Special Spring Cleaning Tasks - Sutton — Canadian Real Estate Listings & Agents | Sutton.com

Special Spring Cleaning Tasks

29 March 2019

Special Spring Cleaning Tasks

Spring is a time of renewal and for many of us that includes revitalizing our homes. We want to clear away the winter’s grime and dust to let in fresh air and sunshine.

Elevate your spring cleaning by tackling these rarely-done chores around the house:

Handheld Devices

Studies have found E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria live on the surface of phones and TV remotes and are easily transferred to us by touch and when we inhale. Turn off the phone and remove the batteries from the remote before cleaning. Holding the device upside down to prevent liquid from draining into the buttons as you wipe the device with a cloth that has been lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol. Allow the device to dry upside down for at least five minutes.

Window treatments

A significant amount of dust builds up on drapery, as well as dirt and oils from our hands and occasionally pets. Check the manufacturer’s directions on the best way to clean your drapes. In general:

  • Silks must be dry-cleaned.
  • Drapes with lining or insulation can be machine washed in cold water, but do not put them in the dryer; instead hang them to dry on a line.
  • Sheer and lace draperies should be handwashed in cold water and hung to dry.


Isn’t a dishwasher already clean? Not always. Food particles can accumulate in the drain, causing your dishwasher to drain less effectively and contaminating your dishes.

Drains are located at the bottom of the appliance, usually immediately below the spray arms. If the drain shield is removable that makes it easier to clean away any food particles, otherwise, use a small cleaning brush to swab the drain holes.

Next, into an empty dishwasher, place one cup of distilled white vinegar in an open container on the top rack. Into the detergent receptacle, add a few teaspoons of citric acid, which is available where wine-making and canning supplies are sold. Run your dishwasher on the normal cycle to clear drains and remove mineral residue.

The rubber seal around the dishwasher door is often rife with gunk. Use warm, soapy water to clean the seal including inside the folds. If you notice black mold, clean it with diluted bleach.

Appliance gaps

In the dark gaps below and beside your appliances is a microcosm of moldy crumbs, stray Cheerios, dirt and lots of germs. Ideally, pull the appliances out from the wall to clean the entire area. If you cannot move an appliance, use a narrow vacuum attachment, a dusting wand, or fashion a fine, long-handled tool by wrapping a cloth around a coat hanger.


Over time, stray hairs and residue from conditioners, toothpaste, shaving lotion, etc. can cause an unpleasant build-up in sinks and showers. To each drain, add half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of white vinegar. The mixture will foam. After 15 minutes, flush the drain with very hot water.


While some houseplants can help to clean the air, the drip tray beneath the planter is a dark, warm, moist place where smelly bacteria can thrive. This may not be much of an issue if you have one or two potted plants, but a room with many plants can begin to smell decidedly swamp-like.

Empty each drip tray and give it a gentle, thorough scrubbing with liquid soap and warm water. While you are at it, dust the top surface of the plants’ leaves with a soft, damp cloth, or an electrostatic duster.


Onto our mattresses we lay our weary heads to dream, but while we do, our body sheds skin cells, sweat and oils that feed bacteria and dust mites. By some estimates, a mattress can gain 10% of its weight over the course of its life due to our deposits, dust mites and their feces. (If you don’t already own a mattress cover, you may want to invest in one.)

It is a good idea to vacuum your mattress at least once a month, but if you haven’t managed to make that part of your regular routine, add it to your spring-cleaning task list.

To extend the life of your mattress, rotate it so that the foot is at the top. If you have a mattress without a pillowtop, you may be able to flip it over, which goes even further toward extending the mattress’s useful life.

Pillows and Comforters

All of the unsavoury things that work their way into a mattress can also populate pillows and comforters. Wash and dry these according to the manufacturer’s directions.

This spring, dirt doesn’t stand a chance.

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