Ah, spring is here! Sunshine and budding flowers have us feeling renewed and refreshed—because that’s what springtime, and spring cleaning, is all about! As we work hard rejuvenating and refreshing our home from stale winter, we may not always think of including some spaces and belongings in our spring cleaning regimen. Here are some forgotten spaces that you should give a little extra TLC this spring cleaning season.
1. Bags and Briefcases
Think about all of the things you shoved in your purse, briefcase, canvas shopping bags, etc. during the cold winter months. Food? Makeup? Flu-infested tissues? We know… gross. Your reusable grocery bags are easy to clean, and should be cleaned frequently. Most bags can be turned inside out and thrown right in the washer. Just pay attention to the bag’s fabric before choosing a dryer setting. Reusable plastic grocery bags can be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe.
For purses and briefcases, make sure you first take the time to organize what’s kept inside. Dispose of any garbage and sort smaller items into pockets or pouches. Before cleaning, remove all items and shake the bag out upside down.
Clean the exterior of your bags with a disinfectant wipe, if the surface sees it fit. For nicer leather or linen, you can use a warm water and soap mixture on a towel, gently scrubbing exterior and interior surfaces. You can also use a small vacuum or lint brush on the interior of your bags to pick up small remnants. For your nice designer bags, look up caring instructions first.
2. Curtains—Including the Shower Kind
Curtains can serve as a staple piece in living rooms, and a necessity in preventing wet bathroom floors. But since they’re always just…there, we may not acknowledge that they too need a good cleaning. Fabric curtains can attract lots of settling dust, especially near sunny windows. Try dry cleaning your curtains, drapes, and maybe even a throw pillow right at home! Toss them into your dryer and select the “air-only” cycle for 15 minutes. Hang immediately to prevent wrinkles.
The thing about your shower curtain being surrounded in heat and moisture is that it’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Luckily, you can throw your plastic or vinyl curtains right in the washer on a gentle cycle. Keep your curtains continuously clean by spritzing them with an all-purpose cleaner containing bleach, and rinse using the shower head. Always hang your shower curtain to dry. Learn more about preventing mold and mildew here.
3. Your Kids’ Toys and Electronics
Even though we may think our kids are the world’s most precious gifts, they can bring lots of germs into the house. Your kids are most likely being exposed to other children with runny noses and sticky fingers…and they touch everything. There’s no doubt the toys in your house probably need a good wash. (This goes for pet toys as well!)
Any plush toys, like stuffed animals, can be put through a delicate cycle and sat out to dry. Be sure to brush out soft fur while wet and again while dry for maximum fluffiness. If you’re worried about delicate plush toys being ruined in a cycle, try placing them in a pillow case before washing. Plastic toys can be wiped down with disinfectant wipes, or just use your dishwasher! Use the quick cycle with no heat to prevent a melted mess. Looking to organize the playroom? Learn how here.
“Your Cell Phone Is 10 Times Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat.” – TIME
Yep, you heard that right. Electronics probably harbor the most bacteria out of any of your belongings. Think of how many times you touch your phone, and then how many surfaces your phone touches. Yuck. This goes for all electronics—your phone, your kid’s tablet, keyboards, remote controls, etc. All electronics can be wiped with alcohol wipes, but you should be careful with the kind of liquids you use on screens. For cleaning smaller crevices, (i.e. removing crumbs from keyboard, earwax from headphones) use rubbing alcohol on a q-tip. For specifics on how to clean electronics and prevent damage, click here.
4. Clean Your Cleaners
It probably doesn’t occur to anyone that you should clean your cleaning supplies. But when you think about it, how much good can a dirty vacuum do? To clean your vacuums, first free the brush of any wrapped-around threads and hair by snipping with a scissor. Replace bags and/or filters. Clean out dust cups or reusable filters normally with soap and water.
For brooms, brushes, and tools with bristles, fill a bucket with warm soapy water and swish the brush heads around. You can also use a vacuum to pick up dirt remnants from in between bristles.
After using sponges, most likely while washing dishes, be sure to rinse and wring them out thoroughly. Place them in an open dish to dry completely. Your sponges should be replaced every two weeks!
5. Bedding and Mattresses
We know bedding is probably already on your cleaning list, but it’s a good reminder to make sure your comforter, pillow shams and other bedding accessories get cleaned two to three times a year. You might be able to just throw these in the washer, but make sure you check the cleaning labels first.
As far as cleaning your mattress goes, you might be a little less familiar with how to go about doing so. Here’s how Good Housekeeping suggests to do it:
“Press firmly with your vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean the top and sides [of the mattress]. After cleaning, rinse with a damp cloth and blot dry. Then sanitize with a disinfectant spray like Lysol. Steam from a garment steamer or iron will also kill dust mites near the surface. Vacuum afterwards.”
We hope some of these tips motivated you to get the spring cleaning started! Share some of your pro tips for cleaning forgotten spaces below.
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