As we’re stocking up on the best spring-cleaning supplies and drafting our plans of attack, there are a few oft-forgotten places we’ll want to make sure we add to our spring cleaning to-do lists. While it’s easy to forget to clean the air vents, you’ll be glad you did when you go to switch on the air conditioning for the season. And while it’s time-consuming to disinfect your kids’ favorite beach toys and lawn games, you’ll thank yourself later when the warm weather hits. Tackle these things on your to-do list right now, and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the spring and summer ahead.
Dust the Air Vents
If you have central air in your home, now is the time to dust the air vents. If not, all of the dust that has accumulated will circulate around the room when you switch on the AC. For a quick clean, use the nozzle or brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the outside of each air vent. For a deep cleaning, turn off your heating or air conditioning before unscrewing the air duct cover. Dust both sides of the grate with a microfiber cloth or a soft brush. Rinse and carefully dry each vent cover before replacing it, so that dust won’t cling to it.
Rotate and Clean Your Mattress
Spring cleaning is the time to finally tackle all of those home maintenance tasks you typically put off—including cleaning your mattress. While some modern mattresses are one-side-up, most coil and foam mattresses should be flipped and rotated 180 degrees so that they wear evenly and avoid sagging in the middle. Then, follow these steps to clean your mattress, so you can sleep a little more soundly.
Clean and Disinfect Outdoor Toys and Games
Whether your kids like to play in the sandbox, bike ride, or play baseball, now is the time to get toys and recreational equipment ready for spring. To clean bikes, check the tire pressure before wiping down the seat, handles, spokes, and frame with a damp cloth. Dry off all metal parts to prevent rusting. Dip plastic toys used at the beach or sandbox in warm soapy water, then rinse and dry them.
Clean white leather baseballs with a damp Magic Eraser to remove dirt and stains, while plastic balls can get washed in warm, soapy water. With your kids’ toys and seasonal sports equipment ready to go, you’ll be able to head right to the park or beach without stopping to clean everything first.
Dust Your Plants (And Their Pots)
It’s hard enough to remember to water your plants, let alone dust them. Let spring cleaning be your cue to clean away all of the dust your precious houseplants have collected after spending the winter indoors. For plants with shiny leaves, use a damp cloth or paper towel to gently wipe the dust off of the leaves, holding the bottom of each leaf for support. For fuzzy plants, dust the leaves with a soft paintbrush. While you’re at it, wipe down the plant’s pot with a microfiber cloth or clean rag.
Clean Your Water Bottle
While hydration is key all year round, most of us step up our water intake during the warmer months. Now’s a great time to deep-clean your reusable water bottle. Check to see if your bottle is machine-washable. If it’s not, hand-wash the bottle with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Use a narrow bottle brush to scrub down to the bottom of the bottle, or try these bean-shaped weighted sponges one Real Simple writer put to the test. Or invest in a set of chlorine-free water bottle cleaning tablets, which removes stains and odors—no scrubbing required.
Dust Your Light Fixtures (And Even Light Bulbs!)
Cleaning lampshades is likely a household tasks that lands pretty low on your priority list, but now’s the time to tackle it. Not sure how to dust a circular lampshade? A lint roller can help–simply roll it vertically down the shade, collecting dust along the way. Now that many of us use long-lasting LED light bulbs that can last for up to 50,000 hours, modern light bulbs collect more dust than old incandescent bulbs did. To dust your light bulbs, turn off the lamp and wait until the bulb is no longer hot before dusting it with a clean cloth. Don’t be surprised if your home suddenly looks a little brighter without the veil of dust on each light bulb.