Spring cleaning is around the corner. Decades ago, that would have meant hours of scrubbing away layers of soot from the wood-burning stoves or fireplaces or the coal-fired furnace.
Today's cleaner sources of energy may not leave behind so much grime and make the annual ritual less time-consuming. But as you create your to-do list, consider making time to check and clean these sometimes overlooked items.
Washing machine: A dirty washing machine is counterproductive. To clean the front-loading and top-loading machines, the websites Popsugar and Apartment Therapy recommend running a mixture of vinegar and baking through an empty hot water cycle can eliminate smells, mold and mildew. Also, wipe out the door gasket of a front loader and leave it open after each use in the future, says Consumer Reports.
Pillows: Cleanlink states that dead skin, mites, food, mold and other filth can be found in all pillows — from the pillow you sleep with to any pillows that adorn your bed or couches. Remove pillow covers and wash separately according to the instructions on the tags. For foam pillows or throw pillows with no removable cover, use a vacuum to clean them. Otherwise, follow the instructions on your pillow tags.
Bathroom decor: Popsugar noted that bacteria can easily spread in the bathroom. In addition to your normal weekly routine, for spring cleaning make sure to disinfect any of your bathroom decor — vases, jars, picture frames, decorative soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, etc.
Dishwasher: Today.com says cleaning your dishwasher will improve the machine's overall performance. If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and discard any buildup of food particles. If not, check the macerator (the food-grinding component) for cleaning or replacement. Next, fill a dishwasher-safe plastic container with a cup of vinegar, place it on the upper rack and run it through a hot water cycle. Then, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run a shorter cycle.
Trash cans: Trash cans are inevitably dirty, but when was the last time you disinfected your bins? If you line your containers with garbage bags, disinfecting should not be a big job. Angie's List recommends hosing out the bins, and then scrub the interior with disinfecting spray and seal with an odor-eliminating product.
Cleaning supplies: You're only spreading more filth if you're cleaning with dirty supplies. Angie's List says toilet brushes, sponges, cleaning cloths, brooms, dusters, and your vacuum cleaner should be cleaned or replaced regularly.
Electronics: Keyboards and remotes are hot spots for germs, according to Angie's List. Use a compressed air spray to regularly remove dust or gunk from your keyboard. To disinfect, CNET's Ed Rhee recommends a disinfecting wipe, but be sure to squeeze out any excess liquid before scrubbing.