Spring cleaning is your chance to get into the nooks and crannies that your weekly dusting and vacuuming miss. It’s your opportunity to scrub and sanitize those things that don’t see a lot of routine TLC.
As you make your to-do list, it helps to take inventory and stock up on supplies. You might feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do but take heart: a step-by-step approach will get the job done, and checking each item off is oh-so-satisfying. Do you need help with those oft-neglected chores? Here are five spring cleaning tips for overlooked items in your home.
Your hobby supplies let you ease your way into spring cleaning — think of it like your warmup. While this chore might be the most time-consuming, it’s generally pretty easy on your body. It doesn’t take much effort to use a Q-tip to clean those crumbs out of your game console controller’s buttons, but it requires a slow, steady hand. Likewise, your beloved Hummel figurines probably need nothing more than dusting, but it’s tedious to take each one off the curio.
Get all your equipment and components into one place and assess what you need. For example, you can’t use typical furniture polish on musical instruments like guitars or pianos. Seek specialty products designed for delicate surfaces that won’t scratch the finish or affect sound quality. Once you have everything you need in one place, you’re ready to go to town, perhaps completing this chore while you watch TV.
Toys and Equipment
If you haven’t given your kids’ toys and sports equipment a good scrub, now is the time to do it. Throw all stuffed animals in the washing machine to give them new life. With plastic toys, like blocks or dolls, fill up the bathtub with soapy water and let them soak. Be sure to give everything enough time to dry before putting them away to prevent mold.
Sports equipment can pick up a lot of dirt and bacteria. Whether its soccer balls being kicked across the ground or helmets that can collect sweat and cause acne, you’ll want to disinfect it all. You won’t want to think about how much sweat and dirt one helmet or ball can accumulate.
Take a look at your home’s vents. Is there a grayish tint surrounding them? If so, the problem is filthy ducts, typically caused by failing to change your air filter on schedule.
You can pay for a professional cleaning service, but there’s usually no need. Here’s what to do instead:
- Turn off your HVAC system.
- Remove the filter from the intake.
- Vacuum the inside of the duct.
- Repeat this process with each of your vents, removing each one and vacuuming as far inside the duct as you can, taking care not to scrape the sides.
- You may need to wash your vent covers and intake grate with warm, soapy water if they’ve become clogged with debris. Dawn dish soap is your spring cleaning friend.
- Replace the filter with a new model. Replace your vents and intake grate and restart your system.
Avoid future problems by keeping a stash of replacement filters on hand. Wait for your local hardware store to have a sale and grab a bunch. How often should you change them? The folks at Energy Star recommend doing so every three months at a minimum, although you may do so more frequently if you share your home with pets or smokers.
Large and Small Appliances
Cleaning your appliances might not be as difficult as you think. For example, many ovens come with a self-cleaning setting, although you should wait for a warm day when you can open windows — the process can get stinky. Otherwise, make a paste of baking soda and water, letting it sit on tough stains for 30 minutes or longer and then scrub off baked-on filth.
Small appliances may prove equally easy to clean. For example, you might be able to throw greasy parts like your air fryer basket right into the dishwasher and let it do the dirty work for you. As for the dishwasher itself? It’s as simple as placing a bowl in the bottom of the empty device, filling it with white vinegar and running a hot water cycle.
Other appliances, like your refrigerator, often require nothing more than hot, soapy water — remember, Dawn with the duck is your friend. Remove everything, including the drawers and shelves, wiping each one thoroughly. That aforementioned white vinegar is also a good pal, one you can use to zap any mold you encounter.
Pro-tip: Defrost your freezer first to give the whole works the ole soap-a-dope treatment at once.
Pantry and Cabinets
When unexpected guests knock on your door, it’s natural to stash the clutter in any convenient location you can find in a flash. Unfortunately, that means that areas like your closets, pantry and cabinets start to resemble a Pompeiian archeological dig when you need to find something.
All those messy spaces can weigh on your psyche. Take this approach:
- Put a sticky note on every compartment you’d like to organize
- Go one at a time, taking everything out where you can see it.
- Make three piles: to keep, recycle/repurpose or sell/donate.
- Wipe and vacuum interior surfaces and restock.
Mattress and Pillows
You might change your bedding weekly, but your mattress and pillows still accumulate dirt and odors. Here’s what to do:
- Strip your bed
- Vacuum your mattress
- Spot-clean any stains
- Sprinkle with baking soda (to absorb odor) and leave for a few hours. It helps if you open windows.
- Vacuum again
- Flip your mattress and repeat the process.
Most pillows are machine washable but check the label. Use warm water, select the gentle cycle and mend any frayed edges before placing them in the washer. You can also tumble-dry most models, although memory foam pillows should be air-dried in the sun.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Overlooked Items
It’s almost spring cleaning time, meaning it’s your chance to tackle deep-down dirt on those things you don’t dust or sweep once a week. What should you look for?
The five above spring cleaning tips for overlooked items will help you get the job done. You’ll feel accomplished and healthier in your sparkling home.
Cora’s passion is to inspire others to live a happy, healthful, and mindful life through her words on Revivalist – wholeheartedly convincing them that everyday moments are worth celebrating. Cora has spent 5+ years writing for numerous lifestyle sites – hence her sincere love for both life and the beauty of style in all things. Keep up with Cora on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
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