Winter is officially gone, and spring is here (finally)! Is your house ready for it? Or maybe the real question is: Are you prepared to do some spring cleaning?
Spring cleaning is an important (if kind of annoying) step for preparing for the warm months ahead. It’s been a long winter, and there’s probably all kinds of nooks and crannies that need to be looked at. So even though there’s probably already a lot on your checklist, just in case you might have missed something, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most commonly overlooked cleaning jobs:
1. Vacuum air vents
Air vents collect dust. It’s a sneeze-inducing fact of life. The fact that air vents are often out of sight, out of mind doesn’t mean they can be ignored, however. Dust out your vents with a broom or a vacuum’s brush attachment. You’ll want to replace some air filters, particularly those of your furnace, which likely got a workout through the winter.
2. Dust base boards
We should all do it more often, but we don’t. Well, spring cleaning is the chance to right the rest of the year’s wrongs by finally dusting your base boards. Use a damp cloth or dryer sheet and swipe along your walls and doorways. It’s a small but important cleaning job that will leave you feeling good afterward.
3. Laundry machine deep clean
Before you go stripping the beds of sheets for a run through the washer, you want to first make sure that your laundry machine is actually clean. Gunk and grime finds its way into your machine’s nooks and crannies and turns up later where you least want or expect it. So grab some white vinegar spray and clean out the washer tub, detergent tray, and seal around the door.
4. Flush out the dishwasher
Just like with the laundry machine, you’re going to want to make sure the dishwasher gets a good flushing out. Over time, grime builds up on the dishwasher’s inner surfaces. Considering how you trust the machine to clean your dishes and silverware, you don’t want to let things get nasty. Give the sides and dishwasher arm a good scrub. Then run a cycle with vinegar water.
5. Give the garbage disposal a rinse
It’s been a long winter, and chances are you’ve tossed more orange peels and old milk down the drain than you realize. Now you’ve got to perform some routine maintenance to assure that the garbage disposal stays in top shape. Run a few ice cubes through it to sharpen the blades. If there’s a pesky smell, run the disposal with soap or a baking soda and vinegar combination.
6. Bedroom pillows
Sure, you wash your pillow cases often enough, but do you ever wash the pillows themselves? Unless the care instructions forbid it, you probably should use this spring cleaning opportunity to do so. Feather and foam pillows can be washed by hand using detergent and warm water. Put them out in the sun to dry and they’ll be good as new in a few hours’ time.
7. Freshen your mattress
There’s more to properly taking care of your mattress than just cleaning the sheets and cover. After all that has been removed, take some baking soda and give your mattress a light dusting. Then let it sit for an hour or so. When you come back, any lingering odors will likely be gone. One quick vacuuming later and your mattress will smell nice and fresh.
8. Change smoke detector batteries
For many of us, a smoke detector is like oxygen – it’s there all right, but we don’t see it. Spring is your chance to be safe by looking a little more closely. Even if you did it when the clocks last changed (as it’s recommended you do), go ahead and put new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There’s no simpler way of protecting your family and home.
9. Wipe down door knobs
Think about all the doors you open in your house everyday. Now think about how many you’ve touched all winter, through runny noses and bad coughs. Kind of gross, isn’t it? Well, you can take care of that by cleaning all your home’s doorknobs with antibacterial wipes or cleaning solutions. Maybe even consider making it a part of your regular routine.
10. Clean refrigerator coils
Poor refrigerator coils. They are so often overlooked when it comes to spring cleaning. That’s a shame, because they’re actually pretty important. Clean condenser coils can reduce energy costs and extend the life of your refrigerator. So unplug it, pull it away from the wall and vacuum away the dust that has accumulated on the coils. While you’re there, make sure the fan is working properly as well.