When it comes to cleaning your home, some tasks are surprisingly easy to forget — or you just purposely ignore them because they’re particularly annoying (looking at you, window cleaning). But just because you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the top of your microwave or dusted your fan blades, it doesn’t mean you *should* forget about these tasks until your annual spring cleaning.
“Everyone is familiar with the phrase ‘spring cleaning,’ but in reality, the benefits of decluttering and deep cleaning your home should go beyond just one season,” says Diana Lovshe, brand director of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly company. “Not only is it a great way to keep your home in great condition, but it also serves as a way to keep germs at bay and avoid illness.” And who doesn’t want that?
No idea where to start? Don’t worry. We asked the experts to share the top things that you should add to your fall cleaning checklist.
“Although window panes seem to get all the care and attention when it comes to cleaning around the house, window sills arguably accumulate more dust and dirt,” Lovshe says. That’s especially true as the temperature cools down and you open the windows to let in that refreshing, crisp autumn breeze. And it’s as easy as wiping them down with a damp rag.
If you’re like me, then it’s possible you’ve avoided cleaning your window screens for — ahem — ever because you just haven’t had a clue about how to efficiently clean them at all. The problem with that is that when it rains, rain passing through the dirty screen will transfer dirt and debris onto the glass.
Luckily, David Flax, VP of Operations for Neighborly brand Window Genie, says that’s it’s easy to clean your screens. “Cleaning screens is as simple as gently brushing the screen with a dry brush and then rinsing it with the hose,” Flax says. “Let them air dry on towels in before hanging them back up to ensure your sills and tracks don’t accumulate drips.”
Cleaning ceiling fans can be one of the most satisfying and horrifying cleaning experiences if you don’t do it often, which is common because they’re constantly in motion and hard to reach. Here’s how to do it, according to Peterson:
Slip a pillowcase over each blade one at a time, using the top portion to wipe the blade and the bottom to catch the debris. Next, use a lint-free cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner to remove residual grime, and to clean the base and light fixture.
The Top of the Microwave and the Fridge
Most people probably can’t remember the last time they cleaned the top of their microwave — or for that matter, the top of their fridge. Still, it’s important to clean regularly (or at least as often as you can), even if you can’t see just how messy it is from eye level. A damp, soapy dish cloth should do the trick.
Who among us hasn’t dropped a piece of food or some spices between the stove and the cabinet or wall only to say, “I’ll clean that up later,” and then never cleaned it up? Step one is to clean out the crevasse using a butter knife wrapped in a wash cloth. Once you’ve done that (and seen how smelly it can get), make your life easier by making sure it doesn’t get so gross again.
Odds are you’re not the only one who is wondering how, exactly, your silverware drawer and/or divider gets so gross, so quickly. Still, the idea of taking all the utensils out just to clean the space under them? It’s a little tedious. However, you should be doing this about once a month, Peterson says, in order to keep germs and bacteria at bay.
Underneath Your Furniture
“Dust and dirt love to hide under beds, sofas, and other large pieces of furniture,” says Vera Peterson, president of Neighborly brand Molly Maid. For hard surfaces, she suggests a long-handled dust mop; for carpeted areas you’ll want to use your vacuum cleaner and you may need to move the furniture to access all the dirt.