It’s that time of the year again! The weather is getting warmer, the BBQs are firing up, and Spring cleaning has begun! It’s time to take care of all those dreaded chores that you’ve been putting off all year. But before you start going on a cleaning frenzy, be sure to prioritize the most important areas of your home—areas that you probably didn’t realize was so important.
Here’s a list of some of the most important Spring cleaning tasks that you should be taking care of every year.
Refrigerator coils are a dust magnet, and if left unattended, accumulation of dust can impair energy efficiency. Too much dust will force your refrigerator to work harder and spend more costly energy to keep your precious groceries cold.
Cleaning them is easy. The coils can be found on either on the bottom or back of the machine. Just take a vacuum with an upholstery attachment and suck up all the big chunks. Then, use a duster or a specialized refrigerator coil brush to clean between the coils and pick up any pet hair or dust that’s clung to the coils.
It’s easy to forget about your ceiling fans, so here’s a friendly reminder to clean them before you start flinging dust around the room. Dusty ceiling fans are also a big source of allergens, which you don’t need more of in the Spring, or ever.
Much like other crevices of your home where you don’t typically pay attention to, baseboards can accumulate a lot of dust. So, don’t forget about the baseboards, especially if you’re getting ready to move out of an apartment. Landlords might keep more of your deposit if you leave more for them to clean (it happened to me).
Pillows—not just the pillow cases
Yes, your pillows are washable. Once or twice a year, you should be washing your pillows to clean off your nasty sweat and dead skin cells, which dust mites love!
Just like pillows, comforters are also a favorite place for dust mites to hang out.
You might think it’s protected by your sheets, but it’s not. While you’re washing your sheets, pillows, and comforters, vacuum the mattresses, then spread baking soda on it and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it again.
If you have hard water, shower heads can easily accumulate lime scale that is tough to remove…or is it? If you wrap a plastic bag full of distilled white vinegar over the shower head and let it soak for a few hours, magic happens!
So things that do the cleaning, don’t need to be cleaned, right? WRONG! Your dishwasher, washer, and dryer can actually get quite gunky if you don’t clean them on a regular basis. Here’s a few secrets to get the job done right.
Dishwasher—Food and leftover soap can build up along the bottom and sides of your dishwasher. Place a shallow bowl of white vinegar in the dishwasher and sprinkle a LITTLE BIT of baking soda along the bottom, then run it through a hot cycle.
(Important note: vinegar mixed with baking soda starts a chemical reaction, which is why it does a good job cleaning, but can also cause explosive fizzing if too much is added)
Washer—Dirt and detergent can build up in your washer and can even stimulate mold growth in the worst cases. A cup of bleach through the hottest cycle possible should do the trick!
Dryer—While you should be cleaning off the lint screen after every cycle, you should also occasionally pull off the hose in the back and try to remove as much lint as possible (a leaf blower works great!). Hint: if it takes longer than normal to dry your clothes, it’s time to check the hose.
Advice from the Environmental Protection Agency: you should be steam cleaning your carpets at least once or twice a year. Bacteria and dust mites thrive in dirty carpets, so don’t put yourself or your children at risk of health issues and allergies. Plus, carpets are not cheap, so keep them in their best shape!
Filters obviously can’t do their job if they are clogged up, which would increase energy use while spreading dust throughout your entire house. Air filters, furnace filters, and even vacuum filters should all be checked on a regular basis and replaced when necessary.