You’ve checked everything off your spring cleaning to-do list. Your floors are spotless, closets decluttered and ceiling fans dust-free. But what about your kitchen and bath areas?
Here are five areas you’re likely neglecting to clean, which could be affecting your family’s health and could cause appliances and to malfunction, hurting your household budget.
1. Range Hood Filter
Kitchens and baths have appliances and fixtures that are easy to bypass when you’re cleaning the house.
The range hood filter is probably the most overlooked area in the kitchen. Its job is to exhaust grease, smoke and other toxins from the kitchen to the outdoors, leaving behind cleaner air.
You need to clean a kitchen range hood filter to remove grease and grime that can make the fan less effective and shorten its life.
To do this, soak metal filters in hot, soapy water. You can also add a small amount of degreaser or ammonia to the water to help break down stubborn build-up. Wipe down the exterior and underside of the range hood with a sponge and soapy water to cut through the grease.
Watch Range Hood Filter-Cleaning Tips for details.
2. Refrigerator Coils and Gasket
We’ll get to the bath soon, but first, stay in your kitchen and look around. When was the last time you peeked behind your fridge? You’d be amazed by the amount of dust that finds its way underneath and behind your refrigerator.
A buildup of dust and lint forces your refrigerator to work harder, so keeping the condenser coils free of debris allows it to run more efficiently.
First, be sure to unplug the refrigerator or turn off the power at the breaker before cleaning these areas.
Then, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum behind and underneath the appliance. Or, make a vacuum cleaner attachment from a cardboard gift-wrap tube, and use it to clean under the refrigerator.
After removing the protective grate in front of the cooling coils, gently scrub the coils with a stiff brush and use a vacuum attachment to remove the lint and dust.
But that’s not all. You also need to clean gaskets.
Gaskets ensure the refrigerator doors seal tightly, but if they’re full of gunk, they can’t do their job effectively.
Spray the gaskets with a citrus cleaner and wipe with a damp cloth. Regular cleaning will help keep the refrigerated air where it should be.
3. Garbage Disposal
Have you ever walked around your home and smelled something bad? If you don’t sanitize and deodorize your kitchen’s garbage disposal, and if your baths are regularly cleaned, it is the likely culprit.
Let’s take care of that right now — it’s easy, too! Just pour 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by 1 cup of vinegar, in the disposal. Then, allow the baking soda and vinegar to react.
After the bubbling subsides, pour a pot of boiling water down the garbage disposal and let it sit for five minutes. Then turn on the cold water tap and run the disposal to flush it out.
Here’s another method: Pour crushed ice into the disposal to clean the blades, and throw in lemon or lime rinds to deodorize.
Check out How to Clean the Garbage Disposal in Your Kitchen and Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Right for more info.
4. Faucet Aerator
Whenever you need water for a measuring cup in the kitchen or a drinking glass in the bath area, that H2O passes through an aerator.
Aerators contain a fine wire screen that mixes water with air to provide an even flow. Over time this screen can become clogged with mineral deposits or debris, reducing the amount of water coming through.
Unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet, and soak it overnight in a cup of white vinegar. The acid in the vinegar will dissolve any deposits and make the aerator as good as new.
Watch Cleaning a Faucet Aerator for more info.
5. Bath Exhaust Vent Fan
We’re going to leave the kitchen and focus on the baths now. You can’t miss much in these rooms, because they’re usually small. But one thing that needs regular maintenance, just like in the kitchen, is the ventilation system.
A bath’s vent fan removes excess moisture that can lead to mold and mildew and poor air quality. As the fan draws in air, dust builds up on the grille cover and the fan motor over time.
But we can prevent that from happening! Just remove the cover and use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the cover and grille.
Use a crevice tool attachment to remove dirt and debris from inside the fan housing, being careful not to damage the fan. If the fan is noisy, lubricate it with a silicone spray before replacing the cover.
Care to add some kitchen and bath areas that we didn’t mention on this list?
We’d love to hear them — share in the comments below!