Not that the weather is getting warmer, we have a brief time to open those windows and clear out the winter clutter. Then it’s time to fire up the air conditioning. Good Housekeeping has a list of 30 spring must-dos to declutter and get ready for summer.
A 30-Day Guide to Completing All of Your Spring Cleaning Tasks
It’s time to get moving, people!
The Ultimate Checklist
Ready, set … clean! To help you keep track of all the tasks on your plate, we created this list you can use to check off one item at a time. For more cleaning inspiration, check out @GoodHouseMag on Pinterest and repin this list here to help you can stay on track this season.
Tune Up Your Vac
Before you dive head first into chores, make sure your cleaners are up to the task. Replace the bag of your vacuum, clean the dust cup and wash (or replace, if need be) the filter with soap and water. Then use scissors to cut off any hair caught on your rotating brush.
Destink Before Doing Dishes
Since food sometimes doesn’t make it out of your dishwasher, you should pop your filter out and rinse it thoroughly. Then add a cleaner or two cups of vinegar to the bottom of your machine and turn it on low. Stop the machine mid-wash, let it stand for about 20 minutes, then run the rest of the cycle. Wipe the inside to finish.
Help Clothes Get Clean
Before tossing tons of loads into your machine, make sure it’s as clean as a whistle. Just add liquid chlorine bleach to the dispenser and run a normal cycle with hot water. If you have a front loader, make sure you wipe the rubber gasket, too! And while you’re at it, make sure the inlet hose filter is free of debris.
Dry Garments Even Faster
If you want your clothes to come out of this appliance warm and dry, make sure it’s lint-free. First, unplug the machine, then pull your lint filter out and use a comb or fabric softener sheet to remove any lint. Wash with soap and water if there’s build-up. Then use the crevice tool on your vacuum to remove anything caught in the lint trap.
Go Outside Your Home
Carolyn Forte, the Director of the Cleaning Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute, says to call in a pro if windows are high. Otherwise, sweep dirt off around the frame, then spritz your windows generously with cleaner and use a lint-free cloth to wipe the window dry horizontally.
Banish Dust From Window Treatments
Over the course of a year, this fabric collects a lot of dust. To wash, load them up in your laundry machine or take them to your local dry cleaner. The one exception? “Valences mounted to boards can usually only be vacuumed,” Forte says. Use a step stool and a handheld vacuum to work your way down from the top.
Suck Everything Up
We’re not talking about your regular vacuuming session here. “You can do this with a rental or purchased carpet deep cleaner, but it’s a good idea to have a professional do it every 12 to 18 months with a truck-mounted unit,” Forte says. Meaning this task is all about coordinating with a pro.
Help Your Floor Sparkle
This take is super fast when you use your feet — seriously. Lightly spray an old sock with some cleaning solution and run your foot over the baseboards to whisk debris away in a flash. You can also do this with a microfiber cloth or pull out the crevice tool on your vacuum.
Make Vents Work Better
Heating ducts and air conditioning vents will just circulate dust throughout your home if you don’t make sure to clean them out. Forte advises using the soft brush on your vacuum (the one with the bristles) to keep these spaces clean.
Toss Rugs in the Machine
If your rug is made out of cotton or synthetic fibers, you can throw it into the washing machine with the rest of your clothes in cold water on the gentle cycle. If your rug has a rubber back, the same applies, except these should be washed less frequently (no more than once a week) and air-dried.
Give Ceilings Some TLC
Before you turn your fan on for the first warm day of spring, make sure the blades aren’t covered in dust. Use an old pillow case or microfiber cloth to quickly and efficiently wipe the surface. While you’re up there, give your light fixtures a dusting, too.
Refresh Your Plumbing
Nothing is worse than a stinky sink. To give your garbage disposal a refresh, run a couple of lemon rinds through it, then follow with cold water. For your drain, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt, then pour it down, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar. Let it stand for 15 minutes and follow by running hot tap water.
Wipe Off Build-Up
Over time, a mix of dust and grease will inevitably build up on the cabinets above your range — yes, even if you run the exhaust hood over your range every time you cook. To de-gunk, we like to use “cabinet cream,” because it cuts through dirt and leaves wood moisturized.
Look Above Your Range
Your hood deals with a lot of wear and tear as you cook during the year. So why not give it a refresh for spring cleaning season? “Pop out the mesh filter, swish it in hot sudsy water, rinse and dry,” says Forte. Then clean the hood with a grease-cutting kitchen cleanser.
