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20 Spring Cleaning Tips
By Dawn Sagario Pauls
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When dusting, start from the top and work your way down.

It’s time to start fresh.

Warmer weather is finally here, which means annual spring cleaning. This can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task. We’ve compiled 20 tips and tricks to help streamline the process and included important reminders of things not to miss.

  1. Work from top to bottom
    When cleaning, start at the top of the room, working your way down so all of the dust and debris gets picked up with a thorough cleaning of the floor.

  2. Ceiling fans
    Get rid of the dust and grime on ceiling fan blades with this easy trick. Take an old pillowcase, slipping it over one of the blades. Press from the top and bottom, moving your hands slowly along the blade until the case slides off. Repeat with the remaining blades. Toss the pillowcase into the wash.

  3. Ceilings and walls
    Use a microfiber mop on an extension pole to wipe off ceilings first, making sure to nab all those cobwebs out of the corners. Then wipe down the walls. Don’t forget to dust the baseboards, too.

  4. Dusting
    Instead of using paper towels, use the microfiber cloths, which do a good job of holding onto dust. In addition to using them for dusting, you can also designate different-color cloths for different cleaning tasks. Throw them in the wash when you’re done.

    Replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

  6. BOOKS
    Take all your books off the shelves. Make a donation pile for the ones you no longer want. Dust the ones you’re keeping. Clean the shelves before placing the books back up.

    Pull out all the food. Check the labels and throw away items that are expired or inedible. Put shelf-stable foods you know won’t be eaten into a bag for donation. Use the vacuum to clean up crumbs and dust from the shelves, then wipe them down. Try a mixture of vinegar and water to clean off sticky film on the exterior. For tougher stains, create a paste of baking soda and water, rub, and rinse. Make sure to test a small area first to avoid damaging cabinets.

    Now that the weather’s warming up, it’s time to swap the heavyweight curtains for more lightweight ones. Make sure to properly launder the curtains first before storing. The same goes for winter bedding and linens.

    Check expiration dates. Get rid of everything that’s expired.

    Place a mixture of about ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup water in a bowl. Microwave for several minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Let sit for a few minutes. The steam will loosen the caked-on food, making it easy to wipe off.

    Launder your fall and winter clothes and place them in storage, making room for your spring and summer wardrobe. Weed out the things you no longer wear, don’t fit, or aren’t in style and put them in a pile to be donated. Put aside items that need to be mended.

  12. VENTS
    Vacuum the outside of your vents. Remove the vent covers and vacuum inside the ducts as far as you can reach. Wash vent covers with soap and water, using a soft brush to thoroughly clean between the slats.

    You may not think about it, but pillows need cleaning, too. Over time they can become home to sweat, dust, and grime. Some can be thrown right in the washing machine. Check the label first to make sure. An extra spin cycle can help remove excess water before placing them in the dryer. Turn them often to ensure they dry thoroughly. Foam pillows should not be put in the washing machine. Instead, vacuum them to remove dust and, if needed, spot clean.

    Avoid direct sunlight when washing your windows. This will prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly. Try to wash them when they’re in the shade or on a cloudy day. Get the job done quicker by making it a tag-team effort: Have one person tackle the exterior while the other cleans the inside.

    Now’s the time to get behind and underneath all the furniture and thoroughly vacuum. Remove the cushions and vacuum them with the upholstery attachment. Use the crevice tool to get into the nooks and crannies of furniture. Make sure to read the furniture manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for the piece before using any cleaning products.

    Rather than wrangling with the vacuum to clean your lampshades, try a lint roller. Gently roll it up and down the exterior to keep it clean and dust-free.

    Attack the mold on your shower curtain liner by throwing it in the washing machine. Use hot water and a mild detergent. Hang to dry.

  18. GROUT
    Clean grimy grout using a bleach pen. For tougher stains, try scrubbing with a toothbrush. Touch up any cracked grout.

    Get the gunk off without using any elbow grease. Simply fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it onto the showerhead with a rubber band. Make sure the shower head is submerged in the liquid. Let soak overnight, then rinse.

    Freshening up your smelly garbage disposal is simple and quick. Take citrus rinds and break them into smaller pieces. Drop them into the disposal along with some ice and grind.


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