Winter can be the ideal excuse for those who need a bit of quiet relaxation. You can enjoy a near-constant flow of hot tea, make a blanket nest on the sofa and lose yourself in a good book; nothing too taxing.
However, not everyone can sit still in hibernation mode, especially those counting down the seconds until spring and summer. If you happen to be one of these restless individuals, then you are likely to find that these last few weeks of winter are the longest and hardest of them all. Don't worry though, as we have a suggestion that could help you get rid of those ants in your pants; spring cleaning.
Now, we appreciate that cleaning might not sound like a treat in itself. However, if you need something that not only keeps you occupied but also helps to clear out those cobwebs of winter, spring cleaning is just the ticket. Plus, you don't actually have to wait until spring to start.
At Allens Caravans, we have residential, holiday and touring parks dotted across the UK, each nestled in the beautiful British countryside. As incredible as our park homes and static caravans are, just like a brick and mortar property, they can feel a little too cosy if you've been stuck indoors for a while. Windows shut tight to keep out the cold, heating turned all the way up, and the same old television series rerunning can all start to become a bit suffocating. So, any excuse to get off the sofa, air the place out and freshen everything up is welcome.
Now we know that spring cleaning your caravan or park home is a good idea, what are the first steps? Here are our top caravan cleaning tips to help you through the process.
Start indoors, working through your park home room by room. Predetermine your start and end spots, then get the inside to a point you're happy with. After all, this is where you will be spending most of your time, especially during the colder months of the year, so make sure that any clutter is cleared away.
For a thorough caravan cleaning experience, you should empty your park home so that you can clean the carpet. Just like any home, a filthy carpet does not make for a welcoming home. Fortunately, caravan carpet cleaning is the same as regular carpet cleaning – alongside regular vacuuming consider a deeper clean at least once a year, especially in areas that see high amounts of use.
While you might be tempted to get out the bucket and sponge, a specifically designed cleaner will work wonders on your caravan's carpets. Make sure to vacuum the carpet before applying the cleaner to pick up any dust and dirt that may be sitting on the surface. It can take anywhere between five and 24 hours for a carpet to clean, so either tackle one room at a time, allowing you to move furniture around, or ensure that you have somewhere that you can keep your belongings while the carpet in you caravan dries. It can be surprising just how much of a difference a single clean can make.
When you have emptied your caravan of all of the furniture and other belongings, this presents a prime opportunity to sort through and decide what can stay and what needs to go. For the best results, you should be ruthless and honest with yourself about what you actually need to keep – as they say, out with the old and in with the new.
Everyone can be guilty of keeping items such as clothing, decorations and knickknacks longer than we really should. Any items of sentimental value are, of course, hard to let go of, but anything you have kept hold of for no real reason should go.
Storage spaces will be invaluable during your spring clean. As you clean out cupboards, drawers, boxes and the like, you will be able to see just how much you have been hoarding and how much extra space is available. With this newfound storage space, you can more easily clear your surfaces and tuck items away throughout the caravan cleaning process. However, it's important to keep in mind that storage spaces are often the most overwhelming areas to sort through, so it makes sense to tackle them first.
The kitchen is often the room that requires the most work and the most time. You will need to sort through food, use-by dates, and various miscellaneous items that can somehow find their way into kitchen draws and cupboards. You will also need to deep clean everything, from the fridge and oven to the shelves and countertops. This can take a fair few hours if you are cleaning as deeply as possible, so make sure to set aside time and do the kitchen in stages. Don't be overly ambitious or you will rush and miss things.
To give your fridge and freezer a deep clean, transfer all food into a cooler box with plenty of ice or ask a neighbour if they have some extra space, then unplug your appliances. Defrost the freezer, completely removing all the ice inside, so that you can gain access to each of the corners. To clean, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and hot water into a spray bottle and spray a good amount inside your fridge and freezer, wiping away with a dry cloth. Consider using diluted lemon juice to help deal with the vinegar smell if it bothers you.
The oven is a daunting job on its own, especially if it has been a long time since it was last looked at and cleared out. It is essential to maintain a clean and hygienic oven purely for your own health, as you do not want to be eating food that has been prepared in a filthy environment.
To clean the oven, you don't have to use any harsh or potentially harmful chemicals to produce fantastic results. Baking soda and vinegar mixes make for a fantastic solution to clean the inside of the oven, as well as the hobs on top too. It'll be a big job, but we promise you that it will be worth it. You can use the same solution to clean your microwave which, barring an absolute mess, will be a much easier job to tackle and should take a fraction of the time.
Once the interior of your caravan home is taken care of you can start on the exterior such as the roof and awnings. You will need a hose or bucket with plenty of water, a tall ladder, a mop or extendable soft brush, sponge, bicarbonate of soda and dry cloths. What you absolutely shouldn't use is any high-pressure washers, steam cleaners or car shampoo, as these can cause long-term damage to the exterior of your home.
To begin cleaning your caravan roof and awning, mix together a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and warm water in a bucket and apply the solution to the surface areas with either a mop or soft brush. Plenty of elbow grease is required to clean a caravan roof after months or years of neglect, so be prepared to work on this for a while. Once clean, rinse off with warm water by lightly spraying the with a hose or emptying a bucket of water onto the roof or awning surface.
Dry the surface with a cloth, making sure not to rub too hard in case it leads to damaging your exterior. It won't make for a good time if your experience of cleaning a caravan awning and/or roof ends in potentially expensive repairs.
It is a relatively straightforward task to clean your caravan windows and any green marks that might be on them, just use the same solution used to clean your caravan's roof and awning. Bicarbonate of soda and warm water will clean your windows, as well as most of your home's exterior when applied with a sponge and a good amount of elbow grease.
As with the roof and awning, steer clear of high-pressure washers and harmful chemicals when cleaning caravan windows. Sponges and extendable soft brushes make for the ideal tools to apply your vinegar and bicarbonate of soda solution. Dry away with a cloth and finally, enjoy your caravan that has been cleaned from top to bottom.
The best way to spring clean your park home is to do so in an organised manner. Before you get stuck in, sit down with a notepad and make a plan. Where will you start? What is your system? Where will you store the bags and boxes of things to go to charity? Do you have a ruthless ‘used in the last six months or it goes' rule?
These questions, and more, will need to be considered when drafting your system and plan of action; note that your plan of action should err on the side of caution because even with the best will in the world, you will not get everything done in one day.
Once you have drafted your plan, you can start working to your provisional schedule. Each day, as you clear space out and give the place a new lease of life, you will feel brighter, fresher and closer to the freedom of spring.
We look forward to seeing all of your clean and shiny caravans on our parks this spring. For further information on all of our parks, click here, or if you have questions about acquiring a home on one of our residential parks, get in touch today.
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