. (Enough to submerge shower nozzle) Tie it in place and let it soak overnight.
  • Remove the bag in the morning and run water to rinse.
  • Wash shower curtains and liners with your regular detergent, add a few old towels with the curtains, they’ll act as scrubbers.
  • Rehang curtains to dry.
  • Make a paste by adding a few drops of white vinegar to 1 cup of baking soda, apply it to your shower door. Let it sit for an hour, then rub with a microfiber cloth. Rinse and buff dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Fill the tub with hot water, the drain. Apply a bathroom cleaner and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing.
  • For grout, dip a grout brush in straight bleach and scrub and discolored areas; rinse well.

DAY 11: Final Round In The Bathroom

Clean toilet, bathroom surface areas, mirror, and floor.

  • Spray tile, countertops, walls, and the ceiling with all-purpose cleaner and turn on the shower, cranking the hot water until steam builds (five minutes).
  • Turn off the water, shut the door on your way out, and let the steam and cleaner mix for 20 minutes. Then wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth. To reach high spots, use a clean, dry microfiber mop.
  • Wipe the tile floor, too, but only after you’ve finished the rest of the dirty work.

Toilet:

  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl, and let it sit for a few minutes; brush and flush. If you still see spots a damp pumice stone will remove stains caused by mineral deposits and lime scare but gentle enough not to scuff your surfaces.
  • Clean your toilet brush by placing it so that it hovers over the bowl; pour bleach over the bristles. Let it sit for a few minutes, then douse a pitcher of clean water over it.
  • Fill the brush canister with warm soapy water and let it sit, then flush the dirty water into the toilet.

Sink: Pour white vinegar or baking soda down the drain and flush with hot water. For the faucet use disposable disinfecting wipes (these reduce bacteria)

DAY 12: Freshest Bedroom

Clean mirrors, window blinds, and curtains in bedroom.

Windows:

  • Clean the window frame with a multipurpose cleaner. Spray it on your sill and hardware as well, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
  • Starting on the inside of the window, spray the pane with your multipurpose cleaner from top to bottom.
  • You can use a microfiber cloth or newspaper to wipe with for a streak free finish.

Blinds:

  • Vacuum blinds with the brush attachment. Vacuum across the slats not up & down.

Curtains:

  • If your washing machine has a delicate cycle, be sure to use it; otherwise, choose a cool wash with a slow spin.
  • Your normal laundry detergent will work fine.
  • I hang mine outside to dry to avoid them shrinking.

You are one tough cookie. It’s not easy to make it this far in this challenge, and we are going to keep this challenge moving along.

DAY 13: Your Morning Routine Will Thank You

Organize closet & drawers. Get rid of any clothes that you don't wear by donating to charity.

Personally, I organize the clothes in my closet by colors. Left to right: black, grey, blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, brown, white. And I organize my drawers with all my shorts and bottoms in the lower shelves, and my t-shirts and socks in the upper shelves.

If I notice anything that I haven’t worn in the past year I throw it in a garbage bag and drop it off at Goodwill. If you don’t have lots of clothes, then todays challenge should be easy. Take a breather and make sure you have plenty of detergent for tomorrow’s challenge!

DAY 14: The Bed of Your Dreams

Deep clean mattress, wash pillows, linen, and comforter.

Mattress:

  • Before beginning flip or rotate your bed. (Try to do this every 6 months.) While you’re working on your mattress, go ahead get your bedding washing in the washer.
  • Open a box of baking soda and add 10-20 drop of your favorite essential oil. Close the box and give it a good shake to mix it all up.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda over the bed. (Use the entire box).
  • Rub the baking soda into your mattress, I pretend like I’m giving it a massage.
  • Let it sit for one hour.
  • Vacuum the mattress slowly to make sure all the baking soda gets picked up.

This is my favorite day of this entire challenge, because I love having a fresh smelling bedroom. Once your bed, pillows, sheets, and bedspread are all washed your room will smell like heaven on earth. Doing this is also going to help you sleep better, and having a clean pillow helps avoid acne, and is better for your hair.

DAY 15: Your Bedroom Is Heaven On Earth

Clean furniture, walls, and fixtures in bedroom.

Furniture:

  • Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum your furniture.
  • Attack stains on linen, cotton, and polyester-acrylic with Capture Soil Release Pre-Mist.
  • If you’re furniture doesn’t have fabric just give it a quick dusting!

