Spotless for spring: 8 areas to deep clean for a sparkling home
FARGO — Now that the snow has melted (again) and spring has begun to show its true colors, many homeowners in the area will begin to get that itch: the urge to spring clean.
After a long winter of tracking snow and ice indoors, Bobbie Goulet, supervisor at Cloud 9 Cleaning, says homeowners want to start cleaning, bringing in the freshness of a new season.
"Nobody wants to stay home and clean their house all the time during summertime," Goulet says. "If you get in there and thoroughly clean in the spring, when you're out and about in summer you really don't have to do much but just maintain it afterwards."
Here, Goulet provides 8 areas homeowners should deep clean for spring:
Throughout the year, it's easy for crumbs to fall between and behind appliances. Goulet says spring is the perfect time to pull out the fridge, stove and microwave to clean behind and inside those filthy appliances. For the oven, self-cleaning programs work well; if your oven doesn't have those capabilities, basic oven cleaner will do the trick. "A razor blade helps," Goulet says. "Pumice stone is another (tool) we use."
According to GoodHousekeeping.com, there's an easy way to clean the microwave. Place 1 cup water in a microwavable bowl with several tablespoons of vinegar and a chopped up lemon, lime or orange. Turn microwave on high for a few minutes until solution boils and steams. Let cool for 15 minutes, open door and wipe out microwave with sponge.
Wiping out cabinets is only necessary once a year; use that time to organize while you clean. Don't forget to clean the front as well as edges, especially on cupboards situated near the dishwasher, sink or garbage as they tend to attract food and debris build-up. Dust and grease also tend to build up above cabinets where some homeowners use the space to decorate.
3. Vanity lights
Vanity lights often go unnoticed. "If they are the bigger bulbs you'll notice when they're on, the bulb is heated so much that the dirt will not come off — it like bakes on that light bulb," Goulet says.
To clean bulbs, turn off the light and let cool before removing bulbs. Then, gently use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the film; if necessary, use water and let dry before replacing.
4. Entertainment stands
Entertainment stands typically have several compartments that make them a nuisance to clean, but there's no time like now. Make sure to wipe down the TV, speakers, DVD player, etc.
"I'm an avid believer that if you can pick it up to dust underneath it, do it," Goulet says. "Then when it gets dusty again, it's just collecting on the dust that's there on the surface."
The same rule goes for the home office; dust under and behind computers, printers, files, frames and other items that often go untouched.
After vacuuming around furniture during the year, spring provides a great excuse to move and vacuum (or sweep) underneath and behind furniture. Remove cushions and use a vacuum hose and upholstery brush attachment to remove hair, dirt, dust and food particles stuck on and under cushions.
6. Windows and window tracks
Clean your windows to make way for summer's beautiful views. "The first layer of the window — outside — we'll take a scrubbie, spray the window and scrub it from all the winter mud and muck that sits on them," Goulet says. She follows the deep clean with glass cleaner to achieve the final shine. (Tip: Use vertical strokes on inside of window and horizontal strokes on the outside so it's apparent which side of the window streaks originate.)
To clean window tracks, Goulet recommends using a dry toothbrush, followed by a vacuum to remove the debris.
7. Ceiling fans and corners
Over the course of a year, corners collect grime. Take a duster or washcloth and remove any cobwebs and dust; use the same tool to wipe ceiling fan blades. It's also a great time to change the rotation of ceiling fans. In the fall and winter, fans should rotate clockwise to pull cool air to the ceiling and push warmer air downward. In the spring and summer, the counter-clockwise rotation does the opposite — creating a wind chill effect to make a room feel cooler than it is.
8. Doors and baseboards
It's no secret that baseboards collect dust, especially behind furniture and doors. Use this time to hit other forgotten areas such as details in panel doors and the trim surrounding door frames (especially above) which have likely been collecting years of dust.
For homeowners who are overwhelmed by their list for spring cleaning, there are two ways to look at it: start now so you can enjoy summer or hire someone to do it for you. (Don't be afraid to turn the music up and have a little fun with it.) Let the cleaning begin!
Cleaning with a plan
Bobbie Goulet of Cloud 9 Cleaning recommends cleaning in a pattern. "You always want to work top to bottom," she says. "You definitely want to get your ceiling fan before you do any dusting or any other type of cleaning."
It's almost important to work left to right in a clockwise motion. "You want to 'sweep the room' is what I call it — end up with the floor last and out the door," she says. "If you're all over the place, certain areas are going to get missed."