How to clean your living room
Whether you have 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour, Molly Maid president Meg Roberts is breaking down every room in your home so you can get the job done and do more enjoyable things with your time (aka basically anything else). Here's her advice for deep cleaning living rooms.
If you have 15 minutes, choose one of the following:
- Clean the blinds. Close the blinds. Then, using a microfiber cloth, start at the top of the blinds and work down, running your hand along each slat to pick up dust. Close the blinds in the opposite direction and repeat.
- Clean the ceiling fans. Turn ceiling fans off and place a drop cloth or an old sheet on the floor, covering an area about twice the span of the blades. Using an extendable wooly duster, wipe the span of the blades. Pick up drop cloth and shake outside.
- Disinfect the remote control. Remove the batteries, then wipe remote with a microfiber cloth slightly moistened with rubbing alcohol. Use a cotton swab moistened with alcohol to clean in between the buttons. Replace batteries.
If you have 30 minutes, choose one from above and one of the following:
- Clean windowsill tracks (and sliding door tracks). Spray liberally with an all-purpose cleaner. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften and break down grime. Use a screwdriver wrapped with a rag to gently remove the gunk. This may take several swipes to get the job done.
- Clean smartphones, tablets, game controllers and remote controls. Simply wipe with a microfiber cloth. For screens, use a microfiber cloth especially made for glass. Stubborn dried on food and other debris can be removed using a slightly dampened microfiber cloth.
- Clean the AC/furnace filter. Replace filter with one that is electrostatic-charged. Because this type filter is made to attract and capture dust, it will reduce the amount of dust in the home — and that means less work for you. While electrostatic-charged filters are pricier than single-use disposable filters, they are permanent and washable. Follow manufacturer’s directions on when and how to clean them.
If you have 60 minutes, choose two from above and one of the following:
- Clean the recessed lighting. Turn off the lights. Once the bulb is completely cool, remove it. Clean the bulb with a microfiber cloth lightly moistened with warm water and do the same with the recessed lighting casing. (This is truly a bright idea since the U.S. Department of Energy found that dirty bulbs emit 25 percent less light.)
- Clean any crown molding. Dust molding, using an extendable duster. Or make your own extendable duster by placing an old towel over the bristles of a broom, secure with a rubber band or string. Dust away.
- Clean light fixture globes. Turn the light off and allow globes to completely cool. Place the globe in a sink with a mixture of warm water, 1 ounce of mild detergent and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe the glass covering inside and out, then rinse. Allow globe to air dry. Then, wipe outer surface with a dryer sheet — this will help repel dust between cleanings.
- Clean the sofa. Vacuum, using upholstery wand on cushions, in crevices and under the cushions. If throw pillows have removable, washable covers, launder according to manufacturer’s directions. If sofa is musty, sprinkle cushions with baking soda and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming up.
- Clean any other furniture. Dust entirely, using microfiber cloth. Pay special attention to lower edges and detailed carvings where dust settles.
- Clean doors, knobs and light switch plates. Wipe any and all down, using a damp microfiber cloth.
- Clean the floors. Vacuum floors, especially areas beneath furniture.
Want to clean the rest of your house? Check out our interactive spring cleaning guide.
Graphics by Jovanna Tosello.
This article was originally published on April 10, 2015.