Don’t miss these commonly overlooked areas when Spring cleaning your home!
Cleaning. Most people either love it or hate it. I can waiver between the two depending on my mood-ha! But for the most part, I don’t mind it. Especially if I’m home by myself and not having to motivate my kids to help me clean. I’ll light a candle, turn up the music, and get to work!
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In our family, we try to do spring cleaning and fall cleaning. Mostly it’s just the usual things you do when deep-cleaning: wipe down cabinets and walls, disinfect surfaces, dust everything, clean out closets and get rid of old clothes, etc.
But I’ve put together a list of things that we’ve added over the years that may not be things you think about when taking care of your home. I know I didn’t always! So I’m sharing that list with you today in case it can be helpful for you as you deep clean your home!
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1. Vents and ductwork
The first house we bought was built in 1918. I was pregnant with our oldest and we were getting everything ready to bring him home. I received a flyer in the mail about getting our vents and ductwork cleaned.
Being a new homeowner I had never thought about having this done, but as I looked into it more I discovered that all kinds of things can take up residence in our ducts.
Over time, mold and bacteria, pet dander and fur, dust build-up and even construction debris from when your house was built/renovated, etc. goes through your vent and into the ductwork. If it’s not cleaned out, you breathe that in every time your furnace or air conditioner runs.
Even after doing the research we didn’t have it done right away because it can be pricey. But after our son was born and spent his first winter sick from RSV and other upper respiratory infections that required regular breathing treatments we decided to get it done.
When the company came out they said our vents had likely never been cleaned out and they found tons and tons (90 years worth!) of dust and debris. Yuck.
So now we get our vents cleaned out! We just moved into our new home in May and it was one of the first things we had done. Again, lots of dust and debris and dead insects. This time I found a Groupon for a local company which made it much more affordable, plus they cleaned our dryer vent for free.
I know I overlooked this one for years. Anyone else? In order for your dishwasher to perform at it’s best, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
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Dishwashers have filters and a lot of times food particles get trapped in there and need to be cleaned out. You can also disinfect your dishwasher to get rid of any grime and residue and ensure your dishes are truly clean.
About once a month, inspect and clean out your dishwasher’s filter. Then fill a cup with vinegar and place it upright in the top rack. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom and run it on the short cycle on hot.
3. Ceiling fans
If you’re as bad as I am about this, it only gets done about twice a year even though they need dusting at least once a month. I usually forget about it until I see the dust caked on there and it’s starting to fly off when the fan is turned on (gross, I know)!
Give your fan a good dusting (if you’re into essential oils, check out this homemade lemon-scented dusting spray recipe) and while you’re up there, make sure the blades are on the right setting.
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For most brands you want your fan to turn counter-clockwise for summer and clockwise for winter. On the summer setting, it pushes the cold air down, making you feel cooler. On the winter setting the blades create an updraft, which pushes the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling back down into the room to keep you warmer (Source: Rosie on the House).
4. Tree roots in the sewer line
This one won’t apply to everyone and it’s more on the maintenance side of things, but it’s happened to us at twice now, so I thought it was worth mentioning if your property has a lot of trees close to the house.
When we were in our first home, I was doing dishes one day and the water wasn’t draining. When my hubby went to check it out further he discovered that sewage had backed up into the basement.
We had the plumber out and he said tree roots had grown into our pipes and were blocking the flow. He’d been to our house multiple times before with the previous owners and had told them the pipes were old clay pipes and needed to be completely replaced. So, $2,500 and a torn-up driveway later, we had new sewage pipes. Thanks, previous owners (cue eye roll).
A few months after we moved into our new home, our plumbing started backing up again. This time my hubby rented an auger and tried cleaning it out himself. He got it stuck because – you guessed it. Tree roots. Long story short, it doesn’t look like the pipes will have to be replaced this time (thank the Lord)!
Our plumber said that the roots can still get into your pipes through the joints and if they aren’t cleaned out on a regular basis they take over. What this means for us now is that in order to keep the plumbing from backing up we have to pour a substance down the pipes that kills the roots and then have the pipes cleaned out once a year.
5. Washing machine
Washing machines start getting pretty nasty after several uses and need to be cleaned on a regular basis. I started using Tide Washing Machine Cleaner to clean the inside a few years ago and it works great! It’s recommended that you use it once a month.
I use Real Simple Clean Washing Machine Cleaner and Deodorizer after each wash to keep the smell away. You just spray it and leave it.
It also helps if you keep the door to the washer open in between washings to help keep mold and mildew at bay.
Every once in a while though, you really need to deep-clean your washer to completely get rid of all of the mold, mildew, and residue. For instructions on how to deep-clean your front or top loader check out this how-to from the blog Somewhat Simple.
If you have a Keurig you’ve probably seen that after a while, residue and build up can slow down your machine. It’s recommended to clean it every 2-3 months depending on how often you use it.
Recently ours started making a weird noise and then stopped working altogether. I thought it was broken but my hubby opened it up and it was just clogged and needed cleaning out.
We usually run a mix of vinegar and water through it every couple of months, but sometimes it needs a good deep-cleaning. Check out this great article from the blog House Wife How-Tos for step-by-step instructions and helpful tips!
Cold and flu season is just around the corner (boo!) which means it’s really important to sanitize commonly touched surfaces. It’s easy to remember countertops, faucet handles, and doorknobs.
But some more maybe less thought of surfaces include: car door handles, stair railings and banisters, appliance handles (including washer and dryer, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, etc.), light and lamp switches and dresser drawer handles.
If you are into essential oils then you probably have a few of these around the house! They also need to be cleaned to remove residue and build-up so that they continue to work properly! I just did mine for the first time (it was WAY overdue!) using these steps from the blog The Prairie Homestead and it worked great!
Whew! This was a lengthy post, so thanks so much for stopping by today to check it out! I hope you were able to find something helpful for the next time you are giving your home a good scrub down!
Do you have any commonly missed things to add to the list or any helpful cleaning tips and tricks? Please feel free to share in the comments!