Do You Clean These?
No matter how much cleaning I do on a “regular” basis, there are some things that just don’t get cleaned as often, but still require some good old-fashioned scrubbing. With the beloved Spring Cleaning opportunities coming upon us, here are some areas that you might not clean as often as other areas, but you’ll feel great when all these have been cleaned, too!
Behind the fridge and stove: Because these are difficult to move, this can easily be a forgotten space. Get help to move out your fridge and stove, if need be, and you’ll be amazed at what might be behind them. Vacuum the dust bunnies, dried pieces of toast, and those unidentifiable things that have collected on the floor and on the back of the appliance! Clean with a good degreaser. The knobs can be removed and soaked in hot, sudsy water. While you are working on these appliances, take off the lower air grid from the fridge and soak it in soapy water and clean. Vacuum this space while the grid is soaking. My microwave has a charcoal filter that is easy to remove and soak, while I clean the inside and outside of this small appliance. Each appliance exterior will need a thorough washing when these other parts are taken care of.
Door knobs, phones, light switches, etc.: Of course this is a MUST if you have had sickness in your house. It is good to use a disinfectant. With children, these areas often get sticky and dirty. Cleaning door knobs is often a job you can delegate to little hands.
Silverware and cooking utensil drawers: Oh my, how often I see crumbs in this drawer. It’s good to empty everything out, vacuum the crumbs, and send all the contents and dividers through the dishwasher. This cleaning adventure often gets that one knife that still had peanut butter on it! A couple times a year is a good plan for this type of cleaning!
Shower heads and faucets: Although faucets should be wiped down daily, it becomes apparent that the screens need to be rinsed, when you notice you have lost some water pressure. I soak my shower heads in a Ziploc bag of vinegar and a little water. I attach the bag on the head with a rubber band and leave it there for several hours. After you remove the bag, take an old toothbrush and scrub the little holes on the head, using a toothpick in the holes, if necessary. For faucets, I just unscrew the lower part of the faucet (be careful you are alert so you don’t lose any parts!) and soak them in vinegar. Use a toothbrush and toothpick to finish the job.
Ceiling fans and lights: Ceiling fan paddles are known for their ability to capture dust bunnies and grease. I use my ceiling fans almost all year round, so I do try to clean them often. To thoroughly clean my kitchen ceiling fan, I use pure degreaser on the upper portion of the blades. It is necessary monthly. It seems like I can wash the blades of ceiling fans in other parts of the house with a warm, wet rag, and it is sufficient to clean the blades. Ceiling lights also require cleaning at least once a year. I gather them all at the same time and do one at a time in hot, soapy water in my sink, rinse well and lay on a thick bath towel to dry. While they are drying, I wash the metal attachment near the ceiling and make sure light bulbs are secure or changed, if needed. I am sure you could put the glass globe in the dishwasher, too. Pendant lights also need to be cleaned. I also vacuum/wipe down my lamp shades. I even have some lamp shades that I can fit in my sink and lightly spray with my attachment and clean with a soft brush. Let dry.
Under all your sinks and drawers in bathroom cabinets: These are places that “gather” stuff, and so I do this twice each year. Take everything out of the cabinet and drawers. Vacuum and wipe clean. Re-asses if there is a need for all the products you find. I like to wipe down all the cleaning products and the Rubbermaid container that I store them in. Doing this gives me an opportunity to reorganize. It is also good, about once each year, to go through all your other cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. You just may see things you have not used in the year, and really could get rid of.
Dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine: I have mentioned this before in another article. The insides of the dishwasher and washing machine need to be cleaned a couple times a year. The lint filter on the dryer needs to be cleaned before each load. All the gaskets and other parts of appliances need to be wiped clean with something that doesn’t have any smell. (The gaskets can absorb odors from strong chemicals.) Warm water and soda is a good combination. A Mr. Eraser works well. I like to do a quick cleaning of my fridge before I shop each week. I wipe up any spills, rearrange fruits and vegetables etc. In addition, the fridge requires a thorough cleaning twice yearly.
Furnace vents and cold-air returns: Every spring, I like to give all my register covers a thorough cleaning, using a hose and bucket of hot soapy water and stiff brush. I am amazed at the amount of dust these collect. Before I put the clean vents back in, I vacuum the duct as far as my vacuum wand will go. I also like to vacuum the cold air returns, followed with a wet wipe down.
Drains: Because I have thicker hair, we clean our drains often, but it is something that needs to be done at least 2-4 times/year. I have hair traps in the bathtub, and I always try to have my kitchen sink drain strainers upright so I don’t get hair or food items down there just because I am lazy. Even so, my drains need to be cleaned. We use a drain cleaning product that is “friendly” to pipes and follow with a very hot water rinse. This will save on plumbing issues.
Exterior doors: Take time to look at both sides of your exterior doors. We often don’t pay attention when we go in and out, but this is the first impression of your house. If you have small children and pets, I am guessing your doors need attention! Boot marks, dirty hand marks, winter dirt- the list goes on. A Mr. Clean Eraser does a great job on the white metal/vinyl on screen doors. If your outer door is paintable, spring is a great time to freshen up the color.
Windows and screens: Of course, this is mostly a job for anytime other than winter in North Dakota! In the summer, I generally wash my patio door screens weekly. I use a large wet rag and wipe horizontally first and then up and down the second pass, thoroughly rinsing the rags in between. Wait until you see your rags, filthy. Some of my screens I can remove, and either hose off outside, or put in the bathtub and scrub with a brush and rinse with the shower nozzle. Since we have our windows open a lot in the summer, I do this monthly. I’d like to wash my windows weekly also, but have to confess, it’s generally about 3 times each summer. Although I LOVE clean windows, the fact is that once it rains, they are no longer clean!
I am sure there are many other places in our houses that we might forget to clean, but, these are some very common areas that seem to be forgotten. I always remind myself that it is with JOY that I can do this. I have a house that needs cleaning. I am physically able to do it. Put some peppy music on and enjoy the adventure of Spring Cleaning ! “Count it all Joy…”