Wipe Your Appliance Clean
This trick will tackle even the most stubborn spots: Put a microwave-safe bowl in your appliance with 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon. Then turn it on high for a few minutes, or until the solution boils and the window is steamy. Let cool for 15 minutes, then remove the bowl and wipe down the inside with a sponge.
Attack Built-Up Gunk
This appliance sees a lot of action (especially if you’re a baker!). To give get it gleaming, sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom. Let it bubble for a minute or two, then whisk away any grime with a scrub sponge.
Give Your Fridge a Fresh Start
You probably wipe down your fridge’s interior shelving on the regular, but don’t forget about the rest of it when you’re spring cleaning. Pop out the door shelves and bins, wash them in warm, soapy water to get rid of food bacteria and spillage, then air-dry.
Toss Old Items
Since frozen food can stay good for weeks and even months, it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve got. During this season, go through each item and check for expiration dates. Anything expired, you can toss. And anything you, well, don’t know what it is, go ahead and toss, too.
Start Over in Your Pantry
The biggest culprit of going bad without you realizing it? Your spices. Read the labels on items you know you haven’t purchased in the past couple of months, then make a list of everything you toss and need to replace ASAP.
Sanitizer Your Morning Staple
Over time, hard water minerals build up in your machine’s inner workings. You can descale it by filling the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water. Place a paper filter in the machine’s basket and “brew” the solution halfway. Turn off the machine, let it sit for 30 minutes, then turn the coffee maker back on. Finish the cycle and dump the solution..
Give Furniture Some Love
Even though you should spot treat your furniture during the year, Forte doesn’t recommend tackling the annual cleaning session on your own: “It’s best to call in a professional for this, since it isn’t something that’s easy for a homeowner to do on their own,” she says.
Get Rid of Soot
Since most of the cold days are (hopefully) behind you, use a shop vacuum to suck up ashes, then use a damp paper towel to wipe away the rest of the soot. Forte also says to use your vacuum to clean the firebox and other surrounding areas, then get the chimney inspected by a professional.
Get Rid of Airborn Debris
Now is the time to banish dust from places you usually let it settle, like your bookshelf that’s filled with hardbacks you’ve already read. To make sure you pick up particles, instead of just pushing them around like a feather duster does, use a microfiber cloth.
Vacuum Mattress: Suck Dust Out
Ready to sleep even more soundly? Firmly press your vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean the sides. Then, spot clean stains with upholstery cleaner. After treating, let dry, then sanitize everything with a disinfectant spray.
Refresh All Bedding
You only need to clean these items a couple times every year and spring is one of the best times to suck it up and embrace this task. Most items can go straight into the washing machine, but make sure you check the manufacturer’s label beforehand just in case.
Deep Clean Drawers
Now is the time to embrace your sun dresses and jean shorts. But as you’re bringing warm-weather clothes out of storage, make sure you’re only putting sweaters and other winter essentials away that you actually wear. If you didn’t sport something at all last season, it’s time to put it in the donation pile.
Disinfect Shower Essentials
You can wash a plastic curtain on the highest water level with the regular amount of detergent, just add two to three bath towels for extra cleaning agitation. Then, hang to dry or put it in the dryer on low heat. For a fabric curtain, it’s best to wash it following the instructions on its label.
Whiten Up Your Bathroom
It only takes 15 minutes to totally freshen up your bathroom tile. “Spray grout with a cleaner, let it set for several minutes, then scrub it with a still brush and rinse,” says Forte. That’s it. And all of a sudden the room you clean yourself in will look clean, too.
Say Goodbye to Clutter
That means receipts, mail, magazines, you name it. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s time to ditch it and free up the surfaces in your home. Going forward, devote one spot to paper and stick to it. This will help you keep this collection under control.
Tap Out Crumbs
The first step to cleaning your keyboard is turning it over and tapping food crumbs out from the crevices. Then, use a disinfectant wipe to banish germs and stains from the surface of your keys.
Now is also the time to have your air conditioning inspected and tuned-up. Having an efficient HVAC system is essential for a Texas summer.
When you need a dependable, knowledgeable plumber, electrician or HVAC technician in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, call a name you trust. Berkeys Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical 24/7, Call us 972-439-1581 or visit berkeys.com for questions and scheduling information or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Berkeys.
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