1. Clean Windows
Dirty panes are no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees, which are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper. They come in a variety of sizes, and a screw-on extension will let you reach high spots.
2. Wash Your Blinds and Clean Your Curtains
Once or twice a year, wipe wooden blinds with a few drops of gentle wood cleaner on a nearly dry sponge. Aluminum blinds can be washed outdoors: Place them on an old sheet on a slanted surface, and scrub with water and a noncorrosive cleaner. Use a hose to rinse well, and then dry the blinds thoroughly with a towel to prevent rust. Vacuum and steam clean curtains or have them dry cleaned.
3. Switch It Up
Don’t forget to dust your ceiling fans and change the direction of your ceiling fans… the standard counterclockwise direction provides a pleasant breeze during warm months. Also change out your linens. Remove the dark heavy blankets for lightweight cotton ones.
4. Clean Out the Refrigerator
The first step is to wipe up spills immediately so surfaces won’t become stained. Make it a habit to throw out old food once a week. Every few months, wash the interior with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water. Wash removable shelves and drawers in the solution (let glass shelves come to room temperature first so warm water won’t crack them).
Loosen hardened spills on fixed parts by wetting the area with the solution, allowing the residue to soften. Use a toothbrush to scrub crannies.
5. Deep-Clean Carpets and Rugs
For synthetic carpeting, rent or buy a shampooer/extractor – a machine that cleans the fibers and removes traces of soap using hot water. Open windows and let air flow to help carpets dry. If you have wool carpets or rugs, or any that are valuable or delicate, contact a professional for cleaning. ■