Most of us likely have a pretty standard cleaning routine between the kitchen, bathroom, living room and various other rooms, but there may be some common things missing from your list.
Not only could you be missing out on some key areas that are collecting dust and mold, but also bacteria and potentially the source of some not-so-pleasant smells you haven’t been able to get rid of. Keeping your home and its contents clean will help you save money on repairs, replacements and possibly even tissues by reducing the dust and bacteria in your home.
Here are seven home cleaning tips you can do in under 30 minutes.
Home cleaning tips to freshen every corner of your house
- Washing machine filter: If you’re like us, you might have said, “The washing machine what?” A well-kept secret (OK, maybe it’s not a secret and we could all take a little time to read through those user manuals…) is that most newer washing machines have water filters that need to be drained and cleaned regularly. You can make a habit of checking it once a month when you clean your washer with a cleaning solution (which you can buy or make using white vinegar). It will take less than 5 minutes to do and will help you get rid of that unpleasant odor coming from your washing machine.
- Trash cans: They collect all sorts of things throughout the day, ranging from candy wrappers and contents of your vacuum cleaner to trimmings from the chicken you are cooking. Trash cans are a hub for many of the grossest and germiest things in your home, and while most of that is collected in a garbage can liner, there are still common touch points or crumbs that get left behind. Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down the inside and outside of your trash can and be sure to let it dry before you put a bag back in it.
- Light fixtures: It can be easy to focus on cleaning what’s physically in front of you and at eye-level, but sometimes by looking up, we’ll notice just how many dust bunnies and cobwebs have been taking up residence in our light fixtures. Get out the ladder and take down your glass fixtures. Knock out the dust, dead bugs and any other large debris that have accumulated and wash your fixtures in warm soapy water. Be sure to take a duster to the fixture itself (including ceiling fan blade). Be sure to do this for every room in your house (including bath fan) and you’ll be amazed at how much brighter your rooms get.
- Plants: While they don’t need a bath or shower like we do, plants (artificial and real) do collect dust. For plants with smooth leaves, simply hold the leaves in one hand and use your other hand to wipe the leaves down with a microfiber cloth (try adding a little water to help wipe dust off easier). If your plant has bumpy (or prickly) surfaces, try using a soft brush to remove the dust.
- Refrigerator coils: Appliances just don’t seem to last as long as they used to, right? Or maybe we just don’t know that there are a few simple things we can do to extend the life of our appliances and save money. Condenser coils, which are located at the bottom or behind your fridge, help release hot air from inside your fridge out into your kitchen. If those coils have dust on them, it can make releasing the warm air harder, making your fridge work harder (which could lead to it stopping working sooner rather than later, as well as higher electric bills). To clean your refrigerator coils, unplug your fridge and move it away from the wall. Vacuum the coils and then use a brush or duster to remove the remaining dust particles. Plug your fridge back in, put it back where it was and repeat this process every three months.
- Sink drain/stoppers/garbage disposal: Even though you run warm soapy water through your sink daily when you wash dishes or your hands, grime, hair and other debris can accumulate. This leads to a not-so-pleasant smell and maybe even slower draining. Start by removing the stopper from your kitchen or bathroom sink and removing the hair and grime that’s accumulated (be sure to throw it in the garbage, as rinsing it down the drain can lead to a clog!). Next, check your garbage disposal (if you have one) by gently lifting up the flap and using a small brush (such as an old toothbrush) to clean it. Next, you can run a store bought or homemade (baking soda and boiling water) solution through your drain to knock out any grime you can’t reach with your cleaning tools.
- Air vents: Whether your home is brand new or several decades old, dust and hair (especially if you have pets) can accumulate in your air vents. Turn off your furnace and remove the vent coverings (including return air vents) and either wipe them down or soak them in warm soapy water for particularly dusty vent coverings. Next, use a flashlight to look into your vents and grab any larger items that may have found their way inside (such as kids’ toys) and then use your vacuum’s cleaning tools to get all the dust out. Replace your vent coverings and repeat this process every spring and fall.
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