Your Monthly Cleaning Checklist
– Wash Windows Use lint-free cloths, strong paper towels, or chamois cloth to clean small windows or windows with small panels. If your windows are only slightly dirty, use only clear water. For dirty windows, use a commercial glass spray. If you prefer to use a homemade solution, mix 2 cups water with 2 cups rubbing alcohol and 1/2 cup ammonia. Then, put the mixture in a spray bottle. Start at the top and work first across and then down. Rub away streaks with crumpled newspapers. – Clean Mirrors Once a month, take time to polish the mirrors in your home. Use a commercial glass cleaner and soft, lint-free rags. For soiled or streaked areas, wipe with a solution of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of ammonia, and 1 quart of water. Remember to spray the cleaner onto a rag first and not the mirror to prevent the cleaner from dripping onto the frame. Use a classic ostrich-feather duster to remove dust from delicate mirror surfaces and frames. – Wash Kitchen Trash Area Wash out kitchen trash container and surrounding area with a multipurpose disinfecting cleaner. Time Saver: Stash three or four trash bags at the bottom of the container before putting in a fresh bag to make it convenient to replace a bag when the trash is taken out. – Dust Miniblinds & Vacuum Curtains Vacuum curtains with a handheld vacuum and a soft brush attachment set on low suction. To quick-clean blinds, put on a pair of rubber gloves and then top those with cotton gloves. Mix 1 teaspoon of ammonia to 1 quart of water. Then, dip your hands into the solution. Run your fingers along the top and your thumb underneath each slot. – Make Your Stove Sparkle To clean your cooktop, wait until your stove is cool. Remove drip pans and soak them in warm, soapy water. Spray the surface with an all-purpose cleaner or vinegar-and-water solution. Wipe it with a sponge or clean cloth. Then, wipe the excess with a paper towel. Use a baking soda paste on tough spots, and wipe with a damp sponge. Dry the surface with a towel and replace drip pans. – Clean Out Your Refrigerator To perform your monthly refrigerator cleaning, start by wiping the interior of your refrigerator. Sanitize your refrigerator drip pan, and wipe compartments with a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1-quart warm water. Wash the shelves in your sink with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Rinse and dry shelves before replacing. Then, wash the door seals with water and a mild detergent. – Refresh Filters It’s a good idea to change or clean the filters on heating and cooling systems once a month. Forced-air systems rely on a filter to clean the air that moves through the furnace, into the ducts, and back through the furnace. Determine which filter works with your furnace and air-conditioner system and inspect it for contaminants every 30 days. Change or clean the filter every 30 to 60 days for optimum heating and cooling efficiency.