Walls:

  • Vacuum bedroom walls with the dust brush attachment. Or use a broom head covered with a clean soft cloth to wipe down walls.
  • Combine ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, and warm water in bucket. Lay towels on floor to catch any drips and put on rubber gloves to protect hands & arms from dripping dirty water.
  • Soak sponge in solution, wring out, and begin washing walls. Use a gentle circular motion and work from the top down.
  • For tough dirt and grim, make a paste with baking soda and warm water in a bowl. Apply paste to dirt spots; let dry. Wipe off with a cloth.
  • Run a clean cloth under warm water and gently rinse walls to remove leftover residue.
  • Dry walls with a clean towel.

Fixtures:

  • Chandeliers- If possible take chandelier down and lay it on top of a towel. If it’s too big you’ll need to clean it while it hangs. Consider taking a picture of the chandelier so that you can recall where each crystal belongs. Mix a solution of 1 ounce mild dish soap with ¼ cup white vinegar and 3 cups of water into a spray bottle. Spray each crystal and polish with a microfiber cloth.
  • Light Bulbs- A thorough wipe with a dry cloth is the best way to get rid of dust and dirt.
  • Ceiling fixture- Carefully take down the fixture cover and slide it into a sink full of soapy water.
  • Recessed Lights- Dust with a long handle duster. (Swiffer)

DAY 16: Final Round In Bedroom

Vacuum, mop, sweep floor. Clean under furniture in bedroom.

Today should be a breeze. I’m including the steps for cleaning odd flooring that some may not know how to clean, but if you’ve got tile or carpet just give it a quick run through with a steamer, mop, or vacuum.

  • Ceramic Tile Flooring- damp mop with mild detergent and rinse with warm water.
  • Cork Floor- Place ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle with 1 drop of dish soap and warm water. No need to shake mixture. Spray the floor in sections and wipe with a damp microfiber mop as you go.
  • Hardwood Floor- Mix ¼ cup of pH neutral soap with water in a bucket. (Acidic vinegar solutions can dull wood floors.) Then damp-mop, use a cloth to wipe up any excess moisture.
  • Bamboo Floor- Same cleaning steps as hardwood flooring.
  • Vinyl Floor- Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with one drop of dish soap into a spray bottle, with warm water, spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.
  • Stone Floor-Use a pH neutral, non-chelating cleaner that won’t react adversely to the minerals in natural surfaces.
  • Porcelain Tile Floor- ¼ cup of vinegar placed in a 16-ounce spray bottle with one drop of dish soap and warm water. Spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.

DAY 17: Killing It In The Living Room

Wash cushions and sofa covers in living room.

Cushions:

Common abbreviations that can be found on cushion tags-

W (Use water-based detergent)

S (Clean with water-free products)

WS (Either water-based cleaner or water-free cleaner)

X (Professionally cleaning only)

Before washing your cushions vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. Use professional services for leather (Dry Cleaner) .

You are more than halfway through this 30-day challenge!

DAY 18: Major Progress Alert

Clean throws, rugs, chairs, and tables in living room.

Isn’t it exciting how crispy clean your home is turning out? I wouldn’t be surprised if Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air showed up on your doorstep to present you with a trophy for having such a tidy home. Completing all these action steps the way you have, takes serious grind, and I just wanted to say congrats on making it this far. You are almost done with this challenge.

DAY 19: No Fingerprints

Clean TV & electronics in living room.

Today is going to be an incredibly easy day! Just a quick wipe down on your electronics to knock off dust and finger prints, and you’re all done! *Victory dancing ensues*

With all this free time, I’m going to cook some tacos tonight. This is my favorite recipe:

Meat: ½ lb cooked chicken.

Produce:

4.5 ounces of El paso chopped green chiles

½ cup of onion

14.5 ounces of tomato

Canned Goods:

16 ounces of El Paso refried beans

Baking & Spices:

1 ounce of El Paso hot & spicy seasoning

Oils & Vinegars: 1Tbsp Olive oil

Bread & Baked goods: 10 El Paso stand and stuff taco shells

Dairy: 2 cups of Mexican blend cheese

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.

Add onion to skillet and cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes, and green chiles. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.

Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I could fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans in the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.

Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is melted and shells have brown edges.

Remove from oven and top with your favorites: jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.

DAY 20: Drop The Dead Weight

Declutter and toss unwanted items in living room.

Take some time today and go through all your old magazines and trinkets, and toss out whatever you no longer use. If you’re like me this will be so much fun! I swear I throw away everything when I do this. It just feels so refreshing afterwards! Another easy day of cleaning in the books!

DAY 21: Living Room Envy

Clean walls and fixtures in living room.

Same cleaning process as the bedroom and kitchen for today, but I went ahead and listed the steps again.

