6 Easy Cleaning Tasks Homeowners Shouldn't Overlook
Whether we admit it or not, there are some cleaning tasks that our minds seem to neglect every now and then. We may be guilty of one or two of these, and that's totally fine. Nobody says we can’t catch up with our spring cleaning duties, especially now that we’re mostly stuck in our homes for a while.
1. Purge and organize bathroom cabinets.
If you're looking for a place to start organizing and cleaning, look inside your bathroom cabinet or medicine cupboard. Throw out expired medications, old bath products and toiletries that passed their “use-by” dates, and even outdated cosmetics, as these can be hazardous to your health if you were to accidentally use them.
It may not be a huge project, but it can still be rewarding as you’ll be freeing up valuable storage space for more important supplies.
2. Clear out outdated pantry staples.
Rummage through your cupboard and toss out anything that is past its expiration date, especially basic goods like flour, yeast, sauces and condiments, oils, nuts, herbs and spices. These kitchen items can go rancid or simply lose their flavor if they'd been opened a long time ago. Also, getting rid of the ones you will never use will clear out much needed storage space for new and more important items. Going forward, try buying in smaller quantities to reduce waste, especially spices you don’t often use.
3. Dust light bulbs and fixtures
Cleaning light bulbs and fixtures can be quite a hassle, especially since it requires a stepladder. But it's a necessary chore if you want to have as much light in your home as possible and save money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, dirty light bulbs shed 30 percent less light than clean ones.
Because light bulbs these days have much longer lifespan than they used to because of LED and CFL technology, they’ll eventually get dirty and should be cleaned. Just remember to exercise some caution when cleaning them. Turn off the electricity to the fixture and put a piece of tape over the switch to make sure no one else turns it on while you’re working. Then wipe them with a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of dust and dirt. Refrain from using a damp cloth as water can get into the crevices in the lamp that can damage electronics. Likewise, don’t spray cleaning solutions directly onto the light bulb to avoid damaging it.
4. Disinfect doorknobs, cabinet handles, light switches, and other high-touch surfaces.
Especially during these uncertain times, we can't afford to forget to clean things that are always right under our fingertips. Experts recommend cleaning high-touch surfaces above all else to stop the transmission of germs to other areas of the home. These surfaces include light switches, doorknobs, cabinet pulls and drawer handles, railings, faucets, remote controls, desks, countertops, even the handle on your oven or microwave, and knobs of the stove.
These surfaces are some of the germiest places in your house because of the number of times they are touched by different hands in a day, especially when family members are all at home. Make sure to disinfect these spots at least twice a day, even a couple of times if there’s a family member who’s sick.
5. Wash your reusable grocery bags.
Can you remember the last time you washed your grocery totes? It's great that you’re doing your part in saving the environment and reducing plastic waste, but your reusable grocery bags harbor bacteria that can be easily moved to food, and then to your refrigerator. Wash your shopping bags after every use, especially bags used for meats, produce, and pre-cooked foods, to prevent cross-contamination and food poisoning.
Throw them in the washer or wash by hand, depending on the bag’s material. And do not ever leave unwashed bags in the car, as the high heat will serve as a perfect ground for bacteria to multiply.
6. Wash and disinfect trash cans.
The next time you put out the garbage, sanitize the trash can with a mixture of soap and bleach before adding in a new bag. It's where we throw all the gross stuff and yet we often forget that we also have to clean it. If your garbage can is placed inside a cabinet, disinfect the cabinet as well to make sure nothing icky remains.
Here's a few tips to remember when cleaning and organizing your home:
Wash your hands properly and frequently.
Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Always read and follow label instructions of a cleaner or disinfectant before using.