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If you're still putting off spring cleaning, procrastinate no longer. Molly Maid president Meg Roberts is breaking down every room in your home, so you can whip through the checklist and get back to enjoying life.
- Burners: Place stove burners in a sink of hot, soapy water. Soak while cleaning counter tops. After 10 minutes, scrub with scrubby sponge. Rinse and dry.
- Countertops and appliances: Spray all countertops and appliances, both large and small, with half vinegar/half water solution, then wipe with a microfiber cloth.
- Trash can: Remove the bag and sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the can. Add about two inches of warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then swish it around. Wipe down the sides. Empty container into the toilet. Rinse with clean water inside the bathtub or outside with a garden hose. Use an old towel to dry or let it air dry upside down.
- Dishwasher: To clean, remove any baskets and racks. Wipe debris from the bottom of the machine. Spray the interior of the dishwasher with a half water and half vinegar solution. Wipe down door, sides and bottom using a clean cloth or sponge. For a thorough rinse, run the empty machine on its highest temperature setting without detergent.
- Garbage disposal: Clean the garbage disposal by running about 12 ice cubes through it. Remember to turn on the cold water while doing this. Next, run a cut up lemon through the disposal. To clean the underside of the rubber lip, wash with the scrubbing side of a vinegar-soaked scrubby sponge.
- Microwave: Place four ounces of water and four ounces of white vinegar or lemon juice into a quart-sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for several minutes to a rolling boil. Allow oven to cool, wipe away grime with a sponge.
- Cabinets and drawers: Clear out cabinets and drawers one at a time.
- Food pantry: Remove all food from pantry, throwing out expired items as you go. Spray all surfaces, including doors and shelves, with diluted vinegar, then wipe with a microfiber cloth.
- Refrigerator: Clear shelves and drawers, discarding out-of-date and spoiled food. Wipe shelves with half vinegar and half water mixture or use solution of 1/2 baking soda to a quart of water. Wash drawer in lukewarm, soapy water. Rinse, dray and return to refrigerator. Wipe gasket grooves, using an old toothbrush to remove stubborn particles. Wipe outside of door with damp microfiber cloth. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
- Floors: Mop the floors or vacuum rugs. Check out these tips though before you get started.
- Appliances: Pull any appliances you can away from the wall, then sweep behind. Push back and sweep remaining floor area.
- Mirrors: Spray and wipe down all of your mirrors. For non-smearing glass cleaner, try this DIY solution.
- Floors: Give those floors a quick clean with a broom or vacuum. Check out these suggestions for cleaning rugs and carpets the right way.
- Toilet: Take a few minutes to get that porcelain throne shining. Spray the toilet seat, lid, rim and base with equal parts vinegar and water.
- Drawers and cabinets: Remove everything from the drawers, tossing outdated and empty product containers.
- Shower curtain: Place in the washer with a large towel for scrubbing action and a small amount of laundry detergent. Hang to dry or pop it into the dryer for a few minutes.
- Shower walls and fixtures: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and hot water. Spray shower/tub walls and fixtures, then allow solution to sit for a few minutes. Scrub shower/tub walls and fixtures with a hard-bristle brush, then rinse. Wipe clean with a cloth.
- Vent fan covers: Clean vent fan covers at least once a year. Turn off power at the circuit breaker and remove the cover. Fill a small bucket with warm water and a few squirts of dish soap and let the fan cover soak for 10 minutes. Scrub with a sponge and air dry on a towel.
- Shower head: To remove mineral build-up, fill a quart-size plastic bag with one cup of vinegar. Fasten around shower head with a rubber band and allow to sit overnight. Remove bag in the morning and rinse shower head. See a video tutorial of this step here.
- Grout: Spray grout with water. Wearing gloves, make a paste of oxygen bleach and water. Spread along the wet grout. If the grout seems particularly stained, mix the oxygen bleach with lemon juice instead of water.
- Give it a quick sweep: Working on only one shelf at a time, tidy the closet. Refold items that need it, keep like items together, place items you no longer want or use in a donation bag.
- Match shoes into pairs: If those shoes are scattered throughout the space, take a few minutes to match them back up.
- Reorganize: Make the most of hanging space. Fold clothes that don't really need to be on hangers (jeans, sweaters, pajamas, etc.).
- Take a look at the linen closet (if applicable): Remove linens from closet, one shelf at a time. Wipe shelf with microfiber cloth.
- Dust: Dust the entire closet from top to bottom, from shelves to baseboards, especially the cobwebs in the corners.
- Remove smudges and scuffs: Take a look at the door. If there are marks, grab a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove them.
- Vacuum floor: Check out these tips though before you get started.
- Remove and clean the light fixture.
- Organize smaller items: Place smaller articles, such as scarves or gloves, on shelves or in bins to keep them together.
- 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. Next, close the blinds in the opposite direction and repeat.
- Clean the ceiling fans: Turn 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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, one 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 baking soda.
- Clean any other furniture: Dust entirely, using microfiber cloth.
- 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.