With the arrival of spring and even summer-like temperatures in some states, the urge is strong to raise your blinds and throw open your doors to your balcony or porch and let the sun shine in. But once you’ve shined a light on your apartment space, you may decide it’s time for a thorough cleaning! Vacuuming and wiping down counters is a great place to start, but if you want to ensure you’ve truly deep cleaned your apartment, check off these items from the experts:
1. Dust everywhere, even your ceiling fans
It’s easy to notice dust on places at eye-level or below—bookshelves, TV and computer stands (and the technology equipment itself), cabinets and countertops. But look up to see where you might be missing. Ceiling fans are a huge collector of dust, that then circulates right back into the air every time you turn the fan on. To ensure you get all the dust contained the first time, tuck each blade into a pillowcase before you dust—it creates an effective trap for all airborne particles.
2. Get serious about your refrigerator and freezer
Freezers in particular can become home to food that is so far past its expiration date, you can no longer identify it, and a too-full refrigerator can often hide spills and sticky residue that is creating its own biosphere behind the cartons of milk and juice. Clean it all out! If you have a portable cooler, you can use it to store your frozen items while you wipe down the interior of the freezer, but even the most daunting refrigerator and freezer unit can usually be deep cleaned in under an hour. If your refrigerator has removable shelves, take them out and wash them separately to speed the process and make sure you get into every corner. Once your refrigerator is squeaky clean, only replace the items you know you will consume in the next few weeks. For the freezer, if you’re trying to decide about a food item that’s more than three months old—discard!
3. Trash your trashcan’s germs
Even if you line your trashcans with plastic bags, chances are the interior and exterior of your waste cans could use some sanitation. If the problem is too big for some disinfectant or bleach wipes, take the cans outside, squirt some dishwashing detergent inside them, and use a garden hose to blast them clean. Leave them out in the sun to dry to complete the disinfecting process.
4. Put the heat on your stovetop and dishwasher
Always follow your stove’s directions for cleaning, but if you have an electric stove, you usually can remove the electric coils to clean the surface of the stove, and hand wash the pot grates separately. Wipe down the entire unit, inside and out—and while you’re up, consider deep cleaning the interior of the stove as well. Again, follow the directions for your particular stove, but focusing on this appliance can take your super-clean kitchen to the next level.
Your dishwasher is another appliance that can sneakily build up residue over time. Pull out the dish holder in the bottom of the unit and check out the base of your dishwasher. If it looks a little dingy, use a sponge dipped in a combination of white vinegar and baking soda to clean it—you’ll be amazed at how quickly it brightens up.
5. Pro level cleaning details
- to go even farther? Bleach any grout in your bathrooms that is showing signs of mildew, clean out your faucets and drains, and take the time to clean your windows (inside and out, if you can!) with high-grade glass cleaner. The result will be an apartment that is as sanitary as you can make it—and one which will sparkle with freshness when the sun shines in.