By this time of year, many people feel winter has seemed endless. That makes it a great time to tackle spring cleaning. When the weather finally warms up, you can get outside and enjoy the sun.
For a thorough deep cleaning, focus on the dark corners and recesses of your home — the places that are easy to overlook all winter long. Here are some places to start.
Cleaning radiators is a dirty, dusty job, but it’s got to be done periodically to reign in all the gunk and dust that collects in and behind old-fashioned radiators.
The right tool is key to getting radiators clean. Check the hardware store for a radiator brush or “refrigerator coil brush,” which works just as well for cleaning in between radiators’ nooks and crannies.
Once you’ve inserted the brush into every crevice, make sure you vacuum or sweep up all the debris you’ve shaken lose. Also, vacuum the windowsills and baseboards around your radiators to — you wouldn’t believe how much dust and dirt flies out of them every spring.
This may seem obvious, but the first step to cleaning your ceiling fans is the most important: Turn it off.
Once the fan is off, carefully climb up on a ladder or step stool, and use a damp cloth — and even a little spray cleaner, if you like — to gently wipe down the top, sides and base of each fan blade. Make sure you’re particularly thorough when wiping down the underside of the fan blades so you don’t leave any dirty streaks that you’ll see once you get off the ladder.
You’ll probably be horrified to discover just how dirty the top of your ceiling fan is. Plan on needing more than one cloth to remove all the grit and dust.
Even if you dust your ceiling fan blades as part of your regular cleaning routine, it’s a good idea to deep clean like this at least once a year to get all of the dust and dirt that collects on top of the fan blades.
Exterior windows get just filthy during the winter. All the moisture of condensation allows dirt and dust to cling to both the inside and outside of the glass, and the snow, slush and grit outside coats your windows more than you’d ever expect.
You can use regular glass cleaner or an aerosol spray cleaner, which cleans more deeply, but the real key is wiping the windows which newspaper, which gets them squeaky clean without leaving streaks and fogging.
Using a large wadded-up piece of newspaper, make circular motions across the glass. Start in the top left corner, and work your way left to right, then top to bottom. Step back periodically to see if you’re leaving streaks or smudges, and make sure you tackle both sides of the window to allow every bit of sunshine into your home.
Kitchen cabinets and fridge
Remove the contents of all your kitchen drawers, cupboards, cabinets, as well as the refrigerator, and thoroughly clean all the surfaces. Using a tough spray cleaner, spritz everything down and wipe it out.
This step also gives you a chance to take inventory of your cupboards and drawers. If you have handfuls of takeaway chopsticks, ketchup packets and duplicate delivery menus accumulating in a drawer, throw them out. If three half-empty bags of walnuts are taking up space in your pantry, it’s time to consolidate. And you can say goodbye to that open jar of artichokes that’s been in your refrigerator since 2004. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to purge all the excess baggage you’ve overlooked all winter.
Dishes, silverware and glasses
Since you’ve already taken all your dishes, glasses and silverware out of your drawers and cupboards, this is the perfect opportunity to deep clean everything before you put it back in place. Fill your sink with hot soapy water, then rotate everything through for a 10 minute soak.
Once everything has soaked thoroughly, you can run it through the dishwasher, or hand-wash it thoroughly with dish soap and water before returning it to the now-clean cupboards and drawers.
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