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Spring cleaning trouble

Take a deep breath in. Can you smell that? Cool, crisp air with maybe a hint of moisture. It’s spring. Yes, friends, the long winter is past, which means it’s time for new life, new growth, and of course, spring cleaning!

You probably already have a plan for your closets, winter clothes, and your living room, but what about those more troublesome areas? Don’t worry, here are four of the worst offenders and what you should do to clean them out.

1. The Medicine Cabinet

For most of the year, medicine cabinets are a little like black holes: things go in, but they don’t come out. This is because, in your everyday cleaning routine, it’s all too easy to clean the glass or mirrored outside and call it done.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry: throw away any medicine that has expired, is almost empty, or wasn’t sealed properly. Expired medicine looses its effectiveness, medicine that’s almost gone might not even have enough for a full dose, liquid medicine that hasn’t been sealed properly evaporates (making what’s left stronger and potentially dangerous), and they all create clutter!

Finally, take everything out, wipe down the shelves, and put back only what you will use.

2. Your Appliances

It’s easy to take appliances for granted. You need them to work and they do (most of the time). However, to keep these essential machines in working order, you need to do more than surface clean. Here’s what you should do.

  • Refrigerator: clean out the drain pan, delint the vents, and vacuum the coils.
  • Oven: some ovens have a self-cleaning feature, others don’t. If yours doesn’t then it’s time to break out the steel wool and elbow grease.
  • Dishwasher: like your oven, this might have a self-cleaning feature or you may need to do it by hand.

Historically speaking, deep-cleaning appliances have involved a lot of abrasive and toxic chemicals. If you don’t want to rely on those, then here’s an article that touches on some cleaner ways to clean, without harsh chemicals. In the long-term, a great strategy for deep-cleaning appliances, particularly ovens, is to do so more often than just in the spring. This way, the carbon build up isn’t as difficult to deal with, and the need for harsh chemicals is reduced or even completely eliminated.

3. Ceiling Fans

Though this one is quick and easy, it’s also extremely important. Take a few minutes to dust the tops of all the ceiling fans in your house. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than turning on the fan on the first really hot day and making it “snow” in your living room because of all the dust.

Cleaning the ceiling fan tends to be the chore that everyone ignores until it’s too late, so if you can regularly remember to dust it, then you’ll be in a good place all year round.

4. The Garage

After you’ve done the rest of your house, if you still have energy, it’s time to tackle the garage. Yes, many a hardy soul has been lost when confronted by the true depths of their own inner hoarder.

Your chances of success improve exponentially if your recruit some comrades. Enlist the entire family for a little “trash” or “treasure.” Then invest in organizational equipment (hooks, boxes, ect.) to store the “treasure” and have a garage sale with the “trash” (or just donate it or throw it away).

All done? That feels better, doesn’t it? Good work, friends.

Your spring cleaning trouble spots

What are some troublesome spring cleaning areas not covered above?

How do you deal with cleaning trouble spots in your home?

Tell us all about it in the comments section!

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.