Design Dilemma: Spring Cleaning Guide — Four Areas Not to Miss!
Spring has arrived, and with it, the necessity to spruce up our pads. And the most important part of it all is cleaning up all the junk and gunk that has accumulated over the long, dark winter months. Here are a few suggestions of what you definitely should not leave out as you tackle your Spring Cleaning Projects.
1.Wash those window screens!
Dirt, dust and pollution get into all the little crevices of your screens, making it difficult to see out, and difficult to get fresh air in. You need to take care of the problem by making sure that window screens are clean for the season when you are ready to throw open the windows for light and air. Professionals recommend that window screens be cleaned twice a year, once right before the holidays and once during spring cleaning. How do you go about cleaning screens?
- Vacuum them by using a soft brush attachment on the handheld nozzle.
- Gently scrub them with a dishwashing detergent using a soft sponge or very light bristle brush and water. Experts suggest the blue-colored Dawn dishwashing detergent.
- Rinse the screens with a hose, then wipe them down on both sides with wet mopping pads, such as those sold by Swiffer. Set the screens in the sun to dry.
- Be sure you go over the screen very lightly with the sponge, or you risk pulling them out of shape.
2. Get those rugs cleaned!
Rugs are one important part of our home that rarely get a full cleaning. Now’s the time to do it. Take large area rugs and removable pillow covers to be professionally cleaned. If you’ve got wall-to-wall carpeting, you should either have it professionally cleaned or rent a carpet cleaner to do it yourself. Drapery and upholstery that cannot be cleaned by another method can usually be safely steam cleaned using a real steam cleaner designed to be safe for textiles — not a carpet shampooer or hard-flooring steam cleaner. (Be sure to always do a spot test first.) Many smaller items can be laundered at home, including shower curtains, cotton rugs and washable slip covers. Experts say to put slip covers back on while slightly damp for a better fit.
3. Clean those patio cushions!
With Spring in the air, and in preparation for summer, you’ll certainly want clean patio furniture for lounging in the sun.
Begin by vacuuming the cushions to remove dust, dirt and debris. If you need to remove a spot, blot, don’t rub, liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth. Spray on a mild cleaning solution like Woolite and rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove soap residue. Allow the cushions to air dry. Clean the entire cushion to avoid water rings or stains caused by the cleaning. If your cushions are really moldy or filled with mildew, you may need to use bleach. Use caution. Although most solution-dyed acrylics and colored fabrics can be treated with diluted bleach, you should check with the manufacturer first.
4. Deep Clean Your Kitchen!
We’re not talking your regular clean-up job after dinner every night. We’re talking about intensive cleaning in which you clean out drawers and cabinets.
- Clean out your pots and pans. Scrub cast iron with a soft sponge and coarse salt, then rinse away the salt. Remove stains from stainless steel with a soft cloth and white vinegar, then dry with a clean cloth. Never soak stainless steel pots and pans because the surfaces will become pitted.
- Empty cupboards and drawers, then wipe them down inside to remove crumbs and dust. Put down new contact paper at the bottom, if needed. Use this as an opportunity to purge your kitchens of redundant and unnecessary gadgets and cooking implements.
- Clean the exterior of your cabinets and drawers. Wipe off grease marks and spatter and messy fingerprints.
- Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Throw out expired and old items, and use a wet, soapy cloth to clean the shelves and bins. Don’t forget to do the freezer!
- Wipe down baseboards, walls and the top of the refrigerator.
- Clean out the pantry. Remove old, expired food items.
- Clean inside your microwave.
- Sweep and mop the floors, including under appliances.
- Get your knives sharpened.
- Wash the inside of your garbage can where stains and food residue tend to collect. Use a diluted bleach solution and allow garbage pails to dry in the sun.
- Clean garbage disposals. Run a lemon or a cup of white vinegar through your garbage disposal to get rid of a bad smells.
Spring cleaning will likely involve a lot more than just these four areas. You will want to declutter and clear out closets, reorganize drawers and tackle your bathroom. But those areas are more obvious than the four described above. Add them to your Spring cleaning routine and your home will feel renewed and refreshed!