Feb. 11, 2021
9 Spring Cleaning Tasks That Homeowners Tend to Overlook
No matter how hard you try, it’s easy to overlook some spots when you spring clean — because you’re blind to what you see and use every day in your own home.
So before you say you’re done with your spring cleaning, check to see if you missed any of these tasks:
#1 Clean and Inspect Your Vacuum
A clogged and dirty vacuum can undo any cleaning you’ve done the minute you switch it on. Blame it on that stinky odor that only vacuums seem to emit.
Best to clean it first:
Change the bag and wipe down the bag’s holder or empty and thoroughly wash the bagless container with a soapy damp rag.
Wipe down the entire vacuum.
Pull debris from the vacuum’s brushes and wipe out the underside as much as you can.
Change the filter.
Inspect the hose for holes.
This goes for your wet/dry vacuum, and handheld one, too, if you have them.
#2 Clean the Undersides of Surfaces
The bottoms and underside edges of dining tables, kitchen countertops, and high-chair trays can get pretty sticky.
While you’re at it, if your table has leaves, wipe down those alarmingly icky cracks, too. Don’t question what the mystery gunk is: Just clean it and forget it.
#3 Dispose of Dried-Out Paints, Adhesives, Etc.
Check with your city or county for a spring toxic waste disposal event and plan to do your spring cleaning before that day. That way, you can responsibly get rid of all those dried-out cans of adhesives, varnishes, paints, and finishes clogging up your storage space and your DIY workspace.
#4 Pitch Outdated Pantry Staples Basics like flour, vinegar, and sauces that are past their expiration date lose flavor, and anything containing oil, like nuts, can go rancid.
To bring a bigger bang to your recipes, also replace any dried spices that have been open longer than a year. Going forward, you can buy smaller portions where bulk spices are sold, so you always have a fresh supply.
#5 Clean the Crevices in Kitchen Appliances
Even if you wipe your appliances daily, gunk and crumbs can hide in nooks and crannies — like behind the knobs and under the grill on the range, and cracks around your dishwasher buttons.
You shouldn’t need more than some baking soda and soapy water — along with an old toothbrush to reach into crevices — to banish the eww factor.
#6 Give Houseplants a Shower (and Clean the Spots Where They Live)
Take all your plants outside for a nice cleansing shower on a drizzly day. Then inside, tackle the spots where they live: the floor, shelf, countertop. Clean the walls and baseboards, too. And check for water damage. A cracked pot or chronic overwatering can allow moisture and dirt to leach out.
#7 Sanitize Trash Cans
It’s inevitable that sometimes icky stuff leaks out and crumbs make their way around the bag. But in the rush to get the new bag in there, cleaning it up often gets forgotten. And the can’s lid: Have you looked at it, really looked at it lately? Yuck.
Sanitize with a mixture of soap and bleach (don’t forget to wear gloves!) and, if your can is stowed in a cabinet, use a vacuum attachment to suck up dust and crumbs inside the cabinet box. And wash the cabinet, too. There’s almost always yucky stuff there.
#8 Disinfect Door Knobs and Light Switches
In our quest to clean the deepest crevices of our homes, many of us forget the stuff right under our fingertips all day long. Literally.
Light switches, door knobs, cabinet handles, and remotes are some of the germiest places in your house. You almost can’t clean them enough.
#9 Wash Grocery Totes
And speaking of yuck, when is the last time you cleaned your reusable grocery bags? Studies have found bacteria easily move from your bags to your fridge, countertops, etc. — increasing the chances of food poisoning and cross-contamination.
Throw them in the washer or wash them by hand with hot, soapy water.