Cleaning & Organizing
19 Home Items You Should Be Cleaning Every Month
Do these simple cleaning tasks monthly to avoid major messes down the road.
It’s recommended to have your washer go through a cleaning cycle once a week, depending on how often you are using the machine. If you aren’t using it as often, it’s recommended to give it wash (both inside and out) once a month. Since most clothes/patterns require a cold wash, hot water isn’t moving through the machine often. The first thing you can do is wash the machine with hot water—bleach included. This will help to kill off whatever bacteria or bugs are currently residing within your machine.
If your washing machine has a funny odor, it probably means there’s some mold to deal with. These two ingredients are perfect for banishing odors in your washing machine.
The best way to clean out your garbage disposal is with baking soda and white vinegar. Take half a cup of baking soda and a cup of white wine vinegar and put both down the sink. After a few minutes, pour some boiling hot water down, too. Next, fill the drain with some ice cubes and add a cup of salt, which will help to remove debris. Finally, add lemon halves to the disposal and keep both the water running and the garbage disposal on. Here are 12 things you should never put down your garbage disposal.
Baseboards and Blinds
If you let your mini blinds build up too much dust and dirt, they can be impossible to clean. The more you spray and wipe, the more you just spread the dust and grease buildup. You can use dryer sheets to quickly clean your blinds.
It’s difficult to thoroughly wipe both sides of all blades using a cloth—all while trying not to damage any of the delicate pieces in the process. Can’t clean your blinds because of allergies? Here are the best tips for busting dust bunnies without bothering your allergies.
Check HVAC Filters
Bodrozic says you should replace your air filters at least four times a year, but it’s best to check them once a month. This keeps air in the house healthy and your system running efficiently because they are not clogged with debris or dust.
Remove the filter and wash it to make sure all food particles are gone. Then sprinkle a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and let it sit for 12 hours. Then add a cup of vinegar and run a hot cycle.
Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock
The top or bottom of your refrigerator has a grille that you can detach to get access to the compressor and cooling coils. This builds up dust over time and blocks airflow, which can burn out your refrigerator’s cooling system. Here’s how to keep your refrigerator fresh and stink-free.
Vacuum Upholstered Furniture
Sprinkle a generous amount of regular baking soda onto the fabric and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. The baking soda will help to release odors and break up some light stains in the fabric.
After about 20 minutes, remove the baking soda—and the funky smell—with a handheld vacuum or a hose attachment for your large vacuum.
Inspect Sink and Tub Drains
If you notice that your sinks or tubs aren’t draining as quickly, there may be a buildup causing a blockage. The first thing to do is try to remove anything that is obstructing the pipe manually using a pipe cleaner to pull debris through the plughole. Second, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by some hot water, which should clear things out. Here are some things you shouldn’t pour down the drain.
Save your worn-out toothbrushes because they’re great for cleaning grout. Just apply a little bit of detergent to the head of the brush. It works especially well on corners. Cleaning grout is a pain but here’s a tip that might make it so you never have to do it again.
Ceiling Light Fixtures (One Room Per Month)
Cleaning light fixtures on a monthly basis keeps your fixtures from becoming covered in dust. To clean ceiling fixtures wipe the fixture with a cloth and remove the globe or pan for a quick shine as well as dumping any bug remains. You’ll be surprised how much brighter the light is with a little cleaning.
Range Hood Filter
The purpose of the range hood filter is to collect grease, so over time, it will become less effective as the grease builds up. To clean them, simply remove them and place them in a sink full of hot water, dishwashing liquid and baking soda. Leave to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. If needed, scrub the remaining grease off with a brush and rinse clean. Dry the filters with a paper towel before replacing them.
Lubricate Garage Doors
Your doors are probably a series of panels that are connected with hinges and have either metal or plastic rollers on each side. Use an appropriate lubricant, depending on metal or plastic rollers, to keep your garage door operating smoothly and prolong its useful life.
Air Vent Covers
You may not notice the air vents in your home regularly, but they can quickly build up dust around the vent covers. Dust them monthly to keep dust from blowing out into your rooms. Wipe down the nearby wall as well to remove any dust that has accumulated there.
Rugs are great at trapping dirt and dust so it’s important that you wash them on a regular monthly basis. No need to hire a professional, you can clean your area rugs yourself! Don’t miss the places you’re not vacuuming—but should be.
A monthly cleaning for windows includes cleaning both the inside of the glass and cleaning the windowsills. Use a glass cleaner to remove streaks on the windows. If you wait for an overcast day, you can reduce the chance of leaving streaks on the glass.
Check out the basic window washing equipment you need and the simple steps to follow for fast, clear results when cleaning windows.
Appliances like the microwave take a lot of abuse. At least once a month, treat them to a deep cleaning that renews them to their original glory. Scrub down the inside and outside of your microwave oven. You can clean your microwave the easy way with this how-to.
If it has been a while since you’ve cleaned your ceiling fan, take a look up. You’re likely to see a ton of dust and dirt clinging to your fans. Dust the ceiling fan at least once a month to keep it looking nice, functioning well and prevent all that dust from being dispersed in the air.
Even if you empty your dryer’s lint trap before each load, chances are there is still lint buildup around the area that could potentially cause a fire. So it’s important to deep clean the area once a month, and this handy hint will get the job done.
Wrap a clean rag around one end of a paint stir stick. Remove the lint trap and clean out the area with the rag-covered stick. To help the lint stick to the rag, dampen it with water first.
Your dryer does a lot more than make your clothes all cozy and warm. See what else you dryer can do!