Spring cleaning, love it or hate it, is beneficial to your health and overall well-being. Wiping away dust, polishing mirrors and cleaning windows are hard work. The payoff off is a fresh, clean home at the end. Here are our suggestions on managing your spring preparations.
Kitchen sweep. The refrigerator is the workhorse of the kitchen. Remove all of the food, shelves and storage bins. Spray the interior with a mixture of vinegar and water. While the cleaner soaks on the inside, wash the shelves and drawers in hot water. Wipe out the refrigerator, re-install the shelving and replace the food. Finish the kitchen by cleaning the oven and microwave, wiping cabinet doors and scrubbing the kitchen sink.
Dust. Remember to work from the top down when dusting your home. Clean ceiling fans and windows frames first. Then, use a microfiber cloth to remove dust from bookshelves, desks, tabletops and dressers. The crevice attachment for the vacuum will clean tight spots. Wipe books, figurines and picture frames with a cloth to remove dust.
Safeguard furniture. Remove cushions from chairs, beat to remove dirt and leave them in the sun for a few hours. If you find any stains, treat with a gentle fabric cleaner. Wipe wooden furniture with a damp cloth before polishing with wax.
Floor care. Vacuum and shampoo the carpets. Rugs with waterproof backing can be cleaned with conventional carpet cleaners. Oriental rugs require special care and should be cleaned by a professional. Mop wood floors with a damp mop before adding a light polish. Don’t neglect vinyl and linoleum floors. Restore their shine with a polish designed for those surfaces.
Declutter. Recycle junk mail, old newspapers and magazines. Decide how many of your child’s masterpieces you will save each week. Put those in a folder and recycle the rest. Free up closet space by donating clothing you haven’t worn in 12 months.
Safety first. Fire safety experts recommend changing the batteries in the smoke detectors two times a year. Test the units to make sure they are operating properly. Also, check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. The extinguisher is in good condition if the needle falls in the green area.
Outdoor sweep. Don’t forget the porch and entryway to your home. Grab a broom to sweep away spider webs and dead leaves. Use the garden hose to wash away dirt and grime from the area. Tackle outdoor mildew by mixing 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and mist on dirty surfaces. Use a sponge to wipe away grime. An old toothbrush is just the thing to reach tight spaces.
Work through the cleaning list at your own pace. Spread tasks over a few weekends if needed. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to happen in one day. Freshening your home for spring is a marathon, not a race.