With longer days and warmer temperatures comes the annual ritual of spring cleaning. In addition to stowing away snow shovels and winter gear, homeowners can tackle a few cleaning projects that will wash away the doldrums of winter and leave homes sparkling and refreshed. Take advantage of our house cleaning specialists directory for help!
Top spring cleaning jobs to tackle
Windows. Top of the list to freshen up your home is to clean your windows, including screens, removing months of dust and cooking residue on the inside and dirt and grime on the outside. Drapes should be laundered and blinds should be cleaned. A handy way to clean blinds is to place an old sock on your hand and then run your hand across the slats of the blinds.
Tip: Window cleaning may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Read our story on cleaning exterior windows. We included a video to show you how easy and safe it is!
Shower curtains. Showering every day doesn’t get your shower curtain clean. They too need a spring clean to remove any mould and soap scum. Both can go into the washing machine in some warm water with baking soda and laundry soap, and a few towers to balance the load. To maintain the liner between washings, apply a past of baking soda and water to an exfoliating glove and then scrub away the dirt. After showering, make sure to close the curtain, so that the liner can dry properly, thus preventing the build-up of mould and mildew.
Appliances. Spring is also the time to give appliances a good cleaning, pulling them out from the wall to access spills and dust build-up. After moving the fridge and stove, unplug the appliances before cleaning. If you can’t pull out your stove, most have a bottom drawer that can be removed, giving you access to the floor underneath.
Expert tip: “Before cleaning the back of your fridge, it’s important to vacuum the coils, which will improve the refrigerator’s performance,” says Amelea Mackie, franchise owner for Molly Maid in Mississauga South. “Then, use an all-purpose cleaning product to wipe down the back and sides of your appliances. Move them back into position and then clean the front.”
House phones. Remember those? If you haven’t abandoned them yet, then don’t forget to give them a wipe down every now and then. This should be done more regularly in winter to prevent the spreading of germs. First, unplug the handset cord and then wipe down the handset and cradle using rubbing alcohol, which will dissipate quickly and not pool. Cotton swabs are useful to get at heard to reach places and don’t forget to unwind and clean the coil itself.
The bed sheets. Year round, it’s recommended that bed sheets should be cleaned once a week or once every two weeks. Infrequent cleaning of bed linens increases the build-up of dust and dust mites, as well as the spread of bacteria. If pets are regular sleeping companions, then bedding should be cleaned more frequently.
Expert tip: “If you have a king size bed, it’s best to have a thin comforter, so it will fit in your washing machine,” Mackie says. “Also, people tend to neglect to wash their pillows. You can wash two at a time, with two towels to balance, on a delicate cycle, and then fluff them on a low setting. People get very attached to their pillows and they’re pricey, so you want to take care of them.”
About those cleaning myths…
Everyone has a neat trick for getting tricky stains out of certain things. Here’s an overview of what to do and what NOT to do.
- Use bleach as a disinfectant, not for cleaning.
- Lemons are an effective green alternative in removing water stains from glass and chrome in the kitchen and bathroom.
- For shedding pet hair, use a window squeegee to remove fur from carpets and furniture.
- Micro-fiber cloths are best for picking up microscopic dirt particles, without leaving any cloth fibers behind.
These tricks of the trade will reduce time and maximize your efforts in completing spring cleaning projects around the home.
Decluttering and organizing your home is a lot of work. Sometimes, we have to bring in the experts to get cleaned up. Consult our list of house cleaning specialists who can assist you with your spring cleaning project.
About the Author: Lisa Fattori is a Toronto Sun contributor.