Spring cleaning is a concept as old as time. As the weather turns milder, the idea of ‘out with old and in with the new’, rebirth and reorganization comes to many. In days past, Spring cleaning meant scrubbing the soot from perpetual winter fires out of everything around the house but these days, the job isn’t quite as tough. There are, however, some tasks that most people tend to forget. Including these less visible items will go a long way to keeping a home tidy and clean, throughout the year.
All around the house:
Check the doors — The front and edges of cupboards in the kitchens and bathrooms and every door in the house needs a going over. In steamy spaces, like kitchens, grease and grime can build up on hard surfaces but you might not notice it until you touch it and realize that it’s sticky! And the tops of doorways draw a lot of dust thanks to airflow in the gaps, so a wipe down of each one will go a long way to dealing with detritus in your breathable air. Another similar spot that tend to be forgotten are the blades on ceiling fans. Thanks to the natural effect of heat rising, they tend to get coated with all the dust and debris from your rooms. Other light fixtures and chandeliers have this problem too: light bulbs attract dust. So give them all a good wipe down.
Don’t ignore area rugs — While broadloom might get a steam clean or at least a thorough vacuuming, area rugs tend to get forgotten, or at most get taken out for a beating in the back yard. If you have machine washable rugs—like those from Lorena Canals—you can get them fresh and clean in no time. Otherwise, a professional service might be in order to get spotless rugs.
Phone germs — Telephones and remote controls are two big carriers of germs that we rarely think of! Give these a good wipe down and get into the habit of doing it regularly, if you don’t already. Another one is garbage bins: of course, they harbor a lot of stinky things but hosing them down once in awhile to get all the gunk out is a great way to minimize germs and odors.
In the laundry room:
Check for dryer lint — Sure, you check the lint trap every time you use your dryer, but did you know that lint can get into other parts of the dryer and, if enough accumulates, can become a fire risk? Give a thorough clean of the exhaust hose and vent that leads out of the house. You’ll know there’s a problem if it’s taking longer and longer to dry your clothes, but best not to wait until that starts happening!
Wash the washer — It never occurs to some of us to wash the washer. You would think after all those endless loads of laundry, that it would be self-cleaning, right? Wrong. Soap scum and skin flakes build up and accumulate over time. A natural way to clean a top loading machine is to fill it with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar. Let that stand for about twenty minutes, scrub the insides, drain and refill it with hot water again, this time adding two cups of baking soda. Scrub again and then drain. Run it once without any clothes inside to make sure it sparkling clean and free of any residue. If you remember your fourth grade science projects, you’ll know better than to put the vinegar and the baking soda in at the same time.
In the kitchen:
Fridge efficiency — It’s important to clean the coils and fan area of your refrigerator once in awhile, to get maximum efficiency. Be sure to unplug it first and pull it away from the wall. The coils are either at the bottom in the front, behind a cover grill, or at the back. The condenser fan will likely be at the back. In both cases, you can vacuum out all the dust and debris that has accumulated in these quickly and easily. If your fridge has a drip pan, clean that too before you push the whole thing back into place.
Underneath appliances — For appliances that aren’t built in, move them out and give the floor and bases a good scrubbing. While it might not be something you see everyday, dropped food and other bits can accumulate under there, which can attract vermin and bugs.
In the bedroom:
Banish mattress dust bunnies — It occurs to most people to flip and rotate the mattress but it’s also a good idea to vacuum them. You can deodorize a mattress with a good sprinkling of baking soda, leaving it to do its job for an hour or so and then vacuum it up. You’ll get rid of all the dead skin cells and other allergens that could interfere with a good night’s sleep and a fresh smell in the bargain! Tip: If you like essential oils, add some to the baking soda for a light, clean scent, before you vacuum.
Wash the pillows — On a regular basis, you change the pillow cases, but does that catch everything in terms of dust and skin residue? No. If you can (check the labels first!) wash your pillows. You might have to take them to a laundromat with high capacity washers and dryers to get it done but it’s well worth the effort.
Adding these things to your semi-annual cleaning routines will help to keep your house in good order, year over year.
About the author:
Lorena Canals is a home design expert and the founder of the Spanish home design brand of the same name. Her popular all-natural, machine-washable eco-chic rugs recently launched in the U.S.A. with a brand new Home Collection. Her mission is to offer families style, comfort, and convenience in every room of their home. For more information, visit http://Lorenacanals.us.