Ready for some serious sparkle? Dive into a detailed cleaning of these hard-to-get areas of your home.
If you’ve ever had your car detailed, you know how dazzling it is when your car’s tough-to-reach spots are freshly cleaned. Suddenly it feels like a brand new car! The same can hold true for your home, but on a much grander scale. When you invest time in “detailing” your house, the result is a home with added sparkle that will make it look and feel nearly as fresh as the day you moved in.
From your baseboards to your showerhead, here’s a cleaning guide to tackle five of your home’s toughest spots:
You know how to tackle your shower’s tile and glass doors, but how often do you blast away the hard water spots that collect on the fixtures? You’ll do it way more often now that you know this clever tip: Fill a large plastic bag with 1/3 cup baking soda and slowly pour in 1 cup white vinegar. Submerge the showerhead or bath spout in the solution by placing the bag over it and securing it with a rubber band or twist tie, then let the solution work its magic for a few hours. In the meantime, slice a lemon in half and rub the cut side over your fixtures to make hard water spots disappear. Finally, rinse fixtures with water and give them a good buffing with a soft, dry cloth. Voila—shiny fixtures!
If you’re like most people, cleaning your baseboards isn’t a top-of-mind activity—until you notice they’re positively gray with months (maybe years?) of accumulated dust. To get them back to gleaming, use your vacuum’s brush attachment to get rid of the stuff on the surface. Then wipe them down with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Lastly, wipe dryer sheets along the baseboards to help reduce static. Less static electricity on a surface can reduce the amount of dust that settles there.
Cleaning the dishwasher can be a tough task, but it’s worth the effort! Wipe down the hinges, gaskets and entire interior with disinfectant, and clean your dishwasher’s filter periodically. Visit the manufacturer’s website to get specific instructions on how best to clean your particular model’s filter. If you’ve never done this chore before, you won’t believe the gunk that’s accumulated!
After you’ve finished, do a vinegar wash to remove grease, grime and musty odors. Simply fill a dishwasher-safe container with a cup of white vinegar and run a hot-water cycle.
Dirty vent covers can lead to dirty air—when you turn on your HVAC system, the air that blows through can dislodge dust, pet dander, pollen and other airborne particles and send them flying. Cleaning the vent covers once or twice a year can make a big difference. Get them looking fresh by carefully removing them from the wall or floor, and washing in the bathtub or in your yard with warm, soapy water. While they’re out, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down just inside the vents with a dry cloth, either.
The walls and floors around large appliances can gather crazy amounts of dust and debris. Cleaning underneath and behind stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers can be tough spots, but it’ll take a big dent out of the dust in your home. A microfiber duster with a long handle can help you reach those nooks and crannies, but to really get things clean, pull appliances away from the wall, sweep up the dust bunnies and wash surfaces with warm soapy water. You can also wipe down the backs of the appliances themselves with vinegar diluted with water, just be careful not to get any cords, prongs or cables wet.
Wondering how to clean stainless steel appliances so they shine without streaks? Wash with soap and water, then buff a bit of mineral oil onto the surface with a dry cloth. This helps get a smooth finish, and reduce sticky buildup.