As temperatures begin to rise and many of us head on summer vacations or host picnics, household tasks often take the back burner, resulting in grime and buildup that we have to get around to once the season ends. Here are six areas around the home to clean and some tips to help maintain in between deep cleaning.
Wipe Down Counters Daily
Food and spills on counters are an open invitation for summertime pests, so wiping down counters at least once a day is one of the best ways to prevent these unwanted guests. After wiping down surfaces, be sure to store any leftover food in sealed containers.
This can extend to all surfaces including bathroom counters, tables, and chairs to remove dirt and grime that gets tracked in from outdoor activities.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Many experts recommend cleaning your gutters once or twice a year, typically in spring and fall. If it has been a while, it is time to clean out leaves and debris buildup. If your home is surrounded by a lot of trees, your gutters and downspouts may require additional cleaning.
Not only can clogged gutters impact curb appeal, but overlooked, this exterior maintenance can lead to a range of issues. When gutters are blocked, it can lead to potential roof leaks, water damage, trapped moisture, and even compromise the foundation if water begins backing up.
Some companies specialize in gutter services, but if you are planning to clean them yourself, be sure to use a hose to flush any remaining dirt out of the gutters and downspouts. You will also want to put a tarp down to protect landscaping or rake what falls to the ground.
Replace Air Conditioning Filters
To beat the heat and keep your family cool throughout the summer, cleaning and replacing the filter in your air condition system is essential! Filters should be changed at least every 90 days, and thorough cleaning before temperatures rise to peak levels will keep your system maintained and in good shape.
Dust and Reverse Ceiling Fans
Did you know that your ceiling fan should rotate in different directions for summer and winter? Direction varies depending on the manufacturer, so check to see if it is on the correct setting. There should be a switch near the motor that will let you change the direction of the blades either clockwise or counterclockwise.
In summer, blades should turn counterclockwise, creating a current that moves down and out to distribute cool air throughout the room.
In winter, blades turn clockwise to create an updraft, which pulls cold air up to distribute warm air from your heating system—this flow prevents areas of cold air from settling.
If you use a ceiling fan in conjunction with AC, you can raise the temperature setting by about 4°F without reducing comfort, saving you money with utility costs. To clean your fan, you can use an extendable duster or cloth, or use a pillowcase to make cleanup easier!
To use a pillowcase, place the pillowcase over each blade, one at a time, and pull the pillowcase toward you, wiping the dust and debris directly into the case. If the fan has significant buildup, it may require more attention with a cleaning solution and cloth. You can take the pillowcase outdoors and simply shake it out then toss it into the wash.
Clean Kitchen Cabinets
The kitchen is a high-traffic area of the home and cabinets are touched throughout the day by all members of the family. Sometimes this leaves behind a sticky residue or splatters from cooking, and the contents can become cluttered and disorganized as we shuffle around, trying to cook a meal for a crowd.
If you routinely have your home professionally cleaned then your cabinet doors are being thoroughly wiped down regularly. If you want to do a touch-up in between visits, here are some dos and don’ts:
- Do use cleaning products that are suited for your cabinets. This depends on the material, but for most, a mixture of ¼ cup of Murphy oil soap and a gallon of warm water will do the trick
- Don’t saturate your cabinets, otherwise you can damage the paint or finish. Instead, dampen a cloth and wipe each cabinet door from top to bottom, inside and out, including the hardware
- Do use a clean, slightly damp cloth with warm water to remove any cleaning residue
- Don’t leave cabinets to air dry after wiping down or rinsing because it can cause damage and create bubbles
- Do follow with a clean cloth to dry the surface and remove any excess moisture
Scrub Down Outdoor Living Spaces
As we transition to spending more time outside, cleaning may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Getting your backyard and outdoor living space tidied before hosting gatherings will make the process easier and let you focus on enjoying time with friends and family.
Start with a quick pickup around the yard to remove any clutter and debris as well as removing any stagnant water to avoid mosquito breeding areas. Sweep away old leaves or dirt that accumulated on your deck or patio over the cooler months, and wipe down glass and hard surfaces, including children’s toys, to remove buildup and grime.
For outdoor furniture with cushion covers that can be removed, shake them out and toss them into the wash to clean them quickly. If they can’t be removed, use an upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt from pillows, cushions, and crevices. Scrub them with a mixture of lukewarm water, dish soap, and a few tablespoons of white vinegar then rinse thoroughly with warm water and dry in the sun.
Before it’s time for those family BBQs, make sure to clean and prep your grill! For removing stubborn stuck-on food and grease, heat your grill for about 15 minutes and use a lemon or onion sliced in half, secured with a long-handled fork. The acids and juice will cut through grease as you scrub!
Avoid using metal brushes as bristles can break off and get into food.
Hire a Professional Cleaning Service
If you want to enjoy summer without worrying about cleaning the interior of your home, visit us online to request a free quote or call us today at 804-729-7401 (Virginia) or 727-377-5522 (Florida) and we will help you decide which of our services is best for you.