With spring upon us, we look around at our winter laden houses and see everything that we didn’t do over the winter. Some of it we didn’t want to do without the windows open and other things we just let go with the lengthy, cold winter months. Whatever our reasons for not quite getting to all of the nitpicky places in our houses, the fact still stands that there are places that haven’t been touched in months (for some of use, years!). Here is a list of the top five places people forget to clean, but make all the difference in keeping the dust down and making your house look in top shape.
1. Fresh air return vents — many people vacuum out and dust their heat registers, but often times those vents on the bottom of the walls get forgotten. The fresh air return vents take air from inside your house and send it to the furnace. The more dust you have in those, the more dust that will get into your furnace making it less efficient. The best way to clean those is to grab a screwdriver, take the vent off and vacuum it out. Give the vent itself a wipe with a damp cloth or dusting rag as well. (Don’t forget to change your furnace filter every six months as well to help keep dust down and keep your furnace working in top shape as well).
2. Curtains — This includes curtains in your bedroom and living areas as well as your shower curtain. The curtains in your house are hanging in all the areas that collect dust, food smells and air born particles. Taking them down and washing them will reduce dust, brighten up the room (dust tends to dull the colour of curtains) and freshen the room as well (as an added bonus, if you use an in-wash scent booster such as Downey or Febreze, your rooms will smell fresh for weeks). As for your shower curtain, the soap scum and build up from your water can make your whole bathroom look and smell dingy. For fabric shower curtains, just wash the same as you would your other curtains, but hang to dry, for plastic shower curtains, your best bet is to replace it every 6–12 months depending on use, as well as build up. (Don’t forget to wipe the top of the shower rod where dust and grime can be hiding.)
3. Windows, window sills and window trim — Widows tend to be a dreaded job for most of us. I find I can never quite get all the streaks off the windows, which drives me crazy! A tip that someone gave me quite a few years back, though, helps with streaks: use newspaper to wipe the window cleaner off the window instead of paper towel. Works like a dream! Far fewer streaks and no little dust particles that the paper towel often leaves every where. Don’t forget to wipe the window sills and the trim around the window. You’ll be surprised at how much build up there often is, even in areas you think are pretty clean.
4. Top of and under appliances — The age-old adage “out of sight, out of mind” applies to all that we clean in our house as well. Often, we forget that the tops of our appliances need a good cleaning too. I find the top of my fridge to be particularly dirty and that has to do with all of the cooking and bits of food particles that end up every where. Pulling your appliance out and cleaning underneath them is a good idea and you never know what you’ll find under there. Also, don’t forget to vacuum out the coils on your fridge to keep it working efficiently and extend its life.
5. Under and in the couch — The couch sees a lot of traffic throughout the year and with everything from pets and kids to messy friends and late night movies, the cushions (and under them) need a cleaning more often than we’d like to admit. If you can, pull all of the cushions off and give it a good vacuum. Don’t forget to do between the arms and back and the springs in the bottom where the cushions go. If you don’t move or pull your couches out on a regular basis, cleaning underneath where they sit is a great idea as well.