spring cleaning secrets
Out with the old and in with the new. Sally Morse, director of creative services for leading window fashions company, Hunter Douglas, offers the following tips to give your home a blast of spring fever:
Store your winter clothes in a clean, cool, dark and dry place. Before storing, be sure each item is thoroughly cleaned, as any stains can darken and become worse during storage and make the garment attractive to insects. Remember that mothballs can be hazardous to children and pets if not used carefully and according to instructions. Cedar blocks or cedar-lined storage is another option.
Focus on tidying one area at a time. Throw away or take to a thrift store or local charity what is not needed. You could even save it for a garage sale. Then, designate a spot for every belonging so that there are a few items on tables, counters and desks. Try putting small items in neutral-coloured boxes or decorative bins.
carpets and upholstery
Give your carpets a shampoo and clean upholstery. You may want to call in a professional for assistance. Gather up throw rugs and take them outside for a shake; then air them out on a clothesline or railing.
Carefully inspect all appliances– refrigerator, oven, washer and dryer, dishwasher, blender, coffee maker, heating and cooling units – for functionality, cleanliness and faulty wiring. Be sure to follow the manual or information posted online on a manufacturer’s website for complete instructions. Always unplug an appliance before cleaning it and never immerse electrical components in water.
cabinets, baseboards, walls and woodwork
Use a sponge and hand dishwashing detergent, washing the surface in sections. A sponge mop can make it easier to reach higher spots.
Inspect and clean window treatments, dusting down window casing, washing window sills and cleaning any window hardware as well.
Did you know that many Hunter Douglas shade fabrics are specially treated to repel dirt and dust? For example, the aluminum horizontal blinds are treated with DustShield, an anti-static paint additive that inhibits dust build-up. Morse says that while regular light dusting maintains a like-new appearance for most of the company’s window fashions, for deeper cleaning there are various options depending on the select style. These include: gentle vacuuming with a brush attachment; blowing off dust with compressed air or hair dryer (non-heat setting); and spot-cleaning.
For even deeper cleaning, there are a number of options that also depend on the window covering type. Possibilities include: bathtub cleaning/water immersion as well as ultrasonic or injection/extraction cleaning by a professional.
ceiling and lighting fixtures, vents
Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment. Clean lighting fixtures with an all-purpose cleaner, sponge and polish cloth.
Wash the mattress pad, pillows and coverings. All, except foam pillows should be fine to put in the washer, but check labels for specific laundering instructions.
More information is available at www.hunterdouglas.ca.
— News Canada