7 Simple Tips To Tackle Neglected Housecleaning Tasks

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Spring is on its way (at least I thought so until this morning’s snowstorm buried the brand new crocuses). Prepare for the upcoming bright new season with a sparkling clean home. Here are simple tips to motivate you to get started cleaning seven often-neglected parts of your home.

  1. The back of your refrigerator. Actually, we really mean “the backs of your refrigerator.” The plural refers to both the exterior and interior of this appliance. To get a jumpstart on spring cleaning and the virtuous feeling it brings, first vacuum or brush the dust off your refrigerator coils. Then clean out the sticky spills (grab a spray bottle and spritz on natural dish soap diluted with hot water to get into nooks and crannies) and toss or compost the scary “biology experiments” hidden inside the fridge.

  2. Couch. Freshen up your couch, armchairs, and other upholstered furniture by removing dust and grime from cushions, frame, and all their crevices with the help of an old toothbrush or a vacuum cleaner. Follow up with a light scrubbing of the fabric surfaces using a homemade non-toxic natural cleaner. (Test on an inconspicuous spot before you get started.)

  3. HVAC filters. Your furnace works hard all winter. When you show your heating system a little love by cleaning or changing its filter, it will generously return the favor … by doing an even better job of keeping you warm and cozy. And if you neglected to clean your air conditioner’s filter last summer, take care of that now, too. You’ll be in great shape when the steamy weather season returns. Both jobs are fast and simple – just follow manufacturer’s instructions.

  4. Clothes dryer components. Your clothes dryer contains not one, but three, parts that should be cleaned regularly. Brush off your dryer lint screen after every single load you run, for optimal drying and energy efficiency. Every 2-4 months, disconnect your dryer from its power source and vacuum lint out of the back vent, as well. You’ll be not only improving drying performance but also removing a fire hazard. While you’ve got the dryer unplugged, wipe down the moisture sensors with a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

  5. Showerhead. Do you live in a region with hard water? If so, lime scale is likely to build up on your showerhead, often to the point where it blocks the holes and creates a homegrown “low-flow” shower effect, without the eco-friendly benefits. (Another reason to remove lime scale: tackling this cleaning task may decrease risk of legionnaire’s disease.) Surprisingly, getting rid of this gunky residue is one of the easiest cleaning tasks you can imagine. Cover the head with a vinegar-soaked rag (hold it in place with a rubber band) and leave it overnight. Peel it off the next morning and voila! Instant clean!

  6. Kettle or coffeemaker. Another place where lime scale loves to settle is inside your kettle or the pot that comes with your coffeemaker. Clean off this buildup and enjoy a cleaner cuppa by pouring in a 4:1 mix of water and white vinegar. After you let it soak for several hours, pour the mixture into your toilet bowl. Wipe and rinse the inside of your coffee pot or kettle.

  7. Sink drains. Keep your sink drains running clear and smelling sweet. (Start with an ounce of prevention – use a sink strainer to trap food particles and hair … and never pour cooking oil or other fat down the sink. Instead, if your community doesn’t have a grease recycling program, put it in the garbage in a well-closed container.) To clean a household drain, pour in ½ cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes before clearing the drain with boiling water.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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