Freshen Up Your Home with These Spring Cleaning Tips

By Audrey Cielinski Kessler, Special to the Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com

You know it’s almost here, and it can’t come soon enough. Spring! It sounds inviting. But along with the April showers and Mayflowers in the months ahead comes the perennial task you would love to skip if you could—spring-cleaning! But you know it needs to be done. So slip on some rubber gloves, grab your cleaners and cleaning tools, and get started with these tips from HGTV, Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart for tackling some of the bigger jobs.

REFRIGERATOR

Be prepared for a big task here. It’s more than just wiping the outside of the doors and the sides of the appliance. The inside is just as important, if not more so. After removing all of the food items, remove the main shelves, the door shelves and the produce bins. Wash them in warm soapy water to clear away food bacteria and spills. Anything you can’t remove, wipe with a sponge dampened with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda per quart of warm water. Use the solution also to loosen hardened spills. Wait a bit to allow the solution to loosen the gunk and make it easier to remove. Use a toothbrush to scrub out grime from tight places. Another cleaning solution option is a combination of salt and soda water. As HGTV notes, “The bubbling action of the soda water combines with the abrasive texture of the salt to make a great cleaner.”

OVEN

Start by scraping away loose pieces burnt food on the range top. Spritz the surface with ammonia, and wipe clean with a sponge. For the oven interior, House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping recommend sprinkling the surface of the oven floor with baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar, allowing the mixture to bubble for a minute or two to loosen any baked-on grime. Then wipe clean with a scrubber sponge.

WINDOW TREATMENTS

To get rid of dust from drapes, curtains and throw pillows, toss them in the dryer for 15 minutes with a wet towel using the air/fluff setting. The wet towel acts a magnet for the dust, says HGTV. Remove the items from the dryer, and rehang drapes and curtains right away to prevent wrinkles. For a more thorough cleaning, machine wash drapes and curtains if the care label says it’s safe to do so. Other cleaning options are vacuuming, steam cleaning and dry-cleaning. Clean metal and vinyl blinds with a mixture of warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth. Dry clean fabric shades.

WINDOWS

Be sure to clean both the inside and the outside of windows. A good cleaning solution is a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. Apply the solution with a sponge or rag, and wipe away dirt and grime. Use a clean rag to dry the window, or opt for a squeegee. As Martha Stewart explains, start at a top corner, and drag the squeegee down to the bottom of the window. Repeat the process with overlapping strokes. Wipe the rubber squeegee blade with a sponge or cloth between strokes. And don’t forget to wipe the windowsill with the same cleaning solution and then dry with a clean rag.

If you’re exhausted just thinking about these and still more chores to deep clean your home, remember that at least spring comes only once a year.



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