I’m a little afraid to put this list in writing, as I’m sure it will have you noticing dirty areas in your home that you were perfectly fine ignoring just a few minutes ago. I apologize in advance if you become somewhat hypersensitive to these newfound nuisances. The truth of the matter is, these trouble spots must be given even the slightest portion of your brain at least twice a year—so it’s best just to tackle them now and get them out of the way for another six months.

Crank up the cleaning music and roll up your sleeves, crafty cleaners. Here’s your to-do list full of cleaning tasks you’ll never forget. (And the best part is, you’ll only need them twice a year.)

Deep Clean Your Garbage Cans

It may seem illogical—or weird, at the very least—to clean the receptacles where your trash hangs out, but the smell alone should convince you of its importance. Here’s my favorite trash can cleaning technique to keep your garbage bin free from funk and fungus:

  • Spray inside the empty trash can with a disinfectant cleaner. That seems like a no-brainer. However, it’s even more crucial to spray the cans designed for pet messes, as these products contain enzymes that kill bacteria and neutralize odors. Tip: You may want to test a small area first to make sure the cleaner you are using doesn’t stain the surface of your trash can.
  • Allow the cleanser to set for a few minutes, and then scrub with a nylon brush.
  • Wipe down the outside with a sponge or nylon scrubber dipped in hot water and heavy-duty cleaning solution. Or, if you prefer a more natural approach, you could substitute lemon essential oil for the cleaning solution.
  • Rinse and let air dry. If possible, let the can dry in the sun, as the heat helps eradicate mold and the ultraviolet rays can kill some of the bacteria.

De-fuzz Lampshades

Lamp shades—those fancy pleated ones in particular—can really hold onto dust. And once you notice the infiltrating fuzz balls, they will be the only things you see every time you turn on the lamp. Here’s how to get them off your mind:

  • Unplug lamp and allow bulb to cool, if necessary.
  • Remove the lampshade for cleaning.
  • Use a paintbrush or compressed air to dust pleats and hard to dust areas.
  • Fold stiff tape, like duct tape, into a two-sided glue trap and press it into the valley of the pleats.
  • A lint roller is helpful for smooth or delicate shades.

Scrub Light Fixtures

Are your light fixtures bugging you—literally? I’m not sure how those critters “go toward the light” in fluorescent and glass bowl light fixtures, but when you attack one, make a point to clean them all.

  • First, turn off the light that you wish to clean and allow the bulbs to cool.
  • Unscrew the glass light casing, working carefully with a firm, but delicate grip. If you don’t have to completely remove the screws to get the casing down, keep them in the fixture to prevent them getting lost—you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Remove light bulbs, making a note if any need to be replaced. Wipe each one down with a dust cloth or damp cleaning rag.
  • Place a washcloth or hand towel in the bottom of your sink, and fill with warm, soapy water. The added cushion of the towel will prevent chips and cracks to your hard-to-replace fixtures.
  • Wash your light casings, making sure to wipe every bit of the surface to avoid streaks. Thoroughly dry them with a lint-free towel.
  • If possible, rub some lemon essential oil around the lip of the casing—bugs hate that stuff. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and carefully put the light casing back in place.

While you’re up there, it may be a good idea to wipe down any ceiling fan blades, too.

Wash Shower Curtain Liners

Should you spend your time replacing or cleaning shower curtain liners—that is the question. Most shower curtain liners can very easily be cleaned in the washing machine.

  • Just place it in the machine with two bath towels on the gentle setting.
  • Some people find adding a ½ cup of baking soda or about 10 drops of lemon essential oil—that stuff is magic—at the beginning of the wash, followed by a ½ cup vinegar in the rinse cycle, to be a great way to get rid of mildew.
  • Do not dry in the dryer. Hang inside the shower (with vent fan on) or outside (the ultraviolet rays will do wonders) to speed the drying process.

There you have it. Just a handful of tasks that, when done, will have you living in the cleanest house on the block.

With those tasks taken care of, how’s the rest of your house looking? If you don’t want to spend all weekend scrubbing, call The Maids! We’ll give it a fresh shine whenever you need us. Call us at 1-800-THE-MAIDS today.

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