Cleaning & Organizing
15 Items You Need to Deep Clean Every Spring
Excited to declutter and freshen your home decor for the new season? Don’t forget the real purpose of spring cleaning is to tackle the deep work that reduces germs, allergens, and mold for a healthier home.
Curtains and drapes
“One of the number one home items that get missed regularly during cleaning is drapes and curtains. They get exposed to a lot of dust and should be cleaned about every six to eight months,” shares Ryan Knoll of Tidy Casa. “Most drapes can be machine washed on the delicate setting. If they’re silk, linen, or synthetic, they should be dry cleaned.”
Air vents and ducts
Quality Stock Arts/Shutterstock
Before you worry about outside allergens, defeat the biggest indoor allergen offender: dirty air vents and ducts. “You don’t want the first time you turn on the AC to be a trigger for your allergies,” says Tania Elliot, MD, allergist and spokesperson for Flonase. “Vents can be filled with dust, pollen, bacteria, and even mold.”
“Nearly all the keyboards on the market have removable keys, so spend time picking up each one and giving it a good swipe with a disinfecting wipe,” says Mark Ortiz, founder of ReviewingThis who formerly ran a cleaning company. “A blast from a can of compressed air will remove dust and food crumbs from the keyboard.”
All About Space/Shutterstock
Don’t forget to vacuum and wipe down baseboards and shelves in your closets after you KonMari it. “We deep clean closets and you won’t believe the amount of dust that builds up over time in that close space,” says Alberto Navarrete, the general manager of Emily’s Maids in Dallas. Once you put everything back in, make sure you aren’t making these closet organizing mistakes.
The top of door frames and cupboards
“When we go into homes we almost always find an inch deep layer of dust on top of cupboards and the top of door frames,” says Jack Prenter, founder of Chore Bliss. “The problem with not cleaning this is that as air circulates through our home it will bring the dirt down onto us and our furniture, which can aggravate allergies.” Find out the secrets of those who always have a clean house.
Behind and under the bed
“If you have a rug or carpet and store things under your bed, it is very difficult to clean it,” says Diana Henley of Naturalcare Cleaning Service. Pulling these items out and doing a thorough cleaning can help reduce allergens in your bedroom.” You’ll also want to dust, scour, and wash the 14 germiest spots in your bedroom.
Don’t forget your knife block, which can harbor bacteria, Ortiz recommends. “Use a high-powered hair dryer (or a can of compressed air) to blow the dust out, then sanitize the block under warm water with soap.” While you’re at it, try these tricks for cleaning your other tricky kitchen appliances.
“Winter can be hard on floors, especially if you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall. Salt, wet snow, and muck can build up on floors, especially carpets,” shares Sherryl Nens owner of Office Pride of Overland Park-Kansas City. “Regular deep cleaning of carpets will not only keep them looking great but also extend their life.” Don’t miss these 17 carpet cleaning solutions.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
When was the last time you cleaned the doorknobs in your house or the TV remote? Probably never, but you should be, as these, along with microwave, faucet, and refrigerator handles, are some of the dirtiest surfaces in your home, says Kevin Behan of AdvantaClean. “Germs are passed from hands to surfaces every second, so it is imperative they are disinfected, not just dusted.” To deep clean them, mix a half cup of bleach in a gallon of hot water and wipe them down with a soft cloth. Just make sure you’re not making any of these 10 cleaning mistakes that make your home dirtier.
Pet bed and blankets
“Pets are awesome, but if you are allergic to their dander, it can build up over the winter and make your allergy and asthma symptoms worse,” explain the experts at American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “The best way to remove pet allergens is to vacuum frequently and wash upholstery, including your pet’s bed.” These 11 tricks will help you get the most out of your vacuum cleaner.
Pillows and bedding
Dean Davies, a cleaning specialist for Fantastic Services, recommends washing your bedding in hot water weekly to prevent bed bugs and allergens, but what about items that can’t be washed in hot water? “Put them in the freezer for 24 hours to kill the mites.” Then wash in cold water to get rid of allergens. These are 15 other surprising items you can throw in the wash.
The leading cause of a clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean them, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. By cleaning out the exhaust hose of the dryer one to three times a year (depending on how often you use your machine), you can prevent fires, save on repairs later on, and allow your machine to run more efficiently. Cleaning the dryer hose is only one of the things smart homeowners do once a year.
Your fireplace and chimney
“Inhaling creosote, the oily black substance that builds up in dirty chimneys, often causes breathing problems,” say the experts at Marcell’s Fireplaces and Stoves. This is why your chimney should be inspected once a year for buildup and cleaned when deemed necessary by a professional. As for the hearth, you can clean that yourself with a shop vacuum and wet paper towels. And watch out for these scary ways your fireplace could be toxic.
Indoor trash cans
While you might be diligent about taking out the trash when’s the last time you actually disinfected the inside and outside of your indoor cans? Being a temporary home for raw meat, soiled diapers, and more, your garbage cans might be packing more germs than you think. Bon Appetit suggests disinfecting your cans by scrubbing them with a diluted bleach spray made from one tablespoon of bleach to 24 ounces of water.
About two or three times a year, a full-fridge clean out needs to take place to keep food-related bacteria issues at bay. You’ll want to remove the drawers, wipe down the shelves, and follow this list to spring clean your fridge from top to bottom.