Apr 03, 2020

Spring Cleaning The Forgotten Areas of Your Home

By Joyce Venezia Suss

Spring cleaning traditionally means ambitious projects like washing windows inside and out, laundering and swapping bed quilts and blankets, or cleaning the garage. But there are places in every home that sometimes get forgotten. Use the following list as a reference to make sure these overlooked areas get cleaned.

Many of these projects can be done quickly, but they don’t have to be done all at once. For the satisfaction of tracking your progress, we’ve created a checklist you can access and print.

Baseboards and door frames: Vacuum with a soft brush attachment or use a dust cloth. If they still feel gritty, wipe with a damp cloth or disposable wipe.

Ceiling fan: To keep dust from falling to the floor, use an old pillowcase to cover each blade (one at a time), then gently rub with your hands to dislodge dust. Bring the pillowcase outside, turn inside out, shake, then launder.

Cleaning supplies: Start your spring cleaning by washing mop heads, sponges, rags, dusters and other reusable cleaning tools – or buy replacements.

Coffee maker: Fill the water chamber with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Brew repeatedly until half empty, then turn it off and wait 30 minutes. Repeat until the chamber is empty, then refill with clean water. Brew repeatedly until the chamber is once again empty.

Curtains: If curtains are washable, use the delicate cycle; dry briefly on low heat and rehang while damp. If curtains are not washable, send them to the dry cleaner, or vacuum top to bottom to remove dust and pollen.

Dishwasher: Check for a filter, typically under the bottom spray arm, and clean it thoroughly. Then, in an empty dishwasher, place a cup on the top rack and fill it with white vinegar. Run it through a hot cycle to remove grease, food particles and mineral deposits. Use a cloth or disinfecting wipes to clean the handle, buttons and rubber gasket.

Drains (tub and sinks): To clear soap scum, mix 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of white vinegar, then pour the fizzing mixture immediately down the drain. Let it sit at least one hour or overnight. Then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse.

Dryer: You clean the lint tray after each load, but it’s important to periodically check for lint buildup behind and under the dryer. Also, remove lint from the exhaust vent outside your house.

Electronics: Use disinfecting wipes to clean remotes, keyboards, computer mouse, soundbars and the like. Use canned air to remove stubborn particles.

Light switches, handles and door knobs: Use disinfecting wipes to clean these often-touched surfaces. Squeeze out excess moisture before scrubbing switch plates.

Microwave: Fill a glass bowl or measuring cup halfway with water. Heat on high for five minutes; keep the door shut for two minutes more to hold in the steam. Carefully remove the bowl using oven mitts, then wipe down the interior with a damp sponge or paper towels.

Picture frames: Use a duster on all surfaces of each frame, but especially the top. If the frames have glass, use glass cleaner to remove grime buildup.

Refrigerator: Pull out the refrigerator to vacuum underneath and the rear coils. Wipe the top and sides with warm soapy water. Before your next big supermarket trip, wipe down inside shelves, and clean the crisper drawers.

Shower curtain and liner: Clean in the washing machine with towels, using laundry detergent and a half cup of baking soda.

Sofa and side chairs: Dust and/or vacuum underneath the couch. Vacuum cushions, then remove them and vacuum all crevices underneath. Spot clean stains on upholstery. If throw pillows are machine washable, wash on the delicate cycle. If not, spot clean.

Stove and oven: Run a narrow duster under the range to remove dust. If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on before the heat of summer. Give the stovetop a deep cleaning with a product that removes grease.

Toaster and toaster oven: Unplug it first! Empty and clean the crumb tray (typically on the bottom), or turn the toaster upside down and gently shake it out over a trash can. Use a damp cloth to clean spills.

Toothbrush holder: If it’s dishwasher safe, put it on the top rack. If not, clean with warm soapy water, rinse with hot water, then dry.

Trash cans: This is ideally done outside. Remove trash bag, and scrub interior and exterior with warm soapy water. Rinse with clean water, then dry thoroughly before adding a new trash bag.

Washing machine: Run a large load without clothes, adding one quart of vinegar and one cup of baking soda. Gently pull back the rubber basket and clean with disinfecting wipes. Check your water supply hoses for leaks. Clean buildup from detergent and fabric softener dispensers.