Cleaning your vents at the start of spring will help promote a stronger airflow throughout the warmer months—with cleaner airs to prevent allergies from acting up as well. Use a vacuum (or a can of compressed air) to remove the outer layer of dust. Then remove the vent register or grate and use a wet cloth to wipe down the outside. Wrap the cloth around a butter knife to get in between the vents to clean out any dust. If you have multiple vent registers, you can also fill the sink with warm soapy water and submerge them all at once to help loosen the grime. Repeat this with all of your vents—from air conditioners to exhaust vents in the bathroom and kitchen.
Everything. When you look at the top of anything—your TV, your refrigerator, bathroom light fixtures—you’re likely going to find a surprising layer of dust. The same can be said for hard-to-reach areas like kitchen cabinets, ceiling fan blades, door frames, bookcases and anything else tall that can go months without ever seeing a dust rag. Your mother probably has a special duster with an expandable arm, designed just for this task. But really, a damp rag and a step stool is all you need.
You wash your clothes regularly, and you vacuum your rugs. Maybe you even vacuum your furniture with that special attachment. But other fabric items require cleaning to prevent them from becoming allergen magnets. That means curtains, and the accent pillows on your sofa, as well as throw blankets and pet beds. These trap dust, dander and other allergens if not cleaned seasonally. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the best way to clean these items.
If you notice a particular smell when you vacuum, or feel like it doesn’t pick up as much as it used to, then it’s time to clean your vacuum’s canister and filter. According to Merry Maids, canisters can be washed in the sink using warm soapy water. First, disconnect the canister from the vacuum cleaner, wiping it inside and out with a dry cloth. Then wash it out with soap, letting the canister dry completely before reattaching it. Check to see if the filter on your vacuum is disposable or washable. For washable filters, remove dust and debris from it by tapping the filter against a hard surface over a trash can. Rinse it thoroughly with water (soap typically isn’t recommended) and then let it dry completely overnight before reinstalling.
Your Trash Can
and Recycling Bin
Here’s a hard truth: Your trash cans are disgusting. So are everyone else’s. The one in the bathroom gets dried floss (and who knows what else) stuck to the inside. The one in the kitchen has remnants of old takeout around the lid and your recycling bin no doubt has spills dried on the bottom. That can leave a rancid smell that’s tough to shake. Wash the sides and insides using an all-purpose, disinfecting cleaner. Let it dry out completely before putting in a new bag.