Rites of Spring
While weekly housekeeping just scratches the surface, a thorough seasonal cleaning can make your home feel like new. Like the eternal spring, this time-honored ritual brings a sense of rebirth and renewal.
We know the obvious jobs that need to be done…shampooing carpets, waxing floors and washing windows. And then there are the not so obvious cleaning chores that can make a world of difference. So get the big stuff out of the way; then go where you may never have gone before with these seldom thought of cleaning tasks.
Baseboards and Door Jams
When you’re wiping the walls, don’t forget the baseboards. An all-purpose cleaner will eliminate scuffmarks and a good sweep with a whiskbroom will tackle the dust bunnies. Don’t hesitate to pull furniture away from the walls to get to that accumulation of dust. Like the baseboards, door jams, hardware, and light plate switches get overlooked yet are marred by an inordinate amount of grime. Remove fingerprints, smudges and tarnish with a little liquid polish and a soft cloth.
Window Casings and Ceiling Fans
Take window washing to the next level and clean the window casings, screens, ceiling fans and fixtures. Using warm water and a little dishwashing liquid, scrub the screens with a brush and rinse clear. Using a vacuum with the soft-nozzle attachment, dust the ceiling fans, blinds and light fixtures and wipe down with a damp cloth. (Be sure to observe the obvious: always work from the top of a room down.)
Draperies and Lamp Shades
For draperies and curtains, remove the hooks and run through the air-fluff cycle with a damp towel for fifteen minutes in the dryer. Rehang immediately. Lamps and shades need a good dusting with a lint-free cloth and grimy light bulbs clean up quickly with a swipe of vinegar.
Vents, Filters and Sink Disposers
The stovetop vent hood rarely gets a regular go-over. Using a soft cloth and hot soapy water, gently scrub away grime. Polish with a damp cloth. Soak the filters in hot soapy water and rinse clean. Take a dampened toothbrush to buttons, knobs and dials on the stovetop and ovens. Along with the kitchen appliances, the sink disposal needs attention. Put a cut-up lemon, dashes of salt and a handful of ice cubes down the drain and run the disposer deodorizing and cleaning away residue.
Dishwashers and Washing Machines
It stands to reason you’d think the dishwasher and washing machine are perpetually clean. Not so. To eliminate odors and soap build-up, place a cup of vinegar on the top rack, a sprinkle of baking soda on the bottom, and run a short cycle for a clean and fresh smelling dishwasher. Eliminate mildew and soap scum in the washing machine by running vinegar through the light cycle. (Note: Always use distilled white vinegar for cleaning.)
Linens and Mattresses
While you’re switching out your winter bedding for warmer-weather linens, add life to your mattress by changing its position. Flip the mattress and rotate its direction from side-to-side and end-over-end. How to remove the gunk stuck to the plate of your clothing iron? Place a couple sheets of white paper on the ironing board and liberally sprinkle with table salt. On the cotton setting with no steam, gently “iron” the paper, loosening the gunk and shining the plate.
Trashcans deserve some TLC, too. Take outside and spray clean with a hose. Then spray with a disinfectant. Rinse again and leave upside down to dry. A dash of baking soda in the bottom of an unlined can works wonders with eliminating odors.
Spring cleaning wouldn’t be complete without caring for the entryway. The doormat needs to be clean to function efficiently and do its job. Shake it out and swat it with a broom to remove any accumulated debris and breathe new life into its texture.
A thorough cleaning of the house gives your home a total refresh, reviving not only your surroundings but your spirit, too. Your indoor space will be as beautiful as the outdoors when spring has finally sprung.