Time to Clean
Spring is officially here, which means warmer weather, longer days, and of
course…spring cleaning. While some people relish the excuse to clean their homes
top to bottom, most of us regard this annual rite with a slight amount of dread.
If you are short on time and want the biggest impact for your spring cleaning
efforts then Smead recommends the following five critical tasks as most
important for the long-term maintenance of your home. Tackle these jobs and you
will be rewarded with a fresh looking home, ready to enjoy.
Clean Windows, Inside and Out
Clean, clear windows make any room feel lighter and cleaner simply by letting
more light in. The biggest boost will be to your state of mind – a sunlit room
is an instant mood brightener!
- When cleaning your windows, wipe the inside up and down, and the outside
left to right. If you end up with streaks, you’ll know which side they’re on.
- Don’t forget to wash screens and sills/tracks.
- This is the perfect time to revive drab window coverings. Just run them
through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel (to attract the dust)
for 15 minutes, and rehang immediately.
- For a quick, complete wipe-down of your window blinds, shut the blinds and
wipe with a microfiber cloth. Then close the blinds in the opposite direction
and wipe other side.
Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts
Give your exterior a fast facelift by removing leaves and debris from your
gutters before they start to sprout seedlings. Regular maintenance of this
overlooked area helps prevent rotting and water damage to your house.
- Use a leaf blower, or simply scoop out the debris and blow out the remaining
dirt with a hose.
- While you’re clearing the gutters, check for cracks in the seams. Use an old
chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly.
- Use new bead silicon sealant to keep water from getting behind the gutters.
Clean Kitchen Appliances
Remember to clean inside, outside and underneath. You will be amazed by all
the crumbs and debris you find!
- Oven: If you have an oven with an auto-clean cycle, it’s important to wipe
out any big spills first to prevent flare ups. For manual cleaning, try using a
natural paste of baking soda, water and liquid dish soap instead of harsh
- Stove top: Use a toothbrush to remove softened food from around the burners,
knobs and dials. If applicable, replace old, grimy burner pans with new, shiny
- Microwave: You can loosen up the grime beforehand by heating a cup of water
inside the microwave for about three minutes. Add baking soda or lemon juice to
the water to eliminate smells.
- Refrigerator: Wash outside and inside; cleaning the inside with a degreaser
or scouring pad. Replace that old box of baking soda with a fresh one. Don’t
forget to vacuum the condenser coils on the back!
- Dishwasher: Remove baskets and debris from the bottom. Spray a water and
vinegar solution onto a cleaning cloth or clean sponge to wipe down the inside
of the door and top and bottom racks. Run the empty machine on its highest
temperature setting without detergent for a thorough rinse.
Don’t Forget to Look Up!
Spring cleaning often applies to areas at eye level or below, but take the
time to look up – you may be surprised by what you see!
- Did you know that dust accumulation in smoke detectors can cause them to
sound even when there is no fire? Spring cleaning is a perfect time to dust in
and around detectors – and if you haven’t replaced the batteries in the past six
months, do that too!
- Search for cobwebs in corners, around fireplaces, on top of lampshades and
light fixtures, and between windows.
- Dust can also collect on ceiling fans, especially if you never turn them
off, so clean each blade. Simply slide each blade, one at a time, into a
pillowcase and wipe off the blade with the inside of the pillowcase. All the
dust, dirt, and debris will stay inside. Then simply shake out the case outside
and throw it in the laundry.
Steam Clean Carpets and Rugs
Carpets accumulate a lot of dust, dirt and even fungi over time, all of which
are unsightly, unhygienic and can be potential health hazards.
- Up to 80% of carpet dirt is loose and on the surface, and can be removed
with regular vacuuming.
- Further extend the life and appearance of your carpets as well as banish
those really stubborn bugs and stains with regular deep cleaning.
- It’s well worth renting steam-cleaning equipment or hiring a professional
carpet cleaning company to do the job.
So if you’re short on time (or desire) for this year’s round of spring
cleaning, these five chores will go the farthest towards maintaining your home
from unnecessary wear and damage. You’ll also benefit by having a fresh looking
home in a short amount of time if you can check these 5 tasks off your spring
cleaning list first. On the other hand, if reading this article has inspired you
to put on your rubber gloves and dig in, you can see our full Spring Cleaning