cleaning rags and gloves

Spring Cleaning Checklist: The Top 10 Places We Forget to Clean

March 18, 2011 | Apartment Lifestyle, Everyday Living

Following an arduous winter, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has finally predicted an early spring this year! With the official start of the season just around the corner, March 20 will be the day to break out of hibernation, pick up a broom, and begin your apartment’s seasonal transformation. This year, start the season right by removing those terrifying dust bunnies and stopping allergenic mold in its tracks. Since spring cleaning is deep cleaning, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 places that are commonly neglected during the weekly “dust/sweep/spray” routine.

Spring Cleaning Checklist:

  1. Under the Bed: Although we’ve somehow convinced ourselves to avoid cleaning under the bed at all costs, the unpleasant task is necessary to do on a regular basis. Believe it or not, bedroom debris collected throughout the months can build up and potentially lead to a blockage to your nasal passage while you are asleep. To ensure that your bedroom is free from unwanted debris, make a commitment to vacuum thoroughly under your bed as often as possible.
  2. The Refrigerator: First, remove all food from the fridge to determine what might be past its peak. Toss expired food and anything else that you don’t plan to eat but is taking up space. Before putting any food back into the fridge, use soap and a sponge or use disinfecting wipes to wipe down the shelves and drawers. Now is your opportunity to clean the dried-up spills that you’ve been pushing off for the past week (or months)!
  3. Curtains and Blinds: A thick layer of dust can easily build up on curtains and blinds throughout the winter months, so take the time to do a thorough dusting. Just because you can’t see the top of your curtains, doesn’t mean that it’s clean!
  4. Walls: Believe it or not, walls actually contain allergens! Although, the allergens might not be visible to the naked eye, it’s important to wash your wall to remove cooking stains, smoke from incense, dust webs and other debris that are hazardous to your health. To ensure that you don’t damage the paint, start by gently scrubbing a small section of the wall with a rag, hot water and an all-purpose cleaner.
  5. Underneath Appliances: When was the last time you lifted your toaster oven or blender to wipe down the counter? While it’s sometimes ok to wipe around appliances, crumbs and dirt can easily hide beneath your cleaning utensils. Plan to unplug everything at once to thoroughly clean your entire counter top. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt you remove!
  6. Doorknobs: While public doorknobs are a well-known host of bacteria and an easy way to catch a cold, few individuals take the same precautions with doorknobs in their own home. Combat germs at home by using antibacterial wipes on all of your doorknobs. Once they’re clean, make an effort to wipe them down every few weeks.
  7. Inside Your Oven: Besides cleaning up crumbs and spills, remove the aroma that still lingers in your oven by switching on the self-cleaning mode while you’re out of the house. If you’d prefer not to use your oven’s self-cleaner, consider washing it out yourself with diluted baking soda followed by lemon water for 30 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how clean your oven will look (and smell)!
  8. Dishwasher: Contrary to popular belief, your dishwasher doesn’t clean itself each time you wash a load of dishes. Instead, food particles get caught in-between the crevices, and can cause your dishwasher to smell. To prevent this, give your dishwasher a sponge bath or place a cup of vinegar in the dishwasher and run it on empty to sanitize and remove any remaining odors.
  9. Electronics: Wipe down your TV remote controls, telephone, computer keyboard, mouse, and any other handheld electronics with antibacterial wipes. These devices are used constantly by family members and friends, and can become easily contaminated with germs.
  10. Sponges, Toothbrushes and Towels: Sponges should be tossed after one month of use, since they hold a large amount of bacteria. If you’d like to clean your sponge before its four-week lifespan if up, kill bacteria by microwaving the sponge for 2 minutes on high. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every three months, since bacteria accumulated from the bathroom can actually harbor in the bristles. If you’ve been sick, replace your toothbrush with a new one as soon as you feel better. Bathroom and kitchen towels should be cleaned as often as possible because they have a tendency to lock in germs each time that they’re used.

Feeling extra ambitious? Try making your own natural cleaning products!

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