Stay on top of these cleaning tasks to keep your home smelling fresh and running efficiently.
Even if your home is tidy and appears clean, there are tasks that are easy to overlook. The good news is that many of these don’t take very long and you’ll benefit from doing them right away.
Banish smelly drains
If your drains emit an offensive odor, get rid of it by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with a cup of vinegar. After an hour or so, flush the solution through the drain by running hot water. Use this technique once a week on kitchen, sink and shower/bath drains.
Keep the dishwasher smelling fresh
With all those dirty dishes to clean, debris can build up in the crevices and nooks of your dishwasher. The simplest way to keep the dishwasher clean is with our friends, vinegar and baking soda. First, fill a dishwasher-safe cup with vinegar, put in on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a cycle using the hottest water possible. Then, sprinkle baking soda in the dishwasher and run a short cycle with the hottest water possible.
Clean the dryer vent for faster drying
You’re already cleaning your dryer’s lint filter after every load, right? But lint still makes it past the filter into the duct work that vents moist air to the outside. Lint build-up in the vent can increase drying times, utility bills and the risk of fire.
Cleaning the vent twice a year is a good guideline, but you may need to do it more often if your dryer gets lots of use. Get started with this how-to video on cleaning dryer vents. If you don’t want to clean the vent yourself, have it done by a professional duct-work cleaner. The call to schedule an appointment only takes a few minutes.
Breathe easier with clean screens
Window screens do a great job of keeping insects outside where they belong. They also trap lots of dust and pollen. The most thorough way of cleaning screens is to remove them and hose them off. However, there are quicker ways to clean screens between washings. Vacuum, use a duster, or wipe away debris with a sponge or microfiber cloth moistened with water. Not only will you breathe easier, your view will improve!
Change water filters for good taste, smell and health
Okay, technically you’re changing water filters not cleaning them but we included this on our list because it doesn’t take long to do. Water filters can last six to twelve months depending on usage.
Regularly change filters on faucets, refrigerators and whole-house systems. Doing so will ensure that substances that affect water’s taste and smell, as well as your family’s health, are removed.
Some appliances like refrigerators have a “replace filter” light to help you stay on top of this task. However, many of these function on timing rather than a sensor that determines the filter’s capacity. Check the filter’s specifications on how many gallons it filters effectively and use that as a guide for replacement based on your family’s usage.
Note the date you replace water filters so you know exactly how much usage they’ve gotten. A Post-it note or label will do the job. The cost of replacing filters prematurely can add up over time.
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