OK, maybe not the sexiest topic for a blog post (unless you do it in a campy French maid costume!) but this is easily one of the most satisfying jobs on your Spring Cleaning Checklist.
TIME: 3-4 hours
We like a top down approach, because, frankly, you’re going to get a lot of the stuff below dusty when you clean, and we hate to do things twice. Today’s Cleaning Goal is to hit all of the places where dust bunnies hide out of sight.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Start at the top. The whole point of a big seasonal cleaning session is that you’re getting at the places you don’t normally clean. I’m talking about the tops of curtains; bookcases, clocks, lampshades, light fixtures, and blinds. These all deserve your attention at least a couple of times a year.
- Grab your lambs’ wool duster; a step stool and hit the ceiling corners and light fixtures (unscrew the flush mounts with removable covers to clean). For really dusty stuff, I like to dislodge the dust with the feather duster first and then follow up with the lamb’s wool duster to completely clean the surface.
- Remember to shake the dusters clean from time to time. Go outside to do this so you’re not redistributing the dust lower down. You can also open up a grocery bag, spray the inside with a little Furniture Cleaner and twirl the dusters by the handle between your palms. The dust will fly off and stick to the bag!
- Ceiling fans: Place an old sheet, newspapers or a drop cloth under the ceiling fan. Turn off the power source, and then get on a ladder or step stool. Use your lambswool duster to dislodge the thick surface dust and follow with furniture cleaner and old socks/rags to clean.
- While you’re up there, this is a great time to replace the batteries in your fire alarms. We do this once a year and now is just as good a time as any.
- Unscrew the vent covers and vacuum the HVAC system with the long attachment.
- Remove the air filters and wash them in the kitchen sink with mild dish soap. Leave outside to dry in the sun if you can! You can always replace these slightly damp and run the heater a bit to dry them.
- Next do the tops of doorjambs, bookcases and high shelves that you don’t often get to do. I use my Lambs wool duster and follow with a quick spritz of Furniture cleaner and a lint free cloth to make sure they’re completely clean and dust free.
- Now do the lampshades and the inside of bookshelves or curio cabinets. Don’t forget to dust the actual bulbs, which get dusty too! This is where a good feather duster really comes into it’s own. Unlike a Swiffer duster or cloth, ostrich feathers dislodge the dust clinging to your books and fragile things, then hold onto it until you can shake it off outside. It’s the zero waste alternative to expensive electrostatic cloths, which never break down in the environment.
- Vacuum the floor. This should catch any of the extra dust. Don’t forget to empty the canister/vacuum bag first. I also like to drop a little laundry fragrance oil into the canister each time I empty it to subtly scent the whole house while I vacuum!
Once you’ve done the whole house from the top down, you may feel a bit sneeze-y from all of the accumulated dust that you’ve just dislodged. The quickest way to get rid of floating particulate in the air is to open a window and spray a little Furniture cleaner around the room. The droplets will grab the dust and it will drop to the floor, instantly clearing the air. Easy.