17 Important Spring Cleaning Tasks You're Forgetting to Do
Did you think vacuums are only for the carpet?
Spring isn't all just sunshine and blooming flowers. It's also the time of year to bust out the cleaning supplies and make your home spotless, top to bottom. According to the American Cleaning Institute, more than 75 percent of Americans participate in this annual spring cleaning ritual. However, despite such coast-to-coast prevalence of the clean sweep, there are plenty of tasks even the most diligent neatniks tend to overlook. So, before you break out the cleaning supplies, take note of these important spring cleaning tasks you may be forgetting to do—year after year.
Cleaning your shower curtain and liner
While you may scrub your tub from time to time, when you start spring cleaning, it's time to wash off those shower curtains, too. "Shower curtains and liners are one of those things most people forget about," says Marcos Francos, owner of Mighty Clean Home. "They should be laundered if possible, thrown away if the liner is riddled with mold, or washed with a disinfectant such as white vinegar. The majority of shower curtains though can be cleaned in a normal gentle cycle of your washing machine."
Dusting your doorframes
The tops of your tables, bookcases, and light fixtures may get the occasional dusting, but you might be neglecting those doorframes, which are veritable magnets for dust. "Get a step stool for this job. Use a microfiber cloth and Pledge and get dusting," says Francos. "Make sure you get the top of the door and both sides of the door. Next, do all the trim around the door—especially the top. This usually will turn your microfiber rag brown with dust."
Vacuuming your lampshades
A little dusting and vacuuming around your lampshades can go a long way toward making your home cleaner this spring. "Using a microfiber cloth is often good enough to get your lampshade clean," says Francos. "For those who need more than that, use a vacuum hose with the dusting attachment—the circle attachment with the long hairs." And for anything the vacuum won't pick up, a lint roller will do the trick.
Disinfecting the base of your toilet
The seat, lid, and bowl on your toilet likely get regular TLC, but many people fail to notice how filthy the pedestal underneath their porcelain throne can get.
"I often see this as one of the dirtiest places in a person's home—polluted with dust and urine," says Francos. "Pay close attention to these areas germs: mold and mildew love to grow here and might be the source of your mold issue if you have one in your bathroom. Use a multipurpose and a rag to clean these areas, then finish with a dry towel to remove remaining and hair and dust."
Washing out your washing machine
Despite what you might hope, that washing machine isn't actually self-cleaning. To get it spotless, run a cycle just to freshen the machine itself as part of your spring cleaning routine. "For your washing machine, it's best to start off by running a cycle with white vinegar. Then use a mixture of water vinegar and dish washing soap to clean any spots out," says Francos.
Vacuuming your cabinets and drawers
Crumbs, dirt, hair, and even dead skin can create a mess inside your cabinets and drawers—and spring is the perfect time to tackle that often-overlooked layer of grime. "It is best to first empty them out and get rid of anything you no longer need," recommends Francos. "Next, vacuum the insides. Then, use a clean, lightly damp rag to clean them out. If they have big spills, use a slightly damp sponge with scouring pad and then dry."
Washing or dry cleaning your curtains
You vacuum and spot-clean your rugs, but when's the last time your curtains got a thorough cleaning? Francos recommends laundering or dry cleaning your curtains when you're doing a top-to-bottom cleaning of your home: "Lots of dust builds up through the year—or years."
Vacuuming your furniture
The floor and rugs around them likely get a good cleaning on a regular basis, but many people forget to give their upholstered furniture the same kind of attention when it's time to clean. "Make sure you use a crevice device on your vacuum to get in those hard-to-reach places, remove all pillows, and vacuum underneath and behind them," suggests Francos.
Steam cleaning your fridge
Think wiping down your fridge is enough to get it properly clean? Think again. "For your refrigerator, you should clean out the entire fridge of all food. Next, vacuum all crumbs to prep for cleaning. Pull out all drawers and wash them clean in your sink with regular dish washing soap and hot water. Dry with a clean cloth. Next, get a cup of water and dish soap and use a sponge to clean all the trim and whatever is left inside and dry thoroughly with clean rag. Finally, clean any glass with glass cleaner and put everything back in," suggests Francos.
For those seeking a quicker option? That exists, too. Says Francos: "Another way to do it is to clean it with a steam cleaner. Steam and wipe—it is very fast and easy."
Scrubbing your stove
That splattered lasagna you never wiped up; that French fry that escaped into the coils; that lava cake that dripped everywhere—when spring rolls around, it's time to clean all that up. "For some ovens, you can run an automatic cleaning cycle. This produces a lot of heat and melts the mess inside your oven into ashes. With this, you will have to vacuum and then wipe out what is left," says Francos.
Even better, however, is cleaning it with a steamer. "There are no dangerous chemicals and they even do a better job" than traditional oven-cleaning methods, he says.
Wiping down behind your TV
The top of your TV? Dusted once a week (if you're good). Behind it? Well, that's a different story. "Electricity is a magnet for dust and you will find large amounts of dust behind your television and electronics," says Francos. "Make sure to dust and vacuum these locations very well and wipe your electronics with a microfiber cloth. Not only will your home be free of even more dust and allergens, but your electronic devices will have a longer lifespan since dust is often the cause of electronics malfunctions."
Cleaning your shower head and hoses
If you haven't done so in a while, spring cleaning is the perfect time to give your shower head and the attached hoses a good once-over. "If your shower has a flexible hose attached to your shower head, this should definitely be cleaned. Look carefully at the braiding of the hose—between those lines, mold often grows and hides," says Francos. "I often walk into a clean shower, where a customer complains that no matter what, they can't get rid of their mold problem. If I see those metal shower hoses, I usually know the source right away."
Vacuuming and mopping under your major appliances
While you may give a cursory sweep under your stove or fridge when you're cleaning the kitchen, odds are you're not actually moving those appliances away from the wall to vacuum and mop underneath—but you should be. "If you can pull these items out without scratching your floors, I highly recommend you do so," says Francos. "You will amazed by the amount of things under them."
Replacing the batteries in your smoke detector
Not all spring cleaning tasks have to be about getting your home spic-and-span—some are about making it safer, too. You should test and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months, so make it part of your spring cleaning routine and leave yourself a note to do it again in the fall.
Cleaning and rotating your mattress
Your sheets get washed on a regular basis, but when's the last time you cleaned your mattress? Considering how frequently they're used, most mattresses would definitely benefit from a good cleaning, so spot-clean any stains according to the manufacturer's recommendations and give the whole thing a thorough vacuuming as well.
If your mattress has seen better days, you can also sprinkle baking soda down before you vacuum to reduce any unpleasant odors, too. And if you're already in mattress maintenance mode, it's a good time to rotate your bed to avoid getting any permanent dips in frequently slept-on spots.
Having your chimney cleaned
That creosote build-up in your chimney could be putting your home and family at risk. If you're doing a major cleaning push this spring, make sure to have a professional come and sweep your chimney to reduce your risk of a house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Changing your furnace and air conditioner filters
When it comes to cleaning, what you can't see can hurt you. That's why it's so important to clean out your furnace and air conditioner filters when springtime rolls around. "Reduce dust by changing furnace and air conditioner filters every three to six months in a pet-free home," recommends Jennifer Gregory, Brand Manager of Molly Maid, a Neighborly Company. "If you have pets or if members of your household suffer from allergies, change them every two months." And for more spots you might have missed, discover these 20 Things in Your Home You Didn't Realize You Should Be Cleaning.
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