Spring cleaning is unlike any other type of cleaning that you do throughout the year. That’s because this is the time when you pay special attention to the parts of your home that you probably prefer to ignore. So, which of these areas do you need to clean this spring?
OK, so maybe you already do this regularly, but now it’s time to give some extra special care to those high and low areas that might not receive much love. This includes ceiling fans and the tops of kitchen cabinets, bookshelves and the refrigerator. Don’t forget to dust down below on baseboards and door openings, too.
Yes, vacuuming carpets and rugs is another fairly regular chore in most households. But are you also getting those hard-to-reach areas underneath your furniture? Carefully move your furniture away from walls and clean all the way underneath them. Just because you can’t see dust and dirt doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If you vacuum has smaller attachments, use them to also vacuum your sofa, chairs, pillows and underneath cushions.
Television commercials tell us all the time that after about seven years, a mattress should be replaced because they are filled with sweat, allergens and who knows what else. If it’s not time for a replacement right now, start by vacuuming your mattress. Then you can rotate it, and this should be done a few times throughout the year. You can alternate between flipping the mattress from top-to-bottom, or from side-to-side, this way you mattress gets totally even use on all sides and corners.
When trash bags are full, what do you do? Probably take the bag out and replace it with a new one. But if you take a look inside the trash can, there’s likely to be proof that it needs a good cleaning. Pick out any trash stuck to the bottom. Then spray the can with steaming hot water. Spray the interior of the trash can with a good disinfectant spray and let it sit for just a few minutes to kill germs. Then scrub that sucker down and rinse again.
If you own a block of knives, it’s highly likely that you’ve never taken the time to clean inside those thin crevices. Don’t worry; you definitely are not the only one. If your vacuum cleaner comes with a small enough attachment, you can easily go ahead and suck those old crumbs right on out. If not, a hair dryer on full blast should force out the grime–just make sure to perform this task over the sink so the crumbs don’t fly all over the place.
It’s a common misconception that because dishwashers do the job of cleaning dishes, they must automatically be clean themselves. Nope. If you take a good look inside your dishwasher, you will see pieces of old food that just never seem to disappear. Grab and throw out all the excess that you can. Then place a measuring bowl with a couple cups of vinegar on the top rack inside the dishwasher and let it run. There’s no need to add any soap for this cleaning.
Throwing out old leftovers and expired condiments every couple of weeks might be acceptable as a regular chore. But now it’s time to give the fridge a deep cleaning for sure. Empty out the refrigerator completely. Clean down the shelves with a very mild cleaner–you don’t want any strong scents or fumes to drift into your fresh food. As usual, take the time to trash any old bottles of salad dressings, sauces and other extras, in addition to items that may no longer be fresh.
If your cutting boards show signs of discoloration, it’s because food particles haven’t been completely washed away. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stain, then rub it with some coarse salt (sea or kosher). The discoloration should fade in no time. You’ll still need to wash the cutting board with soap and warm water as usual to rinse off the acidic lemon and salt.
Here’s another task that shouldn’t only be reserve for the spring. It’s a mystery what goes on inside these very necessary appliances, but an unclean coffee maker can easily grow mold inside. To clean it once and for all, fill the water chamber with equal parts white vinegar and water. Brew as you would for coffee–with a filter–until half the chamber is empty. Turn off the machine for 30 minutes and let the solution sit. Now, replace the existing filter with a new one and continue the brewing process. Once finished, repeat the entire process again, and third time if you’re really skeptical about what’s lurking inside.
These can be hard to clean because they are so high up, especially if yours is not detachable. Your arms will get tired quickly trying to scrub all the way up there. Instead, fill a small sandwich bag with vinegar, then place it over the showerhead itself, tying or taping it to secure it. Let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour, remove the bag, then wipe down the showerhead. So easy!