Most of us think about cleaning in the Spring when sunlight starts streaming into our house and the accumulated dust bunnies and fingerprints take center stage. Even though this is considered the traditional time for a thorough cleaning, I’ve always been a fan of fall cleaning! After a summer full of open windows and busy schedules, the inside of our homes can use some “TLC”.
• The Kitchen:
o The refrigerator. Remove all of the contents and shelves and wash with an antibacterial cleaner. Check expiration dates on the food items while you have them out. Don’t forget the door seal and the outside of the refrigerator. Use a vacuum cleaner on the coils to keep your refrigerator working at top performance. Clean the top too!
o The stove. If you have a self-cleaning oven follow the directions in your manual. If you don’t have a self-cleaner, you can purchase oven cleaner or leave a cup of ammonia in the oven overnight which will soften the residue. Don’t forget to wear gloves and keep windows open. Follow the recommended suggestions for cleaning the outside surfaces and don’t forget to clean under the stove also.
o The microwave. This can be dirty both inside and out. Boil a cup of water in the microwave to help loosen stuck on foods.
• The Bedrooms
o Wash all bedding – including mattress covers, dust ruffles, blankets and pillow covers.
o Wash curtains and other window coverings such as mini-blinds which tend to be true dust magnets.
o Use the attachments on your vacuum to clean the mattress and box springs and any other upholstered furniture in the bedroom.
o Move and vacuum behind and under the bed and other furniture.
• All rooms
o Clean any ceiling fans and lights in the rooms
o Wipe the inside and outside of your doors – they are touched many times during the day and accumulate fingerprints and dirt.
o Wash inside and outside of windows.
• Lastly, don’t forget your trash cans and recycling bins. Scrub them inside and outside.
Does this feel overwhelming? Too much to accomplish? If so, take it one room or project at a time and conquer your fall cleaning. Your home will be sparkling clean and fresh smelling! The holidays will be here before you know and you will be ahead of the game if you do a thorough cleaning now!
Writer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, email@example.com
Clean Ideas: Fall Cleaning. Cleaning Institute
Household Hints and Help. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension http://lancaster.unl.edu/home/articles/2005/fallcleaning.htm
5 Tips for Cleaning for Fall. How stuff works.com