Spring is here, and hopefully to stay. Yesterday, I noticed red poppies that had sprung up next to the pond in my front yard. The flowers brought a smile to my face, as I have been anxiously awaiting leaves on the trees and warm sunshine on my face. It is starting to feel as if everything is awakening after the winter chill, and it made me pause to think about my house.
It is the perfect time to give your Asheville home its own freshening with these following tips from Martha Stewart. Most homeowners declare spring cleaning the time for their annual deep clean and this checklist will help you accomplish the feeling of spring indoors.
- Wipe walls and ceilings – Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface)
- Reseal grout lines- The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.
- Dust books and shelves – Take everything off the shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Use the dust-brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.
- Vacuum and shampoo rugs – Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.
- Clean upholstered furnishings – Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.
- Polish metal door and window hardware – Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are for heavier work. If tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product.
- Wax wood furniture – Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butcher’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.
- Dust your home thoroughly – This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.
- Wash window screens – Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly.
- Ensure fire safety – Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.
- Wax nonwood floors – Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.
- Clean window treatments – Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry-clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.
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