16 April 2015

Down and Dirty Spring Cleaning Tips

Your grandmother does it, so does your mom, and chances are, you do it too. Spring cleaning is a time-honored, housekeeping tradition.

Seasonal house cleaning is beneficial for your family’s health and well-being. Trouble is, you probably don’t have time to turn the entire place inside out. Make your home sparkle with these simple spring cleaning techniques. Remember, you are not required to do them all in one day. Tackle a little at a time, as your schedule allows.

Floors
Begin by using a microfiber mop to pick up pet hair and dust. Follow by mopping with a wood, laminate or all-purpose cleaner, depending on your flooring type. Vacuum all carpeting and area rugs. Take extra time to vacuum high-traffic areas to remove embedded dirt and revive the pile. Don’t forget to clean behind and underneath furniture.

Treat stains on rugs and carpets with a spot cleaner. Make sure the product is safe for use on your particular carpet fiber. Always follow the manufacturer's application directions. Speed up the drying process by directing a hair dryer on wet spots. If you have an expensive natural fiber rug, call in the professionals to avoid ruining a precious heirloom.

Windows
Clean exterior window surfaces first. Knock down cobwebs and debris around frames and on screens with a broom. Buy a multi-surface outdoor cleanser that attaches directly to your garden hose. Spray down the outside surfaces then inspect windows from the inside. Remove smudges with glass cleaner or a vinegar and water solution. To minimize streaks, clean your windows on a cloudy day.

Upholstery and Bedding
Use the vacuum’s crevice tool to clean under furniture cushions. Use the brush attachment to remove dust and pet hair on and embedded in cushion fabric. Treat stains with a product formulated exclusively for use on upholstery. Do a test in an inconspicuous area to check for color-fastness. Steam cleaning upholstery is best left to the professionals.

Wash or dry clean all comforters, duvet covers, pillow shams, pillow protectors and mattress pads to help reduce allergens in the bedroom. Vacuum your mattresses and finish with a spritz of anti-allergen and odor eliminating spray. Replace stained and worn bed pillows.

Curtains
Many people overlook curtains at spring cleaning time. However, they harbor accumulate dirt, dust and odors quicker than upholstered items. Begin by removing surface dust with a lint brush or vacuum. Check the care tag before deep cleaning. Some curtains are machine washable. Curtains made from fine fabrics such as silk should be dry cleaned. If you are uncertain of the fabric content and proper cleaning method, consult with your dry cleaner or an upholstery and drapery cleaning service.

Ceilings and Blinds
Banish ceiling cobwebs using an electrostatic duster with a telescoping handle. Use a sturdy step ladder to reach high ceilings, lighting fixtures and ceiling fans. Electrostatic cleaning wands also make short work of dusty blinds and shutters. You can easily remove PVC blinds and wash them outside using a mild soap solution. Give your blinds a good rinse with the garden hose and hang them to dry thoroughly bringing them back in the house.

Household Clutter
Spring is also the perfect time to conquer clutter and purge your house of unnecessary items. Get the entire family involved and separate clothing, toys and things you no longer want. Donate the items to your favorite charitable organization.

To create and maintain a clutter-free environment, store toys, off-season clothing and seldom-used items in labeled plastic bins or baskets. Place the bins and baskets on ready-to-assemble shelving units in your closets, family room, basement, garage or attic.
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