Spring officially starts in less than a week. That means it’s time to open the windows, let out all that stuffy winter air, and repair the damage to the interior of your home. You know: The mud, muck, and grime that can accumulate during winter.
Spring cleaning is a big job, but you can make it more manageable by taking it one step at a time. Check out these simple, sunshine-and-fresh-air cleaning hacks to get you started on your cleaning.
Wash the Windows
Gorgeous sunlight can’t stream in if the windows are still covered in winter grime. Cleaning windows doesn’t have to be the time-consuming chore you may think it is.
Wait until the sun isn’t shining to being this task. You’ll need a bucket, dishwashing soap, a strip applicator for large windows, a squeegee, two lint-free rags (microfiber cloths, old linen napkins or cloth diapers are ideal), and a chamois.
Squirt just a few drops of detergent into the bucket of water, and use one of the rags or the strip applicator, dipped into the soapy water, to wash the window. Then, use the squeegee to wipe away the soap.
“Starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the soapy pane in a reverse-S pattern (left-handers would start at the top right),” suggests the experts at thisoldhouse.com. “At the end of each stroke, wipe the squeegee’s blade clean with a lint-free rag.” Cloth diapers or old linen napkins are perfect for this task. Use a chamois to remove any moisture left around the edges.
Clean and Lubricate the Tracks
The windows are clean, but don’t neglect the tracks! Sliding door tracks catch all the dirt tracked into the house plus pet hair and other debris. When enough of that gunk builds up, the door and the screen won’t work properly.
Basic track cleaning is easy: Use the vacuum cleaner to suck up the loose dirt and a vinegar-soaked rag to clean out what is left.
Use WD-40 to lubricate the rails; a non-stick silicone lubricant, such as one manufactured by Dupont that you can buy at any large hardware store or the 3M product, available at auto products retailers, will work, too.
If the bottom of your sliding doors hasn’t been cleaned in a while, remove the doors and clean and lubricate those as well. Find a handy walk-through of the process at wikihow.com.
Dust the Blinds
We love this simple blind-cleaning hack at momasaurus.com: It involves socks and kitchen tongs! Slide a sock over each “claw” of the tongs, secure with a rubber band, and swipe each blind while pinching the tongs. Erin, Momasaurus’ diva, suggests you put on your favorite playlist and “shake your hips” as you dust – burn calories AND spring clean!
Clean Air Vents
Guests don’t often look up, but if they do, do you want them to see dirt and fuzz hanging out of the HVAC vent covers? Dirty covers are not only embarrassing, but they also harbor allergens. Don’t we have enough of those in the spring?
First, make sure your heating/air-conditioning system is off. Cover anything below the furniture where the grime might fall, such as furniture and carpets. Clean the vents with a vacuum or wipe them with a microfiber cloth. Use a magic eraser on tougher grime.
If it’s been a while since the last vent cleaning, you may have to remove the vent covers and soak them in hot, soapy water. Let dry completely before putting the vents back in place.
Once the vents are clean, change the main HVAC filter so you can start spring with fresh air circulating throughout your home.
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