How often should you clean...Part 2

The sun is shining and our store doors are open to let in the Spring breeze.  For some of us, it means one thing:  Spring cleaning!

Our last blog post shared how often you should clean your households, like your sheets, pillows, towels, curtains, carpet, & area rugs.  Today, we want to expand to include some items you may have forgotten about as you rush to and fro each day.

Hair Brushes/Combs– It’s recommended that you wash your brushes and combs about every two months. First pull out stray hairs with a comb then swish the brush back and forth in a sink full of soapy water. Rinse and tap off excess water. Lay the brush bristle side down on a towel to dry or use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

Coffee Maker – After about 12 brews, you should clean your coffee pot.  Old coffee grounds and water deposits will alter the taste of your morning joe if you let it go too long.  The machine will function better and last longer if you clean it often.  To clean, run two parts vinegar to one part water through the machine.  Or you can run the machine through a full cycle twice with cold water, using a filter if your machine takes filters.

Washing Machine – According to Good Housekeeping, you should run the cleaning cycle monthly.   If your machine doesn’t have a “cleaning cycle”, “add liquid chlorine bleach to the dispenser and run a normal cycle with hot water.  If you have a front-loader, be sure to wipe the rubber gasket”.  For a “greener” option to bleach, run the washer through an entire hot water wash cycle with two cups of white vinegar.  Run the washer a second time on the shortest cycle possible with just water to rinse away any trace of vinegar.  Leave the lid or door open after to air out remaining moisture. Be sure to unclog the inlet hose filter too so water continues to flow adequately into the machine during the wash cycle.

Dryer – To help your dryer run efficiently, you should clean out the lint trap after every use and the dryer duct often.  In many homes the dryer exhaust is vented over long distances and include bends and turns where lint can easily accumulate. Cleaning out the vent will result in lower energy use, improved drying times, and lessen the chance of a fire.   Consider having a professional with the proper equipment and expertise service the appliance at least once a year.

Inside your refrigerator – The nationally recognized Clean out your Refrigerator day isn’t until November 15, 2012 but please don’t wait that long. You should be emptying and scrubbing the inside of your produce bins about every few months to keep the produce flavors fresh. Wipe down the rest of your refrigerator at the same time. We suggest using good old baking soda and warm water, avoiding any cleansers with chemicals of course.

Television Screens – Wipe these down every two to four weeks.  If you have little sticky hands that find their way to the screen, it could need a wipe down more frequently.  Use a soft, dry microfiber cloth.  If your screen is an LCD (glass) screen,  you could add a little water to the cloth.  Wipe the screen back and forth then up and down to avoid streaks.

Air Ducts & Vents – Spring is the perfect time to clean your air vents.  HVAC systems are often overworked during the winter months. This can cause contaminants to build up, making the air duct system function less efficiently unless cleaned.  We found great information on do it yourself air duct cleaning on DIY Life and eHow Home.  If you decide to hire a professional to do it for you, try to get a recommendation from a reliable acquaintance or consult a review service like Angie’s List.

If you have any tips or recommendations for do it yourself Spring cleaning, we’d love to hear from you.  While you’re busy cleaning some or all of the items above, we’ll take the laundry off your hands.  Our 20% off Households limited time offer continues until May 25th, 2011 just in time to enjoy the long Holiday weekend with a clean home and closet.

– S.O.