Article originally written by MARNI JAMESON and taken from mercurynews
Ah spring! The season of hay fever, taxes and deep cleaning. Yuck. Besides the general housekeeping that I know you do on a regular basis, (right?) — like dusting, vacuuming, wiping counters, changing your sheets and generally tidying up — once a year, we need todive below the surface and get rid of a winter’s worth of dust, debris, dirt and detritus.
Remember that bucket your mom lugged around with the 15 cleaning products? Today, you really can have just one product for almost everything. New multipurpose cleaners not only clean and kill 99 percent of household germs, but they come in nice scents.
For a one-two punch, pair the multi-purpose cleaner with microfiber cleaning cloths, and say good-by to the mounds of rags, sponges, and paper towel rolls.
Products like Magic Eraser (for walls), Bona (for wood floors), floor robot vacuums, and Swiffer are among the products Mom didn’t have that make cleaning a lot easier.
Here are the top 10 spring cleaning projects to tackle, plus a few tips to lighten the lift.
Start at the top. Go one room at a time and work top to bottom. Start with high window casings, then move to light fixtures and ceiling fans. To clean fans, spray blades with a cleaner, then tuck each blade in an old pillowcase and swipe. This keeps dust from falling on beds or furniture. A good microfiber cloth will also grab dirt. Remove all books and accessories from shelves, and wipe both the objects and the shelves. Wipe walls and switch-plate covers.
Call it curtains. Run a vacuum with a dust brush attachment over window treatments, starting at the tops of the drapes and working down. Another way to refresh draperies is to take them down, remove their hardware and run them in the dryer’s air cycle for 15 minutes with a damp towel to draw out dust. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth working side to side, top to bottom.
Dive in the cracks. Pull all removable cushions off sofas and chairs, take them outside and give them a good smack. Vacuum them and the area under the cushions. Clean surface stains, or, for heavily soiled surfaces, call a pro.
Get behind what you’ve ignored. Pull out your washer and dryer and wipe out all the dirt that’s collected behind those cleaning machines. Do the same for your refrigerator, including the coils.
Take it outside. Clotheslines may be a relic of the past, but fresh air and sunshine are still a formidable cleaning team. On a nice day, shake out comforters, blankets and pillows, and hang them outside to air. Take area rugs outside and give them a shake and a good beating.
Purge closets and cupboards. Working one closet or cupboard at a time, pull everything out. Clean the space, then assess what’s left.
Donate or toss the rest, and don’t look back.Tackle the larder. Empty the pantry. Toss stale, expired food, and anything you really won’t ever eat. Size up what you have, then label shelves. Organize the pantry so heavier cans and bottles are low, and lighter items are high. Restock shelves so they look like a grocery store aisle
Wash those windows. Open the windows, and pop out the screens. Vacuum the insect colonies, wash out the sills and tracts, scrub screens with a brush or an old carpet scrap, clean the glass and put it all back together.Polish your metal. Use your all-purpose cleaner (or a solution of half alcohol and half water) and wipe grease and fingerprints off everything that shines, or should.Wax your wood. Most wood furniture and floors do fine with a simple wipe down, but once a year, after cleaning the surface, apply a little paste wax.