Spring Cleaning Checklist

Make your home healthier and more efficient by checking off these tasks on our annual spring cleaning checklist.

| March/April 2014

  • Clear clutter from your home with our helpful tips.
    Photo by iStock
  • Spring Cleaning Checklist
    Improve your indoor air quality by doing a top-to-bottom dusting in each room, starting with ceiling fan blades and crown moldings and working your way down to baseboards.
    Photo by Veer
  • Spring cleaning is a great way to make your home healthier and more efficient.
    Photo by Corbis/Hero

  • Spring Cleaning Checklist

Out with the old, in with the new: That’s how nature sees spring, and so should we—especially when it comes to our homes. Renew your home for the coming spring and summer by shaking out the dust and clearing out unwanted items. A deep clean that goes above and beyond our normal routines can help bring in more light, improve air quality and organize our homes. Here’s a rundown of the best spring cleaning tasks to tackle now.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Deep clean kitchen appliances: Although our appliances get used every day, they usually only get a cursory wipe-down. To keep them in good working order, deep clean each one. First, run cleaning cycles (per manufacturers’ directions) on the clothes washer, dishwasher and oven. Then clean the exterior including all seals and handles. Clean out the dryer’s vents and remove lint to improve efficiency and safety. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer; unplug them, then store good items in a cooler. Discard any old or unwanted items and recycle the empty containers. Next, wash the fridge and freezer interior from top to bottom (including seals) and pull the unit away from the wall to vacuum the coils and clean out the dust bunnies from underneath.

Wash windows & doors: Washing windows is never a fun chore, but clean windows not only improve our view, they also increase the amount of daylight inside our homes. Start inside by removing dust and cobwebs with a soft brush and then wash windows with a mild solution of white vinegar and water. To get streak-free windows, use a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to open the windows and clean the interior track. Afterward, head outside and first brush away the dirt, then wash the windows with a rag and a bucket of warm, soapy water. Finish off with your water and vinegar solution applied with the microfiber cloth, just like inside. Give your doors some love too by scrubbing them inside and out, wiping the handles and cleaning the seals.

Clean window treatments: Although our curtains and blinds see just as much dirt and dust as the rest of our homes, they rarely get cleaned. Launder fabric curtains based on what is best for that type of cloth. Be especially mindful about drying according to fabric type so you don’t shrink them lengthwise. Next, take down blinds, wash them with mild soapy warm water and let dry before re-hanging. While the curtains are down, be sure to dust any spots that aren’t normally visible.

Clean rugs and carpets: Rugs and carpets trap a lot of dirt and dust, and normal vacuuming only cleans them on the surface. Smaller rugs can be thrown in the washing machine and then air-dried. For larger rugs and carpet, the greenest way to clean them is using steam. Rent a steam cleaner, move furniture out of the room and follow the machine’s instructions. To keep unwanted chemicals out of your house, skip the steam cleaner’s branded detergent and use water and vinegar (1 cup vinegar to 2 1/2 gallons water). You can also add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture for a fresh scent. If you have time, steam the carpets a second time. Let carpets dry thoroughly before moving furniture back in.

Launder bedding: Although most of us wash our sheets regularly, we might forget about the rest of our bedding. Most pillows, down or synthetic, can be washed in the washing machine using hot water. Afterward, throw them in the dryer with a tennis ball and run on low heat to get rid of moisture and fluff them up. Then guard pillows with washable protectors that can be cleaned regularly. Wash duvets, comforters, blankets and mattress covers per label instructions and then vacuum your mattress thoroughly and rotate (or flip) to even it out.

4/8/2014 12:09:33 PM

I love spring cleaning, but also like to make quick work of it. Then I am free to enjoy the warmer weather and be outdoors in my garden.

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