1. MAKE DOORMATS WELCOMING
Shake them, wash them, and swat them with a broom. Give them the toughest cleaning they can take. They’re your front line against tracked-in dirt – so keep them clean enough to function at peak efficiency.
2. CLEAN CARPETS AND UPHOLSTERY
Fabrics absorb a lot throughout the winter including dirt, body oil and germs and you need to get them ready for another year of wear. When you’re using rented machines to clean carpets or upholstery first practice in an unobtrusive area to make sure you have an understanding on how the machine works and that the treatment won’t discolor fabrics or cause dyes to run. Move furniture just lightly – not out of the room or against the wall – and place the legs of each piece back on top of small wax paper squares after shampooing. The wax paper will protect your carpet and keep the furniture legs from getting wet as the carpet dries. Open the windows to speed drying process – which can take a day or more.
3. FINISH YOUR FLOORS
To protect the floors in your kitchen or other areas of the house from another year of wear and tear, wax or apply a sealer following label directions. The simple method: Use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner. No-wax floors don’t need a polishing treatment, but an occasional makeover will keep them looking fresher and add a protective buffer that could help them last longer. If you have wood floors, move furniture and rugs aside, then apply a wood cleaner and either liquid or paste polish to clean and add a new wax coating.
4. WASH WALLS, CABINETS, BASEBOARDS AND WOODWORK
The walls may not look as if they need to be washed, but as dust and soot fall to the floor some will cling to vertical surfaces to warrant a seasonal wash. Use a sponge and hand dish-washing detergent, washing the surface in sections. Use two buckets: one for dish-washing detergent solution and another for wringing your sponge. Dry the walls and woodwork with a dry cloth after washing.
5. VACUUMING SMARTS
You may go through labor-intensive task of dragging every piece of furniture off the carpet, just so the vacuum cleaner could cover every possible spot. Instead, simply move those big items a little to the left or to the right. Vacuum the area previously occupied by the furniture and then move it back into place.
6. CLEAN CEILING FIXTURES
Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment.
7. CLEAN LIGHT FIXTURES
A stepladder, all-purpose cleaner, a sponge and a polish cloth will do the trick! If you home has skylights or tall ceilings consider investing in extended-reach dust-and-dirt removal tools.
8. REFRIGERATOR DUTY
You should clean the refrigerator’s condenser coil, usually found behind the toe grille, with a long-handled bottle brush and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove dust and lint. Built-up dust can cause it to overheat and shut down the unit. While you’re at it go ahead and clean the inside of the fridge removing sticky messes and outdated food. Freshen up by leaving some baking soda in the fridge to absorb those nasty smells.