It's time for Spring Cleaning!
The more obvious ones include:
WINDOW WASHING - Do a good cleaning on the inside and outside of every window. NOTE: It may be tempting to clean them with the sun in full effect so that you can see all the imperfections. But that sunshine will actually cause your cleaning solution to dry too quickly and will leave lasting streak marks. Instead, clean them on a cloudy day and use a combination of white vinegar and newspaper for a sparkling finish.
BLIND WIPEDOWN - Throughout the year, most people just use a light duster, but at least once a year, they need a good wipe down.
APPLIANCE CLEANING - Get into the grit of these and do a thorough cleaning. Get a cleaner for your dishwasher and run a couple cycles with it. Don't forget a deep scrub down on the exhaust fan... the build up on those can be extreme.
BASEBOARD BATH - Much like blinds, at best, these get a light dusting throughout the year. Now is the time to do a better cleaning.
RUG/CARPET SHAMPOO - The vacuum has done a good enough job but those things need a good steam scrub too.
CABINET WIPEDOWN - Living our house day after day, we often fail to see the most obvious things like those drip marks on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Don't forget to wipe down your cabinets inside and out with a good cleaning solution.
COUNTERTOPS - These likely get a very regular cleaning... but don't forget to seal them if your countertop material requires it.
GUTTER/DOWNSPOUTS - Make sure you remove debris from all of the gutters and downspouts to keep them functioning especially with the heavy rains that summer typically brings in Florida.
The less obvious ones you don't want to overlook:
SMOKE ALARMS - Get ahead of that annoying chirping by putting fresh batteries in all the smoke alarms. Do the same if you have carbon monoxide alarms.
MEDICINE CABINET - The food in your kitchen isn't the only thing with expiration dates. If you aren't diligent about purging medicines on a regular basis, use this as an opportunity to check expiration dates. NOTE: Don't just throw them in the garbage... flush them if they are flushable. If they aren't find a location that accepts medications. This will help ensure they aren't used for the wrong purposes.
NON-PERISHABLES - There are some foods that are make it very obvious when it is time to throw it out. But, don't overlook those canned goods and spices. These too have a shelf live. While you are at it, use it as an opportunity to wipe down the shelves and organize the contents.
WASHER AND DRYER - When you are working on the appliances, don't overlook your washer and dryer. Not only does the dryer need to have the vents kept clean to avoid a fire hazard, but some washers need a good cleaning to avoid mold issues. NOTE To avoid the spread of bacteria and odours, pop 50g of baking soda into the washing machine drum and fill up the detergent drawer with 50ml of white vinegar, and run a 60 degree wash on the empty machine.
CEILING FANS - This is something I always seem to notice as I am visiting homes during viewing appointments. I am always surprised how many home owners have the out of sight, out of mind mentality when it comes to fans. It may take longer to see the build up above eye level, but it can be an eyesore if left unattended for too long. Simplify the process and trap the dust by slipping a damp pillowcase over each blade and slowly pulling it back.
MATTRESSES - Not only do you need to pay attention to the length of time you keep a mattress, you need to care for the mattress for the time that you have it. NOTE: Baking soda offers an easy, chemical free way to keep your mattress clean. Simply strip off your bedding and sprinkle the baking soda all over your mattress. Leave for 3-4 hours and then vacuum up any excess.
GROUT - Even if you are regularly cleaning tile areas, over time, the grout will begin to stain. There are great cleaning solutions that can help restore the grout to the original color.
WALLS AND OUTLET/LIGHT SWITCH COVERS - Using a disinfectant solution, wipe down the high traffic areas.
ROOF POWERWASH - In Florida, you need to power was your roof every 1-2 yeas to remove the mold that starts to build up.
CHECK IRRIGATION SYSTEMS - So often, we take for granted that it is in full working order, especially since we don't tend to watch the full cycle when it is on. Use this time to check all the sprinkler heads and make sure they are all exposed and working properly.
CLEAN SCREENS - Over time, screens to windows or the lanai can have residue build up. Take the time to clean these off to free up things like pollen and dirt. You will be amazed what a difference doing this can make.
CHECK AIR CONDITIONERS - I always recommend having a regular air conditioner maintenance contract in Florida to keep your unit(s) working efficiently. If you don't have that, the spring is a good time to do a check-up to help avoid breakdowns during the hottest months of the year following spring.
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