Now that spring’s here, it’s time to give your home a post-winter scrub down. While it feels great opening the windows and letting the fresh air in, there’s much more work to do. Besides your regular house cleaning, here are some things that often get overlooked or forgotten.
1. Carpet. In our home, my wife and I frequently vacuum as a part of our normal cleaning routine. It’s unbelievable how much dirt, dust, and debris are in the container after we’ve finished. If you have a pet, you’ll notice even more.
Now that nicer weather’s here, it’s a great opportunity to deep clean your carpets by yourself or by hiring a professional. If you think about where your shoes travel, you may move this up on your “to-do” list. If you choose to hire a professional, consider:
Asking friends or neighbors for referrals;
Researching companies in your area;
Contacting the Better Business Bureau;
Understanding the services offered;
Getting the contract in writing; and
Confirming the company you select carries insurance.
2. Base boards. Have you ever looked behind your entertainment stand? If so, you probably found a significant amount of dust on the base boards. Or how about your kitchen base boards? Do they have food particles or spilled juice on them? Now’s a good time to wipe down all the base boards in your home.
3. China cabinet. Have you gone through your china cabinet lately? My guess is, probably not. We recently updated our kitchen. As part of the process, we went through ours. Not only was the glassware full of a thick layer of dust, and the silver tarnished, there were many items we haven’t used in a long time. With wedding season right around the corner, now’s the time to purge. Consider donating your unused items to local charities or collection centers.
4. Dryer vent/lint trap. Between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to approximately 15,970 home fires that resulted from dryers or washing machines. Lint is extremely flammable and can cause a fire in your home resulting in significant damage. To prevent this from happening to you, consider cleaning your dryer vent and ducts at least once a year. If you can’t easily do this, consider hiring a professional. Your lint trap should be cleaned before or after each load.
5. Blinds. While, we clean every week, our blinds are neglected. We open and close them every day but fail or pretend not to see the dirt and dust. Look at yours. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised on how dirty they are. And don’t forget about your curtain rods.
6. Windows. Rather than wait for the flies to come back to life, clean your window sills and the screens if they’re dirty.
7. Bathroom vents. Bathroom vents are important for removing the steam from your bathroom after a nice, hot shower. However, over time they become covered in dust. Wipe them down with a damp rag or use your vacuum.
8. Light fixtures and ceiling fans. Ah, the first warm day has arrived. You decide to turn on your ceiling fan for some circulation, and dust starts flying everywhere. Enjoy your first warm day by cleaning them now.
9. Shower curtain/liner. Bathrooms are very conducive for mold growth. If your shower curtain has changed from white to pink, red, black, or dark green, you’re growing mold. Now’s the time to buy a new one.
10. Light switches, door handles, and hand rails. It’s always good to sanitize these items after you or a family member have been sick. If time hasn’t previously allowed you do this, add it to your list.
Cleaning hacks
Here are some cleaning hacks for tackling other areas of your home.
Clean your dishwasher with vinegar.
Use lemon to remove watermarks on your shower doors.
Remove grease build up on your kitchen cabinets with soap.
Remove pet hair from surfaces with a rubber glove or squeegee.
Clean your windows with old newspaper.
Descale your shower head and faucets with vinegar.
Microwave a bowl of lemons and water or cider vinegar to get rid of tough odors and stains.