Who decided we should wait for spring to do a massive cleaning? The start of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate the state of your home and roll your sleeves up for some deep cleaning. To help get you started, we’ve pulled together a list of 10 common areas around the house that may benefit from a refresh. Whether you take all these tasks on in one weekend or decide tackle them one at a time, your house will definitely be neater and cleaner, and you will feel infinitely better.
To clean dirty windows without worrying about any abrasive ingredients, apply some mayonnaise to sticky spots left by window stickers and scrape off with a plastic spatula; avoid using a sharp blade because it may scratch your glass. Spray glass and surface cleaner on the pane, ledge and handles and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Swipe in a Z movement as you wipe away any residue. If it isn’t too cold out, clean the outside of the windows as well.
2. Vent covers
Cleaning your vent covers is a relatively effortless way to improve indoor air quality. Get rid of dust bunnies and allergens by unscrewing covers and soaking them in a sink filled with hot water and a little dish soap. Wipe them down carefully with a microfiber cloth before replacing them over the vent.
Because baking soda counteracts odor-causing acids to eradicate any unpleasant smells, it’s perfect for deodorizing mattresses. Strip the bed and sprinkle the mattress with baking soda. If you want to incorporate a scent, you can mix one cup of baking soda and two or three drops of an essential oil before applying to the mattress. Allow the baking soda soak in for an hour and then clean it up with your vacuum’s upholstery tool.
While your mattress is airing out, you should wash bedding on the delicate cycle with cold water and a natural detergent. Run it through one additional rinse cycle to remove any lingering detergent. For larger comforters, you may want to take a trip to the laundromat for access to more accommodating machines. When you are ready to dry, add a few tennis balls to your dryer and pick a low setting to fluff everything back up.
5. Washing machine
To remove mineral deposits and buildup, add two cups of vinegar to the machine drum and one cup of baking soda to the washer’s laundry detergent dispenser. Start the washer on the longest cold-water cycle. After the cycle runs, use a washcloth and all-purpose cleaner to clean the rubber gasket around the door or the lid and rim of the tub, depending on the type of machine you own.
Unfortunately, carpets easily collect all sorts of dirt and allergens. Thankfully, no special cleaners are required to refresh it. Just sprinkle a little baking soda over the entire carpet and let it sit for at least an hour, but leave it on even longer if you have the time. Vacuum up the baking soda and repeat the process if any odors remain.
Did you know you can make a powerful oven cleaner by mixing half a cup of baking soda with one tablespoon each of water and dish soap? It will form a paste you can rub into any grime or food residue on the walls and the bottom of your oven. Let the paste sit for five minutes and then wipe it up with a wet cloth. You can create a makeshift tool to get to hard-to-reach areas by wrapping your cloth or a sponge around a mixing spoon or spatula and securing it with a rubber band.
Do a sweep through the contents of your refrigerator, and throw away anything that’s expired or inedible. Wipe down the shelves and door with a microfiber cloth and an all-purpose cleaner. Next, pull the fridge out from against the wall, making sure to unplug it, and clean the coils with a brush or duster. If there is a removable grille on the front of the fridge, unscrew it to get to the coils behind it.
You can actually use dish soap as a degreaser for many areas in your kitchen, such as your cabinets. Clean up messy fingerprints and oil, and don’t forget to wipe down the edges and corners inside the doors.
Certain parts of your bathroom might require extended attention, but a deep clean shouldn’t result in hours breathing in harsh chemicals. Instead, use a tub and tile cleaner with essential oils and botanical ingredients to soak your shower tiles and grout. Scrub any buildup with a brush, but make sure to let the cleaner sit for a minute before rinsing it off.
After the cleaning is all done, take a deep breath, appreciate your newly sparkling surroundings and relax and unwind by diffusing some calming essential oils.