Spring is here once again and you know what that means – it’s time for spring cleaning. It’s time to give the house a good scrubbing and maybe get rid of some old treasures that you no longer need. But in the past you may have missed a few spots, places that you may not even have thought of as being homes for germs and bacteria. So, before you start another round of spring cleaning, read through this essential spring cleaning checklist to see which places in your home deserve extra attention this year.
The bedroom should be your sanctuary, the place where you can rest and relax after a hard day’s work. But your bedroom can turn into a place of unrest if you don’t keep it clean. Here are some things from the bedroom that you should give extra special attention while performing your spring cleaning:
- Mattress: Thousands or even millions of dust mites, which are microscopic bugs, could be living in your mattress without you having the slightest clue. These bugs can be especially harmful to people with allergies, so it’s important to wash and vacuum your mattress. In fact, you should probably do this regularly and not just for spring cleaning.
- Bed linens: Yes, these also can harbor dust mites, so wash your sheets, blankets, comforter and pillow often as well.
- Curtains: Dust and other allergens can easily collect in curtains, so wash them in hot water.
- Carpet: Sometimes vacuuming your carpet just isn’t enough. It gets out what’s on the surface, but it doesn’t get the grime that’s been imbedded in the carpet for years. This year, get a steam cleaner to get the stuff you don’t see out of your carpet.
You may think that you have this room mapped out already: just clean the toilet, the shower and the floors and you’ll be done, right? Not so fast. Here are a few germy places that you don’t want to miss:
- Toothbrush holder: In order to keep your mouth free of bacteria and germs, your toothbrush needs to be free of bacteria and germs. But toothbrushes are usually kept near the toilet, in a room that’s often damp. That’s a recipe for bacteria. So replace that old toothbrush and keep the new on in a cabinet or drawer and cover the head with a protective covering.
- Soap dispenser: When you need to wash your hands, you immediately reach for soap. But in doing so, the germs that are on your hands get transferred to the pump of the soap dispenser. So clean all soap dispensers with a disinfectant, and be sure to repeat this process at least once a week.
- Bathroom sink: The bathroom sink is one of the most germ-filled places in the home, so don’t forget to give it a good scrub rather than a quick rinse.
This is one room of the house that deserves a lot of extra attention. After all, this is the place where you prepare, cook and store food. To prevent bacteria from taking over your kitchen, don’t forget to clean these places:
- Garbage disposal: According to Prevention magazine, the kitchen sink harbors 1,000 times more bacteria than the toilet. Bacteria from raw meat and other foods can easily gather in and around the rubber stopper, so take it out and clean it with bleach.
- Top of refrigerator: You may clean the inside of the refrigerator, but you probably don’t clean the top of it, which easily collects dust. Wipe it down and repeat the process at least once per week.
- Refrigerator seal: This is another part of the refrigerator that you probably have never thought to clean. The seal is a common place for mold to develop and every time the refrigerator door opens, those mold spores become airborne. To prevent this, wipe down the seal with a disinfectant.
- Dish towels: If you can’t remember the last time you changed your dish towel, it’s probably best to just throw that rag in the trash. When you clean up spills, germs and bacteria from that spill can easily be transferred to counters or even your hands, so change your dish towels at least twice a week and wash them in hot water.
- Inside the garbage can: You might think that by covering the garbage can with a garbage bag, it’s protected from germs and bacteria. But food and other pieces of trash can easily slip between the bag and the can, especially if the bag sinks down or tears. After taking out the trash, wipe down the inside of the can with a disinfectant.
- The faucet: You may rub the faucet down every so often, but do you ever clean the aeration screen from which the water comes out? That screen is almost constantly wet, which makes it a great place for bacteria to live. Over time, those bacteria can create a biofilm on the faucet, which, if built up enough, can break off into your food or onto your hands. To clean the screen, soak it in bleach for a few minutes, put it back on and let the water run through it for another couple of minutes.
This is the centerpiece of your home, the room in which you entertain family and friends. So take special care to clean these places in your living room this spring:
- Blinds: These easily collect dust, so wipe them down often. For fabric blinds, use a microfiber cloth, but for metal or wood blinds, use a cloth dampened with water.
- Underside of rugs: You probably vacuum the top of your rug, but have you ever vacuumed the underside of it? Dirt and grime can seep through to the other side, so flip it over and vacuum it often.
Of course, these aren’t the only places that need to be checked off on your spring cleaning checklist. Doorknobs should be scrubbed with a disinfectant, the computer keyboard should be cleaned and the “Welcome” mat could probably use a spray of disinfectant. The key to a thorough spring cleaning is just to look for the things that you have never or have rarely cleaned because they probably need to be cleaned the most.