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From floor grout to HVAC vents, here are 7 often overlooked parts of your abode that might need a good scrub or dust this season as you engage in the annual spring cleaning ritual (… just when you thought you had finished cleaning the house).
We are all spending a lot of time at home right now. As many. This not only means that our homes and apartments get dirty faster, but we notice more the parts that we may not have paid enough attention to lately. Have you ever heard the adage “a day without cleaning is a day without meaning? “
When you go into spring cleaning, be sure to take a little time each day to check off those mini-projects that we tend to forget:
Rosa Nogales-Hernandez, home cleaning manager at Valet Living, a full-service provider for the multi-family housing industry based in Tampa, Fla., Suggests tackling these issues from the inside out. Donate or recycle items you don’t need and throw out any ingredients that are out of date; Once the cabinets are empty, vacuum them with the hand hose and then wipe them with a damp microfiber cloth. For hard-to-reach surfaces above cabinets, attach a microfiber cloth to a Swiffer Mop with an extension bar rather than standing on a chair.
Make sure that the products you use on the surface of the cabinets do not contain any ingredients that could adversely affect the finish; although you can use all-purpose cleaners on synthetic materials, a gentler product like Bona Cabinet Cleaner Spray or Murphy’s Oil Soap Spray Wood Cleaner works best on wood.
If the cabinet surfaces above the stove exhaust have become oily, Wrapped in Rust recommends applying Dawn dish soap mixed with lukewarm water in a spray bottle.
For extra punch, first make a paste of baking soda and water (or vinegar), gently rub on the cabinets, and wipe dry with a sponge. Again, test first to make sure it won’t damage the finish.
Whatever your best intentions, the refrigerator can get pretty dirty quickly. Nogales-Hernandez suggests working shelf-by-shelf starting with the top one, removing all content from the current shelf, and eliminating expired items. Wipe down the bottoms of jars, cartons, bottles, and containers as you remove them, then keep them on the kitchen counter while you clean each shelf. Spray a microfiber cloth with a plant-based disinfectant like GreenWorks All-Purpose Cleaner which is safe around food surfaces, wipe down the surface, then dry with another microfiber cloth.
For sticky, sticky spills like honey or syrup, Hunker recommends making a cleanser with citrus peels macerated in vinegar, spraying it on stubborn offenders, and letting it sit for twenty minutes before wiping it off. You can also try pouring a little hot water over the spill to melt it, then wiping it up with a damp paper towel. After tackling the shelves, repeat on the doors.
Finally, remove and vacuum the bottom vent and clean the exterior of the refrigerator using a stainless steel cleaner like this one from Weiman, if applicable.
Look Up, Look Down: You might not have noticed all the dirt and dust in the slats of your heating and air conditioning duct. It’s okay, you’re forgiven. To give them all a good clean, use the hand tool or brush on a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, then wipe them off with a microfiber cloth, says Nogales-Hernandez.
For stubborn dirt that might get stuck on from grease or grime, try a rag sprayed with a little all-purpose cleaner. For a more thorough cleaning, you can remove the duct cover and vacuum the surrounding area, or even try cleaning your entire air duct system instead of leaving it to the pros with these tips. Housewife How-To.
For a glass shower door, Nogales-Hernandez suggests a mixture of hot water, vinegar and Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle, applied with a metal sponge that will not scratch the glass. Keep a glass shower door in good condition by using a squeegee and spraying it daily after showering with Method Daily Shower Cleaner Spray.
A fabric or even plastic shower curtain can be washed in a washing machine on the gentle cycle and then hung to dry; throw in a washcloth or two which will add texture to help remove mold.
Start by removing the sheets, dust cover and mattress to vacuum the box spring. Then, with the help of someone else, place the mattress on its side and vacuum all sides using the maximum suction setting. If the mattress is not a mattress topper, turn it over so that it wears evenly.
“To maintain your freshly scented mattress and bed, spray them with a fabric freshener while cleaning,” says Nogales-Hernandez. “There are many different scents… and unlike the typical air freshener, it is designed to reduce fabric odors. You can also spray it between the sheets, which she says will not only add a fresh scent, but also fight wrinkles.
Spills and foot traffic can make your bathroom and kitchen grout prone to staining, especially if it’s lightly colored. You can either spray a mixture of vinegar and water followed by a paste of baking soda, or use a commercial spray grout cleaner. Either way, let it soak before scrubbing with a toothbrush or other small brush, then rinse with a sponge and lukewarm water.
To prevent the grout from getting dirty in the first place, apply a sealer immediately after installing floor tiles or after deep cleaning.
To shut off your fireplace for the season, first make sure all the embers have been put out for at least 12 hours, says Nogales-Hernandez. (You may choose to burn this creosote log first as your last fire of the winter, which will help clean your fireplace.) After the ashes have cooled, sprinkle them with damp coffee grounds to minimize dust.
Sweep up any ash or soot from the floor and walls and gently throw it in a trash can to keep dust from flying. Finally, vacuum or dust the fireplace area and make sure the damper is completely closed to prevent birds or wildlife from trying to sneak into your fireplace.