Q97 Snapshot: Spring Cleaning
By Patrick John
My wife sees it. My co-workers do, too. I think it’s getting worse as I get older. It’s the OCD cleaning, and it really reared up last month. We sold our rental home, which meant a TON of intense cleaning before the listing date. I walked through the house and made a list—a long list—of things to clean. It’s not that our tenant didn’t clean; she was very thorough. It was all those little things we just don’t see regularly and/or forget about.
I’m not sure about you, but once I start on a cleaning binge, everyone else had better step aside and watch the master at work. I know it’s not a particularly fun or glamorous topic, but it still needs to be done. Spring cleaning is just around the bend, so I thought I would share some of the most overlooked or forgotten items to clean. Most are from experience; others have been gleaned from the Internet.
Kitchen: Pull out the refrigerator and stove and clean underneath. The top of the refrigerator needs a wipe down. Clean that greasy filter above the stove by throwing it and the burner grates into the dishwasher. Time to replace the water filter in the fridge, too. If the dishwasher seems a little musty or has buildup, make sure the trap in the bottom is clean. You can even buy products (like Dishwasher Magic) that clean, disinfect and polish the inside of the dishwasher with just one wash.
Bedroom: It’s time to really vacuum under the bed. I found a long-lost pair of shoes and several orphaned socks under there. Push that vacuum right into the closet… that’s a truly forgotten zone. Also, we all launder pillowcases, but many people never clean their actual pillows. Chuck them in the washer with a little bleach, and dry on low.
Bathroom: The ceiling vent/fan needs attention now and then. Behind the toilet is an area that rarely sees cleaning. One more nasty place is the bottom of the toothbrush holder. Take a peek at that — sometimes it’s easier to just get a new one!
General: Ceiling fan blades should be kept dust-free, especially if someone in the house has allergies. Make sure you change out the air conditioning filter every three to six months. If you see dirty vents around the house, your filter is more than ready to be replaced. Make sure the outside area around your A/C unit is tidy, too. You can hose down the unit to remove dust, dirt and plant matter that may disrupt air flow. Blinds and shutters also need attention. Cleaning window tracks helps everything glide smoothly — just run a toothbrush through the tracks to loosen dirt, then suck it up with the vacuum.
Finally, we often think about specific dirty items in hotels, but when was the last time you cleaned your home and cell phones, remote controls, or art and pictures on the wall?
Those are just a few overlooked items, and I’m sure you’ll find more when the urge to clean arises. Gotta go… I just realized I missed a spot on the backsplash. Happy spring cleaning!