Furniture:

  • Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum your furniture.
  • Attack stains on linen, cotton, and polyester-acrylic with Capture Soil Release Pre-Mist.
  • If you’re furniture doesn’t have fabric just give it a quick dusting!

Walls:

  • Vacuum living room walls with the dust brush attachment. Or use a broom head covered with a clean soft cloth to wipe down walls.
  • Combine ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, and warm water in bucket. Lay towels on floor to catch any drips and put on rubber gloves to protect hands & arms from dripping dirty water.
  • Soak sponge in solution, wring out, and begin washing walls. Use a gentle circular motion and work from the top down.
  • For tough dirt and grim, make a paste with baking soda and warm water in a bowl. Apply paste to dirt spots; let dry. Wipe off with a cloth.
  • Run a clean cloth under warm water and gently rinse walls to remove leftover residue.
  • Dry walls with a clean towel.

Fixtures:

  • Chandeliers- If possible take chandelier down and lay it on top of a towel. If it’s too big you’ll need to clean it while it hangs. Consider taking a picture of the chandelier so that you can recall where each crystal belongs. Mix a solution of 1 ounce mild dish soap with ¼ cup white vinegar and 3 cups of water into a spray bottle. Spray each crystal and polish with a microfiber cloth.
  • Light Bulbs- A thorough wipe with a dry cloth is the best way to get rid of dust and dirt.
  • Ceiling fixture- Carefully take down the fixture cover and slide it into a sink full of soapy water.
  • Recessed Lights- Dust with a long handle duster. (Swiffer)

DAY 22: HASTA LA VISTA, DUST BUNNIES

Clean windows, blinds, and curtains in living room.

Windows:

  • Clean the window frame with a multipurpose cleaner. Spray it on your sill and hardware as well, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
  • Starting on the inside of the window, spray the pane with your multipurpose cleaner from top to bottom.
  • You can use a microfiber cloth or newspaper to wipe with for a streak free finish.

Blinds:

  • Vacuum blinds with the brush attachment. Vacuum across the slats not up & down.

Curtains:

  • If your washing machine has a delicate cycle, be sure to use it; otherwise, choose a cool wash with a slow spin.
  • Your normal laundry detergent will work fine.
  • I hang mine outside to dry to avoid them shrinking.

DAY 23: Final Round In Living Room

Vacuum, mop, sweep floors, and clean under living room furniture.

I’m including the steps for cleaning odd flooring that some of my readers may not know how to clean, but if you’ve got tile or carpet just give it a quick run through with a steamer, mop, or vacuum.

  • Ceramic Tile Flooring- damp mop with mild detergent and rinse with warm water.
  • Cork Floor- Place ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle with 1 drop of dish soap and warm water. No need to shake mixture. Spray the floor in sections and wipe with a damp microfiber mop as you go.
  • Hardwood Floor- Mix ¼ cup of pH neutral soap with water in a bucket. (Acidic vinegar solutions can dull wood floors.) Then damp-mop, use a cloth to wipe up any excess moisture.
  • Bamboo Floor- Same cleaning steps as hardwood flooring.
  • Vinyl Floor- Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with one drop of dish soap into a spray bottle, with warm water, spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.
  • Stone Floor-Use a pH neutral, non-chelating cleaner that won’t react adversely to the minerals in natural surfaces.
  • Porcelain Tile Floor- ¼ cup of vinegar placed in a 16-ounce spray bottle with one drop of dish soap and warm water. Spray the floor in sections and wipe as you go.

DAY 24: If You Have A Home Office This Is For You

Clean desk chair, walls, and declutter office.

If you don’t have a home office then this is a free day for you! Kick back and relax, because you’re going to need to be pumped for tomorrows challenge. We are all business these days! *lots of arm flexing and mad mugging For now cuddle up with some hot chocolate and binge watch some Fresh Prince of Bellaire!

DAY 25: I Like Big Books

Wipe down bookshelves and donate unwanted books.

If you are hoarding books from your college days that will never be cracked open by you again then sell them online. Or maybe you have tons of novels that you didn’t fall in love with and their soaking up valuable space, donate them! Wipe down the bookshelves and make them look brand new! I organize my bookshelves just like I organize my closet, by following a color scale. Everything in my life is color coordinated, even the apps on my phone! Another easy day knocked out!

DAY 26: Taking Care of The Cleaning Tools That Take Care of You

Clean washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner.

DAY 27: Summer BBQ Ready

Clean patio and outdoor equipment.

DAY 28: Your Whip!

Clean your car.

DAY 29: TLC For Cleaning Supplies

Organize and restock your cleaning supplies.

DAY 30: Treat Yourself!

SPA DAY!

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Inez Anette

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