Common Areas In The Home We Forget to Clean
Remember that time you spent an entire day cleaning your home in preparation for that big dinner party you were hosting? Your house glistened! It looked immaculate! Right up until that moment during the party that you tilted your head back in laughter and noticed the intricate, expansive cobweb adorning your skylight. Oops! You missed a spot!
Most of us establish a daily or weekly routine house cleaning regimen that manages to keep our floors vacuumed, counters de-cluttered and beds made. But unless you have a Downton Abbey-size live-in cleaning staff, cleaning every inch of hard-to-reach spots, out-of-eyesight crevices and dust-collecting nooks in your home is often off our radar all together.
To help you tackle some often-forgotten areas, like skylights and baseboards and everything in between, we recommend incorporating quarterly deep-cleaning to-dos into your house-cleaning routine. To get you started, here are our suggestions for where to start cleaning windows, walls, furniture and more:
CLEANING TIP: You don’t have to take these on all these tasks at once… think about adding one or two chores each week.
- Skylights — Skylights, corners of rooms and tall furniture are a spider’s paradise. Carefully remove cobwebs and collected dust with either a handheld extendable duster, or a vacuum extension tool. If you can gain hands-on access, follow dusting with both a damp and dry cloth to really leave a shine.
- Fan, Heating & A/C Vents — Bathroom fan vents suck up a lot of moisture and dust. Heating and air-conditioning vents collect and then blow out a fair amount of dust. Remove all vent covers and soak them an equal-parts water and vinegar solution, or in soapy water. Scrub the vents clean, rinse and wipe dry. Clean out the fan and vent areas with a vacuum extension tool. Then return the vent covers to their resting place.
- Ceiling Fans — If you constantly run your ceiling fans, you might not notice the amount of dust collected. But turn it off, and you might be shocked at the inches of dirt stacked upon each blade. Martha Stewart’s brilliant method for removing dust from a ceiling fan is to use a pillowcase that can wrap around each blade and collect the dust inside as you slowly slide it off. You can then empty the dust into the trash and throw the pillowcase into the laundry.
- Light Fixtures & Light Bulbs — It’s amazing what you can find in a light fixture, especially one that is not completely enclosed. Typically you might find an occasional bug amongst the dust collected in or on a light fixture. But if you have kids, you might find a small water bottle or a missing sock that was launched into the air during a game of pirates. As you collect some treasures while cleaning out your fixtures, don’t forget to wipe down the light bulbs. A layer of dust removed can make a room feel much brighter. Paint brushes work well for dusting light bulbs.
- Windows & Window Treatments — If you regularly clean the interior of your windows, you’re almost halfway done with this part. You just need to add a monthly cleaning of your windows’ exterior side. In addition, take this time to dust your window coverings using an upholstery extension on your vacuum or a handheld duster. If you have curtains and/or fabric shades, consider washing or dry-cleaning them a couple of times a year.
- Walls — Your walls are like the kitchen backsplash of your home. Yet you might not notice when life splatters dirt, food, pencil drawings, crayon, etc., across its surfaces. You can remove dust from your walls with a handheld duster or vacuum extension, or by wiping them down with a damp cloth. For harder-to-remove spots caused from food splatter, spills or curious little hand drawings, try scrubbing the surface with a cloth soaked in a mild soap. Or consider using a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser.
- Furniture — The couch can be somewhat of a treasure chest of lost coins and shiny remotes. Unfortunately, it can also be a catchall for remnants of your popcorn and movie night, and the kids’ Goldfish fight. So as you’re dusting furniture and fluffing throw pillows, remove your seat cushions and vacuum out the treasures, crumbs, dust, etc. Also, sweep away dust bunnies collecting under and around your furniture, especially the areas in between your furniture and the wall.
- Personal Electronics — Coveted personal electronics, like computers, keyboards, wireless game controls and remote controls are prime real estate for microparticles of dust and germs. Regularly cleaning your personal electronic devices can help keep them functioning with optimum performance. Try wiping down your electronics with dry microfiber cloths. Also, use compressed air to force dirt out of the crevices.
- Books — There’s something quite nostalgic about opening up a classic novel and blowing away the years of collected dust; however, did you know that when left untouched for an extended period of time, paper will deteriorate at a faster rate? You can protect your books every time to clean them. Remove each book, dust it along the spine, top and bottom, and then flip through the pages to discourage deterioration. Make sure you dust the shelves before returning each book to its place.
- Baseboards & Molding — Baseboards and decorative molding can take a beating when we move furniture, vacuum carpets, mop hardwoods, etc. Try wiping down baseboards and molding with dryer sheets, or use a vacuum edger to collect dust, hair and dirt. Next, wash over the baseboards and molding with your preferred cleaning solution. Finally, dry them with a microfiber towel, and use cotton swabs to clean out any tight corners and crevices.
What about the kitchen and utility rooms? These areas in particular require extra attention on occasion. In our next installment, we’ll suggest all the other places – including the kitchen sink – you should add to you deep-cleaning regime.
Incorporating these deep-cleaning practices into your ongoing home maintenance schedule is a great start and can help you avoid embarrassing moments of surprise, like dust-bunnies rolling across your floor during a dinner party or cobwebs slowly floating their way down and landing on your guests.
If you’re in search of a new home to host your next dinner party, remember to contact a PrimeLending mortgage loan expert to find out about your best mortgage options.
from the PrimeLending blog, by Mandy Jordan