Are you excited about spring cleaning but unsure where to begin? Consider these sensible starting points:
Everyone knows cleaning is best performed in a top-down fashion, so why not start your spring cleaning venture 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. Follow up with a thorough sweeping/vacuuming to capture any fallen dust particles.
With the return of long, sunny days, nothing brightens a home in springtime like crystal-clear 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 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” methods (learn more about these here). Lastly, towel the edges of the window frame and sill to soak up any remaining moisture.
Over time, dust can accumulate in your home’s air ducts and negatively affect indoor air quality. To perform a DIY duct cleaning, remove your air registers and use a vacuum cleaner attachment to get at the peripheral dust buildup—just be gentle to ensure you don’t accidently damage anything. For a more thorough job, hire a duct cleaning specialist, who will use professional-grade tools and put your ducts under negative pressure to capture the dislodged dust particles. Keep in mind that if your home’s air ducts contain leaks or aren’t properly sealed, cleaning them won’t resolve the bigger underlying problem, so you may want to get an inspection before investing in professional duct cleaning services.
Even if your kitchen counters get routinely cleaned, your oven and refrigerator may not be so lucky. 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. Don’t forget your washer and dryer; in particular, clean the lint out of your dryer hose and vent to ensure efficient operation and prevent a fire hazard.
Upholstery items like couch cushions, curtains, and throw blankets and pillows are easy to ignore, but they should 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 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).