Need Spring Cleaning Advice? Ask the Industry Professionals

Spring cleaning
Spring cleaning, Photo: Comaniciu Dan/123RF

Summer is almost here, we promise. And whether you’re opening your East End home for the season or are prepping it to entertain, you’re going to want to give it a good cleaning to get rid of that 2017 feeling. But what to do, or, more importantly, who to call? We asked some experts some pressing questions to help: Kate Mullane of All Organic Cleaning, Catherine Murphy of Catherine’s Cleaning and Sabrina Fierman of New York’s Little Elves.

What can a homeowner do—as far as preparing the house for a cleaner—to make the whole process run smoothly for everyone?

“De-clutter. Whatever isn’t needed in the home—get rid of it. Have proper and adequate cleaning supplies. We always recommend vacuums that have attachments to get into small areas. Have plenty of paper towels, a mop, bucket, sponge, gloves and the proper cleaning products for the home. Less is more. Liquid Ivory or other gentle all-purpose soap, glass cleaner, tile and grout cleaner, any specialty cleaners for stainless steel, marble, etc.” —Sabrina Fierman, New York’s Little Elves, 212-673-5507,

“Unclutter as best as possible so we can clean under, behind and around all the furniture in the room. Most dust and allergens collect under things, so with no clutter we can do a thorough cleaning. Organization is step one in having a clean home. If you’re not an organizing type, ask us to do it for you. Closets, linens, towels, kitchen cabinets, laundry rooms, basements—we’ll organize them. The next step is “get rid of it” if you don’t use it. That will make you feel lighter and give us the opportunity to really do a thorough cleaning.” —Kate Mullane, All Organic Cleaning, 631-494-5134

“De-clutter! Put pets outside while cleaning is happening, ensure house is stocked with cleaning agents and a vacuum. Ideally if there are people home they’ll leave while we clean.” —Catherine Murphy, Catherine’s Cleaning, 631-899-4007,

Are there any specific services you recommend to clients as summer approaches?

“[Hire] professional window cleaners. Do a deep cleaning before and after heavy summer use. Coordinate home inspections for appliances, boiler, plumbing, gutters and deep clean the outdoor grill!” —SF

“All homes should be aired out in spring. All vents should be cleaned through an HVAC company and a good chimney sweep will freshen up any home. This is something we don’t do but would be happy to coordinate for a client’s home.” —KM

“Have outdoor areas, BBQ, windows, decks, porches and outdoor furniture cleaned off two weeks in advance of Memorial Day.” —CM

What trends do you see in organic cleaning products?

“Organic cleaning today is what our grandmothers did in the past: baking soda, vinegar, lemon, liquid Ivory (or Castille soap). Some fancy eco-friendly products contain oils, which attract dust and fingerprints. We avoid eco-friendly cleaners that contain oils. For fragrance-free products, we like Green Depot’s products.” —SF

“We eat organic so why would we use toxins to clean our home? Why would we want these toxins getting into our pores each day? We have an amazing non-toxic essential oil–based all-purpose cleaner that can be used for everything. It has hints of clove, rosemary and other botanicals. These are real essential oils that come from 100% organic plants. We also use towels that are washed, for the most part, instead of paper towels so we are very earth conscious. This is the basis of our company, to leave the least carbon footprint on the earth and gear our clients towards a healthier lifestyle in their home. Think about it, our babies, our pets are crawling, walking, laying, licking the floors, would we eat the ingredients in some of these cleaning products?” —KM

“They smell great for the most part, but at times stronger cleaners are needed to clean a home that has not been cleaned all winter. I recommend using organic cleaners in the kitchen where foodstuffs are, no need to use anything too strong in the kitchen.” —KM

More from Our Sister Sites