Spring Cleaning Secrets

Rachel Battles of Happy Earth Cleaning Co-op shares her how-tos on tackling often-missed tasks during spring cleaning season

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock/2mmedia

If you’ve been procrastinating your annual spring cleaning routine, it’s not too late to get started. In fact, May is one of the best times to begin revitalizing your home and restoring freshness in your living spaces—especially when considering the inconsistency of the Minnesota seasons. For assistance on where to start, Minneapolis-based Happy Earth Cleaning specializes in personalized cleaning services that promote healthy environments and homes. Led by Rachel Battles, general manager, Happy Earth Cleaning’s method focuses on three main areas of the home: the bathroom, kitchen, and “whole house,” which encompasses bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, and more. Here, Battles delves into the tasks homeowners often forget during their cleaning routines, offering valuable insights for achieving a truly transformative spring cleaning experience.


Clean the base of the toilet and the floor behind it.

Battles recommends spraying a cleaning cloth with 100% white vinegar or another eco-friendly cleaning solution, such as Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. “Wipe the toilet first, making your way around the outside of the bowl and all the way down to the floor,” she explains. “Use a corner of the cloth, or even a repurposed toothbrush, if you need to get in any small grooves.” Then, vacuum the floor to catch any hair or dust bunnies that have accumulated. (A “carpet edger” attachment will make the process of getting behind the toilet much easier.)

Clean the base of a pedestal sink.

Similar to the toilet, the base of a pedestal sink is prone to accumulating dust, residue from makeup, and more. Use the same instructions as above.

Clean the outside of the bathtub.

When cleaning the inside of your tub, simply take the same cleaner and rag to quickly wipe down the often-neglected outer sides.

Clean inside drawers and medicine cabinets.

“Remove all the items in the drawer or cabinet—this is a good time to do some decluttering as well,” Battles says. “Use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and hair, wipe down the surfaces with a cleaning cloth, and use a scrub brush on any stubborn spots (for instance, underneath your toothpaste tube).”


Clean inside the microwave.

When cleaning the inside of the microwave, start by filling a mug halfway with vinegar and fill the rest with water. Microwave for 3-5 minutes to create steam, and let it sit with the door closed for several minutes before opening. (Use caution to avoid being burned or inhaling the fumes!) “A good microfiber cloth will be your best friend while you scrub the microwave,” she says. “We like the Norwex Envirocloth best, but there are many options out there.”

Remove the stove knobs and clean behind them.

While it’s easy to clean around the knobs on a stove, there is still build-up of grease and grime that can occur behind them. Make sure you remove them occasionally to get a good clean on the entire stove surface.

Clean behind the sink faucet.

Battles says, “Toothbrushes are fantastic for cleaning in weird areas like this.” Use a combination of all-purpose cleaner and baking soda to scrub out the grime. She continues, “Depending on your sink, you can either just use the spray nozzle to rinse the product or take a cloth and thread it behind the faucet to wipe everything up.”

Clean the trash can and recycling bin.

To start, vacuum out any residual debris, or simply take the bin outside and shake it upside down. Spray the inside with an all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Battles says, “A long-handled bottle brush can work well to scrub the inside and outside of the bin—spray more product as you need to. If you’re able to rinse the bin outside with a garden house, great! Otherwise, this is a task to take on before you clean your bathroom so you can rinse it out in the tub.”

Whole House

Vacuum underneath furniture.

For heavy furniture that is difficult to move when vacuuming, Battles recommends “getting all the way down and actually laying on the floor to see under your furniture while you vacuum. Phone flashlights are very helpful for this!” But if you have a hard time getting down on the floor, “try putting your phone on a selfie stick and taking some video to help.” Although, for the best results, put your furniture on sliders and move it out of the way. “Have a trash bag handy so you can easily dispose of all the treasures you may find.”

Clean light switches and door handles.

Spray a corner of a cloth with all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the light switch plates and door handles. For most surfaces that aren’t painted, you can finish with a spritz of hydrogen peroxide for sanitizing power.

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