Spring cleaning: Overlooked areas provide the biggest challenges
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 02:03
I was just getting back from class yesterday when I overheard my neighbor busily vacuuming away. The abrasive cry of the motor took me back to a time when I used to vacuum somewhat regularly. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back into that habit. For now though, it’s the middle of March, the perfect time for some major spring cleaning.
With an entire house or apartment to clean, it may be easy to "overlook" some of the grossest areas.
Of all the places in the kitchen, the fridge is the easiest to forget about, because all the spills and stains go away whenever you close the door. According to Marthastewart.com, a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water will clean up most spills on fridge shelves with a little scrubbing. If you don’t have any baking soda handy (who does?) scalding hot water and normal dish soap will work just fine.
Another kitchen appliance that doesn’t necessarily get the regular cleaning attention it deserves is the microwave. Anyone who has ever shared a microwave knows it takes less than a week for the pristine, spotless interior to transform into a sloppy mess with Pollock-like splatters of marinara, Velveeta cheese and barbecue sauce dried into a hard concrete on all sides.
No amount of scrubbing ever seems to get those smears out so you should probably buy a new microwave and cut your losses... unless you know about steaming the microwave clean. Just partially fill a microwave safe bowl with some water and nuke it for a couple of minutes. Then, use a dry paper towel to wipe out all the caked on foodstuffs. Good as new.
Moving out of the kitchen, if you’ve ever had a party at your residence, people probably spilled drinks everywhere like drunken assholes. You’ve already cleaned the floors but did you know that liquids splatter when dropped from even small distances? Your baseboards and even the lower portion of your walls probably caught a little of the spillage.
Most of this stuff will easily wipe out with soap and water but tough stains are a little trickier. If it was a floor or counter stain, I’d just suggest scrubbing until you tear your rotator cuff but hard scrubbing has the tendency to remove paint on walls. Lysol/Clorox disinfecting wipes are perfect for this problem. You can scrub and scrub and scrub with little worry about paint removal.
Finally, we get to the bathroom. Everyone already knows how to clean their toilet, sink and shower--I hope. After you clean those filthy places, you’ll want to also hit the base of the toilet.
This tip is more appropriate for men or women who host a lot of men because we, as men, have the propensity to "miss" on occasion while peeing, drench the top of the toilet bowl and let steamy rivulets of urine cascade down the sides and back of the toilet. Shortly after that happens, we dab the top of the bowl dry with toilet paper and make a silent pact to NEVER. TELL. ANYONE. Cat’s out of the bag, ladies. If you’ve let a guy use your facilities a few times, there’s urine all over the base of your toilet.
A once-over with your favorite surface cleaner is all the toilet base needs but let this serve as a reminder to clean one of the grossest areas in your home.
Spring cleaning isn’t hard if you clean up messes as you make them but who’s got time for that? I’d much rather get back to whatever TV show I’m watching than wipe up a fresh spill before it dries. If you’re only going to clean once or twice a year, you need to make sure to be thorough and actually clean everything.