Every year, millions of Americans go through their annual spring-cleaning ritual. Spring cleaning checklists are readily available to tell you what to clean and how often.
Many of those checklists do not include deep cleaning tips for your home furnishings, including appliances, furniture, and tapestries.
Deep cleaning can be easier than you think when you stick with simple, intelligent solutions.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of appliances can keep them running efficiently and helps prevent the need for costly repairs or replacement.
You might feel that cleaning your dishwasher is redundant, but it is actually a great way to ensure your dishwasher works effectively.
Dishwashers collect stubborn deposits of food residue, grease, and soap scum. This can cause your dishwasher to look dirty, smell terrible, and prevent it from properly cleaning your dishes. Grime and hard water build-up can also prevent your dishwasher from draining completely.
- Inspect the drain to make sure the area is clear of food and debris.
- Check the spray arms. If the spray arms look grimy, use some vinegar and a small brush to scrub away any grime that may be clogging the spray holes.
- Gently scrub gunk from the rubber seal using a small brush, such as an old toothbrush. Wipe around the seal with a paper towel or damp cloth.
- Put a small dishwasher-safe bowl full of vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Select the hottest setting and run a complete wash cycle.
- Sprinkle baking soda generously in the bottom and run it through another quick wash cycle, using the hottest setting.
Completing these steps every two months is an excellent way to keep your dishwasher running efficiently.
Refrigerators can be a breeding ground for foul odors, dangerous bacteria, and stubborn stains. Regardless of how healthy your diet is, failing to clean your refrigerator regularly can make you and your family ill.
You want to stick with natural, non-toxic cleaning agents, such as baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap. Choosing scented cleaning products can cause the smell to transfer to your food.
- Transfer items from your fridge to a cooler.
- Remove shelves, wire racks, and drawers. Allowing glass components to warm up to room temperature before washing prevents cracking when washing with hot water.
- Handwash them with hot water and mild dish soap.
- Use dish soap and warm water to clean the rubber gasket around the refrigerator door. If you find mold, use a bleach-based cleaner or vinegar to remove it. Keeping the gasket clean ensures a tight seal.
- Combine seven parts water and one part baking soda. Working from top to bottom, clean the non-removable parts.
- Use an old toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas like hardware and hinges.
- Wipe the exterior and add a box of baking soda to the bottom shelf to eliminate odors.
This is also a great time to pull out the fridge, check your water connection lines, and vacuum the coils in the back.
Cleaning the microwave used to be a daunting task, but these methods make it easier than ever to keep the inside of your microwave from looking like an abstract art project made of sauce and gravy.
The best ways to clean your microwave involve steam.
- Fill a microwave-safe bowl with vinegar. An alternative is to fill the bowl with water, cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice from both halves into the bowl, and drop them in.
- Microwave for three minutes, or until you see the liquid start to boil.
- Leave the door closed and let the mixture sit for a few minutes to loosen the grime and wipe it away.
- For any stuck-on gunk, try making a paste with baking soda and water to scrub it away gently.
- Persistent stains may give way if you use a little olive oil on a sponge or paper towel.
- Most microwaves have removable filters that can be hand-washed with regular dish soap and warm water. Be sure to let it fully dry before reinstalling.
Do not neglect the exterior of your microwave. The touchpad, handle, and vents all accumulate grease, dirt, and germs. Vinegar, water, and baking soda will make it easy to get the grime.
Soft surfaces in your home can be full of dust mites, dead skin cells, and a plethora of allergens that can affect your family’s health and well-being.
Curtains & Blinds
Some fabric window treatments are machine washable, and following the instructions on the tag is the best way to clean them.
For curtains and drapes that can’t be easily laundered:
- Remove dust and hair with a vacuum tool or lint roller.
- If they are not too difficult to take down, you can take them outdoors and shake them.
- Spray them with a fabric refresher to clean away any stale odors.
It would be best if you start by removing the loose dust using a duster or brush tool on your vacuum for grimy blinds. If they still need some work, you may need to take the clean to the next level.
- Close and remove your blinds.
- Spread out an old bath towel in an open area, like your patio or driveway.
- Lay the blinds on the towel, spray generously with a solution of vinegar and water, and let sit for several minutes.
- Dampen a sponge or scrub brush and clean the slats in a horizontal motion.
- Spray with the garden hose, or wipe with clean water.
- Reverse the slats and repeat the steps on the other side.
- Allow blinds to dry completely before rehanging.
Chairs and couches receive more wear and tear than you might think. Upholstered furniture captures cooking odors, airborne dust and dirt, pet dander, body oils, and more. The benefits of regular upholstery cleaning range from increasing the lifespan of your furniture to improving your indoor air quality.
Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning are recommended to prevent wear and tear, but if your furniture needs some extra TLC, these steps will have your furniture fresh in no time.
- Use a dry brush to loosen dirt, then vacuum well.
- Sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit for about 30 minutes. (Baking soda is safe for most fabric surfaces, but it can’t hurt to test it in a small, inconspicuous spot first)
- Vacuum thoroughly using the brush attachment.
- Using a mixture of warm water, vinegar, and dish soap will work to remove minor stains.
- Flip and turn your couch and chair cushions to reduce wear and tear.
If you need a deeper clean, it might be time to consider hiring a professional or renting a professional shampooing machine.
Most people wash their bedsheets and other bedding regularly. You may think that your mattress doesn’t need to be cleaned because it is covered, but dust mites, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells can all settle into your mattress over time. Vacuum your mattress using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment.
- If you have any stains, use ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 TBSP of dish soap, and 1 TBSP of salt to make a paste.
- Spread it lightly over the stain and allow it to dry.
- Once dry, scrape away the paste and use a rag dipped in hydrogen peroxide to dab any remaining discoloration.
- Once stains are treated and dried, sprinkle baking soda generously on top of the mattress, rub it in, and let it sit for at least ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, vacuum up the baking soda and enjoy your fresh mattress.
- Investing in a good mattress cover will not replace the need for cleaning, but it will help extend the life of your mattress.
It is a good idea to give your mattress a good cleaning at least every six months.
How Can a Landlord Ensure a Clean Rental?
Landlords want to ensure that their investment is protected and well-maintained by tenants.
The best course of action is to make sure your lease outlines rules about the cleanliness of your property and what you expect your tenants to do to maintain health and safety standards in your unit.
If you are unsure of how to lay it all out, consider working with a property management group to help you navigate the best ways to outline responsibilities for the cleanliness of your rental.