Your house guests will never do the white-glove test behind your refrigerator or in your dryer vent—and so you probably rarely clean those places. This year, include those often-ignored spots in your spring cleaning ritual. You’ll have a healthier home if you do.
Here are 10 don’t-miss messes that could be hiding in your home:
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- Brave the back of the refrigerator. Ask a friend to help you push your refrigerator away from the wall so you can unplug it. Empty the refrigerator and freezer and give it a good cleaning—inside and out. Use a bottle brush or a long, narrow vacuum hose to clean the coils under the unit. Vacuum and scrub the floor and the wall that it hides before carefully moving it back into place.
- Climb onto your roof or trudge into the back yard and find your air conditioner’s condensing unit. Give it a good dusting, and remove any debris or plants from on or around it. If it’s cluttered, it won’t work efficiently. A caution: Do not hose down your condenser. Water and electricity don’t mix!
- Clear your gutters and downspouts. More Arizona homeowners are installing them to divert rare rainwater so it doesn’t get under the home’s foundation. If you have them, clear leaves and debris away. Inspect them for holes and corrosion. Unclog downspouts by forcing water through with your garden hose.
- Clean your cleaning machines. Dishwashers and clothes washers are designed to clean things—but they don’t clean themselves. Mold and mildew can breed in any machine that uses water. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top dishwasher rack and run the otherwise empty unit on the hottest setting to wash away grime and odors. To sanitize your washing machine, fill it will hot water before adding a few cups of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda. Let the mixture sit for an hour and then finish the wash cycle.
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