Last-Chance: 10 Places Everyone Forgets to Spring-Clean

Home Maintenance & Repair >

Your windows are washed, the tile grout scrubbed, and the kitchen cabinets degreased – but what about vacuuming the sofa cushions, wiping down the door knobs and dusting the ceiling- fan blades? If you’re like most people, your spring-cleaning to-do list failed to include these chores. Fortunately, they’re fast and easy to do now before summer comes along. Here are 10 forgotten places to clean, with tips on how to get the job done efficiently from Donna Smallin Kuper, an organizational and cleaning expert and author.

1. Top of the Fridge
Maybe you use this space to store cookbooks or a wine rack. No matter what you put there, the top of the fridge gets greasy from cooking oils. To cut through the grime, Kuper suggests wiping the area down with a microfiber cloth dipped in warm, sudsy water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

2. Underneath Major Appliances
“Unplug and pull appliances out from the wall, taking care not to damage your flooring,” says Kuper. Vacuum to remove dust and loose debris then damp mop the floor.
3. Door Knobs
Think about how many hands grab your home’s door knobs every day. Use a microfiber cloth spritzed with water to remove smudges and grime. 
4. Ceiling-fan Blades
Having the right tool for the job makes cleaning easier, says Kuper. For ceiling-fan blades, use an extendable duster that bends at a 90-degree angle so you can clean the tops of the blades while standing on the floor.
5. The Broom
You clean the dirty floor with a broom, which means it gets dirty too. Kuper suggests vacuuming broom bristles with the hose, wash them in soapy water and rinse. Stand the broom with bristles up to dry.
6. Pillows
You wash your sheets regularly but what about your pillows? They need to be cleaned, too.
“Synthetic and down pillows can be washed in a washing machine on the delicate cycle,” says Kuper. “If you have a top loader, put two pillows into the wash to keep the load balanced.” For a front loader, add a couple of bath towels to balance the load. Dry on low heat, checking the pillows after 30 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter until they are completely dry. To break up the filling and prevent clumping, throw a couple of clean tennis balls in with them. 

7. Patio Umbrella
This backyard necessity gets more than just sun every day – it also gets dusty, and it gets dirty from tree sap and bird droppings. Use a garden hose with the sprayer attachment and lots of soapy water. Rinse well.

8. Mattress
Vacuum the mattress with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dander, says Kuper. And don’t forget to flip it, unless it’s a type of mattress that doesn’t require flipping like a pillow-top.
9. Sofa Cushions
These get a good workout in most homes, so cleaning them is essential. Kuper suggests removing the cushions and vacuuming underneath with the upholstery attachment. Do all sides of the cushions before returning them to the couch.
10. Kitchen Drawers
“One drawer at a time, remove everything and sort into two piles: things to put back after cleaning and things you really don’t need,” says Kuper. “If you’re undecided, ask yourself, ‘Would I buy this today?’”  If the answer is no, donate it. An effective way to clean the drawers is using the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner to remove crumbs and other loose debris.