It’s spring-cleaning time


As the temperatures (finally) begin to feel like spring, I’ve been thinking about spring-cleaning. Does anybody do that anymore?

In the Roberts household, I don’t recall Mom announcing, “let the spring-cleaning begin.” What I do remember is coming home for lunch from school to the living room filled with furniture from the back bedroom. It seemed strange to walk into your bedroom and hear an echo because it was so empty.

Mom cleaned everything and frequently repainted during spring-cleaning. We’d find her on a ladder painting the ceiling or trimming before painting the walls. By the time we arrived home after school, the room was usually put back together — unless she needed our help to move something back into place.

Honestly, when I get a whiff of Spic and Span® or Pine-Sol®, I think about the whirlwind that was my mom when it came to spring-cleaning.

This week, I’m sharing a list of things to deep clean this spring — some of which you won’t need to tackle again until next year.

In the kitchen, make sure to pay attention to your dishwasher. Use a specialty cleaner — Cascade® makes one — at least once a month. Cleaning it ensures this heavy-duty cleaning appliance will continue to remove the stains from dinner plates. Before using the cleaner, remove any bits of food that may be on the bottom of the dishwasher.

Many people don’t realize while everyone is crazy about granite countertops, they must be sealed to prevent staining and allowing the growth of bacteria. Seal your countertops as soon as they’re installed, says kitchen designer Florence Perchuk. You’ll know they’re sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. To maintain those countertops, seal them again a year later and make sure you wipe up accidental spills as soon as they happen.

Your kitchen cabinets may look clean, but consider this — over time grease, dirt and dust can build up on your cabinets and leave them dull. Like our skin, wood is porous and absorbs gunk — especially if you don’t always run the exhaust fan. Cleaning cabinets is a three-step process — clean, moisturize then polish. 

At Homefront, Don Zeman recommended Weiman products for cabinets. Spray the furniture cleaner on the cabinets and using a soft cloth, rub to push the cleaner into the wood pores. Liberally apply lemon oil on the cabinets and let it sit at least 24 hours.  Remove any remaining unabsorbed oil and follow with cream polish to give the cabinets a glow. The good news is Weiman products are easily found in most big box stores and most grocery stores.

What’s the point of having stainless steel in your kitchen if it’s not bright and clean? To make your surface sparkle again, Adam Kamens of Amuneal Manufacturing Corp. suggests using a specialty spray, like Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol®, once or twice a week. Make sure you don’t put on too much or you might leave the surface grimy. 

Who doesn’t love clean windows? Instead of just wiping down the inside, make sure you take to the outdoors with Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner® during spring-cleaning season to remove spots and smudges you don’t usually have time to tackle. Pro tip? Wash them on a cloudy day to ensure the sun won’t dry the cleanser before you’re done wiping.

The family washing machine also needs attention. Don’t wash your clothes in a smelly machine. Instead, disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh and high functioning. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, restart your machine, let the water drain and wipe it dry.

Cleaning kitchen and bathroom tiles should be with a cleaner that has a neutral pH. If you’re unsure, mix up your own cleaner by pouring a half-cup baking soda into two gallons of water and mix well. Apply the liquid with a string or sponge mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture.

Springtime is also a great time to organize closets — especially when

it’s time to move from winter clothes to spring and summer. Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Your closet will look appealing, and your everyday routine will be easier.

Maintenance is crucial to keeping a crisp paint job looking fresh. To do this, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at Benjamin Moore, suggests spot cleaning walls with a cloth or sponge and water. If that doesn’t work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid. If the stain persists, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the wet sponge or cloth you’re using. Make sure you rinse the wall afterward with plain water.

Take advantage of the warmer temperatures, open the windows and get busy.