Spring-cleaning season is here, and hunkering down at home in light of “Stay home, stay safe” directives provides plenty of opportunity for a thorough, top-to-bottom sweep. As you set out to tackle those nooks and crannies, here are some often-overlooked spots to target.
Clear the closets
If you’re not sure where to start, begin in those bedroom, hallway and coat closets. Sort last season’s clothes, bagging for donation the pieces you no longer wear, and moving the rest onto higher, out-of-the-way shelves for storage until next winter. Move spring- and summer-wear into the spotlight. Clean coats before storing away: Check the label to see which of them can be machine-washed. Use a small brush and a little soapy water to scrub mud, snow and rock salt stains off winter boots before storing away. Finally, don’t forget to wipe down and vacuum closet floors.
Clean windows, inside and out
Spring is a good time to wipe away winter’s grime from windows and windowsills. An easy and inexpensive way to clean glass is by mixing one part water to one part distilled vinegar in a spray bottle; for tough spots, you can use a cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar. Use a microfiber cloth to dust windowsills, and don’t forget the base between the window and the screen.
Wipe down baseboards
While we may vacuum and mop on a regular basis, we often neglect baseboards, which can accumulate a fine layer of dust over time. The easiest ways to wipe them down are with a microfiber cloth; skimming a vacuum-cleaner hose attachment along the edges will also do the trip. For those inevitable scuff marks, swipe a melamine foam sponge (commonly called Magic Eraser).
Freshen couches and rugs
Deep cleaning fabric couches and rugs can be easy, economical and chemical-free. Liberally sprinkle baking soda (you can mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you’d like) directly onto the entire area and let sit, preferably overnight. Vacuum as you normally would.
Awaken the bedroom
Dust loves to collect around heavy furniture, including beds and dressers. Spring is a great time to tackle the dust bunnies: Vacuum under and behind furniture, and wipe floor corners with a microfiber cloth. Remove duvet covers, as well as decorative and throw pillow covers, and toss in the washing machine.
Scrub decks and patio/lawn furniture
Bring lawn pieces back to life and manage mildew on wooden decks and furniture safely and effectively using ingredients you probably have in your home right now. For resin lawn furniture, use a wet sponge coated in baking soda to gently scrub away grime. Mild detergent mixed with half a cup of bleach and a gallon of water will help to clean dingy-looking plastic-mesh lawn furniture. You can remove mildew from wood decks and patio furniture by wiping them with a solution of 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda in a gallon of water. The vinegar will help to prevent future mildew growth, but you can also keep some full-strength on hand in a spray bottle for spot cleaning wherever you see mildew emerge.
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