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It’s Time To Spring Clean!

Spring is the time to pull back the drapes and welcome the sunshine. The only problem? All that light can illuminate dust, fingerprints, and grime on floors, walls, doors, and more. That’s where spring cleaning comes in. It’s the time to deep clean the house and get ready for the season of renewal.

Tackle one task at a time

Sure, this sounds like common sense, but how many times have you started a monumental spring-cleaning task, like attempting to scrub the kitchen from top to bottom, only to move on to the next room before finishing? This just makes everything take way longer than it should, says Eileen Dacey, author of Reclaim Your Life from Hoarding. Instead, break it down into smaller chunks. Maybe you’ll clean the kitchen floors one day and the bathroom floors the next. “It’s also important to take breaks to avoid mental exhaustion,” she says.

Wash sconces, chandeliers, and other light fixtures

A must on any spring cleaning checklist: cleaning globes and lampshades of lighting fixtures. “At first glance, these may not seem dusty, but once you wipe one, you will see a noticeable difference,” says professional organizer Jamie Novak, author of Keep This, Toss That. Remove the globes and wash them in soapy water. Rinse them, then let them air-dry. Dust the inside of a lampshade and then wash it with soapy water in the sink. Rinse and let it air-dry.

Scrub your kitchen backsplash

The area behind your kitchen sink, stove, or prep area largely goes unnoticed because we focus more attention on our countertops, where we can clearly see messes. Over time, however, splatters and grease can accumulate on a backsplash, Novak says. During spring cleaning, scrub it down—a toothbrush or Rubbermaid Reveal will help you get into the crevices and any hard-to-reach spots. Need more cleaning power? Try the top-rated Pink Stuff cleaning paste.

Deep clean the dishwasher

The dishwasher is one part of the kitchen many forget to clean—we’re talking about the outside and the inside. If the outside is stainless steel, a quick rubdown with a stainless-steel cleaner should do the trick. For the inside of the dishwasher, run a rinse cycle with baking soda and vinegar. This helps remove grime that’s been stuck on there for a while and will save you lots of elbow grease.

Steam your microwave before scrubbing

Before you even attempt to scrub off that caked-on gunk when cleaning your microwave, steam a bowl of microwave cleaner to loosen sticky grime. An Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner works similarly: Add a mixture of vinegar and water to the cleaning tool, then microwave it for several minutes (the exact timing depends on the microwave). The benefit is that the concentrated steam will come out of the mama’s head and disperses at more angles than it does from a bowl.

Toss your pillows into the washer and dryer

Chances are that while you likely wash your pillowcases regularly, you never think about cleaning your pillows. Yet they can collect loads of dust, bacteria, and sweat, which is why it’s important to wash them. Though you’ll want to check your pillows’ care labels first, most can be machine-washed and dried. The one exception is foam pillows, which need to be spot cleaned instead.

Vacuum your mattress

Cleaning your mattress is another spring-cleaning must. Mattresses harbor dead cells and dust, which can irritate us in our sleep. If that makes your skin crawl, be sure you know how to prevent and destroy bed bugs. Make sure to give it a good vacuum with an upholstery attachment and give it a good whack whilst it is propped upward against the wall. To remove odors, lie the mattress back down and sprinkle with baking soda. Leave the baking soda on for two hours before vacuuming it off.

Dust the doorframe

For being so narrow, the shallow ledge of the doorframe can sure collect a lot of dirt. During spring cleaning, take a moment to wipe it off with a barely damp cloth. If your trim is particularly ornate, with lots of crevices and grooves, an old toothbrush might work best.

Clean baseboards with a dryer sheet

Here’s a trick for cleaning your baseboards: You know how dryer sheets are magnets for dust on your clothes? They work similarly when you slide them over baseboards. Attach one to the end of your Swiffer Sweeper, and you won’t even need to bend down.

Scrub the trash can

Long after you’ve taken out the trash, offensive odors can linger, making your trash can stinky. Whether the trash bag leaked, there was a splatter, or you simply notice a strong smell, the can could use a wash. Take out the trash bag, then scrub any stains with a disinfectant cleaner. Next, wash and rinse the entire can—inside and out. Before you replace the bag, make sure the can is thoroughly dry.

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