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Spring means it’s time for deep cleaning


Toi Degree

Start fresh this spring. Spring has already arrived, which means it’s that time again — spring cleaning. For many people, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished.

Spring cleaning is considered a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.

Here are some tips to help you clean almost every surface (or object) in any room.  Remember, we are cleaning each room from top to bottom, so that is just how we want to clean the walls, over the furniture and all the way to the baseboards and flooring.

Wipe walls and ceilings: Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser; test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface.

Cabinets: Over time, build-up can collect on your kitchen cabinets — especially if you don’t run the exhaust hood over your range when you cook to keep grease from settling. To remove build-up, use a “cabinet cream” to cut through the dirt and leave wood moisturized.

Your windows:  Instead of just wiping down the inside, make sure you take to the outdoors during spring cleaning season to remove spots and smudges you don’t usually have time to tackle.  Here’ a pro tip: wash them on a cloudy day to ensure that the sun won’t dry the cleanser before you’re done wiping.

Your dishwasher:  To ensure that this heavy-duty cleaning appliance gets all the tomato sauce stains off your dinner plates, you have to clean it, too. First, remove any bits of food on the bottom. Then, run a cycle with a specialty cleanser made for your dishwasher about once a month to ensure that it continues cleaning your dishes in the most efficient way.

Your refrigerator: This means the outside and inside. Pull out all of your fridge’s interior shelving, and wash them with warm soapy water. Then, wipe down the surfaces that can’t be removed on the inside with a sponge before putting shelves back in their place.

Your oven: If you ever start to smell something burning when you turn on your oven, it might be time to give it a deep clean. First, chip off loose pieces from your range. Then, spritz burnt-on food with ammonia. Sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom, let it bubble up, and then whisk away the grime with a sponge.

Carpet:  Less-trafficked areas of your carpet only have to be cleaned once or twice a year, and every 18 months for a bedroom. For higher-traffic areas, the most you’d need to bring in professionals would be three or four times a year, although once you see your carpet starting to get dirty, you probably should have it cleaned for health reasons.

Your closet: Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Your closet will look appealing, and your everyday routine will be easier.

These are only a few of the things that you will need to do in order to get your home in tip-top shape. Also, consider changing your bedding, laundering your window treatments and cleaning the washing machine. Remember, just because it cleans doesn’t mean that from time to time it doesn’t need to be cleaned as well.

To clean a smelly washing machine, disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh and high-functioning. Run the machine with hot water. Then, add the cleaning agents and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, restart your machine, let the water drain, and wipe it dry.  Most importantly, never wash your clothes in a smelly washing machine!!

And last but not least, open the windows; it is so refreshing to open the windows and have fresh air flowing through the house.

For other spring cleaning tips, visit:  http://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/cleaning-tips/advice/g601/spring-cleaning-tips/?thumbnails=



Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, Rowan County Center, can be contacted at 704-216-8970.



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