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Spic-and-span spring cleaning

The arrival of spring means it’s time to really clean up.

The arrival of spring means it’s time to really clean up.


If you’ve kept up with housework, it will only take a few tasks to have your home fresher. Here are some insider tips.


Whether you have a fireplace or furnace, keeping everything closed up over the winter can leave drapes and carpets smelling musty. Dry-cleaning draperies and washing the windows will make a huge difference. Be sure to move furniture away from the walls to wipe down the baseboards where dust clings.


“Start up high cleaning — don’t fight the law of gravity in that things fall down,” says Patrick Irwin, president of Windsor Home Cleaning in Ottawa.


“The things people miss are above our level and below our level.” Dust and dirt will fall, he says, so “do the floors last.”


Move furniture away from the walls to wipe down the baseboards where dust clings, says Stephanie Legros, owner of Sort it Out Cleaning in Dartmouth, N.S. For big jobs with lots of windows, she prefers a product called BonAmi. “It cleans like nobody’s business — and fast,” she says.


But for small jobs, Legros has a recipe of vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol, dish soap and water.


For kitchen cabinets and their built-up grime, use a good degreaser and wipe it off with a damp cloth. A degreaser restores wood to its original look. Pay lots of attention to appliance handles where dirt really sticks.
It might be a good idea while you’re in the kitchen to clean out the freezer and get rid of food that has been there for a year. For the dishwasher, one of Legros’ tricks is to use orange Tang crystals, run through one cycle, to clean it.


While showers, tubs and sinks are part of regular cleaning, you’ll need to remove shower curtains and scrub them down. Cloth curtains are usually fine to wash in the washer. Replace the plastic liners if they are grungy.


Shake out and air carpets. A portable steam machine does a good job at spot-cleaning stains. Or spread the rug on the deck, and scrub with laundry soap and water, then hose down.


Front and back doors have probably taken a beating from wet salty boots, so clean thoroughly: door frame, screen door, and along the wall.


To remove pet odours, sprinkle baking soda on carpets, then vacuum. You can add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda first for a fresher smell.


Replace or wash furnace filters, and remember to turn the ceiling fan to counter-clockwise to push air down and create a stronger draft.

 
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