Spring is here, and you know what that means: it’s time for spring cleaning! While this vernal ritual is a great way to get a fresh start on the season, it can be an overwhelming undertaking, especially if you’re unsure where to begin. To help you spring into action, we’ve outlined five potential starting points.
1. Light fixtures
Everyone knows house cleaning is best performed in a top-down fashion, so what better way to get things started than by dusting off your overhead light fixtures? While you’re at it, wipe off other elevated areas like sills and the tops of bookcases. If you’re using a ladder, be sure to follow ladder safety protocol to avoid injury. When you’re finished, follow up with a thorough sweeping/vacuuming to capture the fallen dust and debris.
Nothing brightens up a home on a sunny spring day like freshly washed windows. To clean yours, you’ll need three tools: a strip washer (a mop-like window scrubber), a squeegee and a hand towel. Use the strip washer to wet and scrub dirt off of the window; for baked-on dirt, use some #4 steel wool to get more abrasive power. Next, dry the window with the squeegee using either the “fanning” or “straight pull” method (learn more about these here). Lastly, towel the edges of the window frame and sill to soak up any remaining moisture.
3. Air ducts
Over time, dust accumulates in your home’s air ducts, which can negatively impact indoor air quality as well as the efficiency of HVAC equipment. To perform a DIY duct cleaning, remove your air registers and use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove the peripheral dust buildup. Be gentle to avoid causing accidental damage to the ducts. For a more thorough job, hire a duct cleaning company—they’ll employ professional-grade tools and techniques to clean your ducts from front to back.
Do you remember the last time you cleaned your oven or refrigerator? If not, they should be on your spring cleaning list. In addition to wiping off their tops and faces, pull them out and clean behind, underneath, and on the sides. Use a vacuum to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils—this will help it run more efficiently. You should also remove the lint from your dryer’s hose and vent to ensure efficient operation and, more importantly, prevent a fire hazard.
Upholstery items like couch cushions, curtains, and throw blankets and pillows need to be cleaned periodically to eliminate dust and bacterial buildup. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment to clean couches and upholstered chairs. For a more thorough cleaning, apply a detergent or cleaner that’s designed for upholstery use. If your cushion covers are removable, leave them out in the sun for a few hours to kill latent bacteria. To clean drapes or curtains, simply remove them from the rod and give them a spin in the washer (make sure the fabric is washable first).
To find local companies that can assist you in your spring cleaning efforts, visit www.diamondcertified.org.