Even though I may not enjoy doing it, deep cleaning my home in the spring always feels great when I’m done! It’s a good opportunity to get rid of dust and grime that has built up around the house over the winter, as well as an opportunity to de-clutter. And in the springtime, it’s really easy to get caught up in the de-cluttering, washing, and scrubbing, and forget about some of the less obvious things that need to be cleaned or maintained around our homes.
Things like vents, filters, and exhausts are very often a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” However, it is important that they get cleaned regularly to help ensure they function properly. Something as innocuous as a clogged filter can lead to a signifiant repair bill in the future!
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So here are a few of those things we tend to forget about, and hopefully we’ll all add a few to our summer cleaning lists! :-)
Air Filters and Ducts
A clean air filter is the key to keeping the air in your home clean and healthy for you and your family. Disposable air filters should be replaced every 3 months, and reusable filters should be cleaned once a month. Your air ducts should also be checked one or two times a year to check for buildup of debris, mold, or pests. If any of these are present, you may want to schedule a duct cleaning. To read more about how you can eliminate and prevent indoor air pollutants, read my post on Simple Tips to Keep the Air in Your Home Healthy.
The grease and grime can build up in the drum of your washing machine over time, especially if someone in your home tends to have greasy work clothes! Luckily, cleaning your washing machine is an easy project that you can complete in an afternoon. If you have a top-loading washer, read my post on how to clean your top-loading washer. If you have a front-loader, read my post on how to clean your front-loading washer.
Washing Machine Filter
If you own a front-loading high-efficiency washer, it’s also important to make sure your filter is clean. A clogged filter can trigger an error message on your washer, or possibly prevent your cycles from finishing. Angela from Kiwi Services has an excellent instructional post showing how to access and clean out your filter.
We all know that the lint screens in our dryers need to be cleared of lint regularly, but it’s also important to really clean the lint screen every once in a while. Take out your dryer screen and wash it with warm, soapy water in your kitchen sink to get rid of any fabric softener that may have built up on it. This will help heat leave your dryer more efficiently, reducing the risk of a fire.
If the coils underneath your refrigerator are caked with dust and grime, it can drastically reduce the efficiency of your fridge. You should aim to vacuum them out every couple of months to keep your fridge running smoothly, and to help save money on your energy bill. For a more detailed look at how to clean your fridge coils, click here.
Just like your washing machine, your dishwasher can also get bogged down with grease and grime over time, and a dirty dishwasher means your dishes probably aren’t getting very clean! Cleaning your dishwasher is easy to do, and can solve a myriad of dishwasher problems, like bad smells and standing water. Head to my post on How to Clean Your Dishwasher for full instructions and pictures.
Bathroom Exhaust Fan
A clean exhaust fan in your bathroom helps to draw moisture out of your bathroom. A dirty fan is less effective at drawing out the moisture, which can lead to mold or mildew problems in your bathroom. So if you haven’t taken a look at your fan in a while, it’s probably time to do so! Get full instructions and pictures in my post How to Clean Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Range Hood Filter
Just like your bathroom fan draws out moisture, your range hood fan draws out grease that becomes airborne while you’re cooking at your stove. Over time, grease builds up on the filter and it needs to be cleaned to keep your fan functioning. You can either replace the filter with a new one, or boil your current filter to get it looking good as new! For instructions how to clean it, read my post on How to Clean Your Range Hood Filter.
What things around your house do you tend to forget about cleaning?