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Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with a Clean Home

A thorough cleaning is precisely what your house needs after the holiday parties have ended and the decorations have been packed neatly away. Since you’ll be stuck indoors anyway, it’s a great time to consider cleaning the areas of your home that are often overlooked, like the grout of your shower.

It’s time to start the new year off with a sparkling clean home, so we’ve compiled a list of ten things to focus on deep cleaning this month. Take all the projects on in a single weekend, or bookmark the list for later and accomplish one task at a time. Either way, your home will look better for the extra effort.

Fridge:

Remove all old food and throw it away. Wipe the shelves and door of the appliance with a microfiber and your favorite all purpose cleaner. Pull your fridge out a bit from the wall and unplug it. Use your vacuum’s brush to clean the coils gently. If your fridge’s grille is in the front or removable, disconnect it so that you can get to these coils from the front of the machine.

Oven:

The harsh chemicals in many oven cleaners can lead to difficulty breathing and cause serious skin irritations. However, you can make a very effective oven cleaner by combining baking soda, a small amount of dish soap, and water to create a paste. Rub this paste on to the grease on the walls and bottom of your oven. Let this soak for five minutes, then use a wet rag or a microfiber cloth to wipe the area clean. Wrap the microfiber cloth around a long handled kitchen utensil in order to reach the back of the oven and other harder to reach areas.

Cabinets:

Your dish soap is the best degreaser to use for surfaces throughout the rest of your kitchen. Use dish soap on a microfiber cloth to clean oil spatters and sticky fingerprints on your cabinets, counters, and more. Don’t forget to clean the corners of your cabinets, as well as the hardware and inside edges of your doors.

Bathrooms:

Your shower and tub may need more attention after having holiday guests, so add these tasks to your regular cleaning. Deep cleaning doesn’t have to involve breathing in harsh chemical fumes, however. Instead, use cleaners that are made from plant-derived agents and apply them to completely saturate your grout and tile. Let the cleaner sit for at least five minutes, then scrub the area with a stiff bristled brush.

Windows:

Commercial window cleaners can contain ingredients like ammonia, and these can irritate your lungs. Remove sticky gunk from your windows by using a small amount of mayonnaise and rubbing it onto sticky spots from decals. Scrape the area with a plastic spatula. Avoid using a razor blade, as it can scratch or damage the glass. Use a glass and surface cleaner on your frame, ledge, and window hardware, then wipe the area clean. Next, spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth and wipe your windows from top to bottom in a Z shaped pattern. If it is warm enough, wipe the outside of your glass doors and windows, as well.

Vent Covers:

Cleaning your vent covers is a great way to help keep your house’s indoor air quality free of pollutants and allergens. Eliminate built up dust and pet dander by unscrewing each vent cover, then placing them all in a sink filled with hot water and dish soap. Scrub them carefully with a microfiber cloth, dry them, and then replace them on the vents.

Carpet:

Dust, dirt, pet dander, and other allergens can build up in the carpeting in your home. You don’t need special cleaners to keep your carpets smelling as fresh as possible – instead, sprinkle the entire area with baking soda and let it sit for an hour or more. Vacuum the area thoroughly, then repeat if necessary.

Mattress:

Baking soda is a great way to freshen up your mattress, as it neutralizes acids that could be causing odors. Wash your sheets, and then sprinkle your whole mattress with baking soda. Consider adding a several drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda. Let it sit on the mattress for an hour, then vacuum it up with the attachments for your vacuum.

Bedding:

As your mattress airs out, machine wash your blankets and pillows with cold water on the delicate cycle. Add an extra rinse cycle, and wash two of your pillows in each load to help keep the machine balanced. You may need to use the large machines at the laundromat to wash comforters and thick blankets. Dry your bedding on low, adding a few tennis balls to the cycle to keep everything fluffed.

Washing Machine:

To eliminate detergent buildup and mineral deposits without the smell of bleach, add two cups of vinegar to the washing machine’s drum, and add one cup of baking soda wherever you put in the laundry detergent. Then run the machine on the cold water cycle with the longest time. Use a microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner to wipe the surfaces and the rubber gasket around the door or lid of your machine.

After you’ve finished, add a winter scent on your stove top to keep your home smelling cozy.