Cleaning a house can be a pleasant chore or a daunting task. If you have a daily cleaning routine for each season, then larger cleaning jobs will be a lot easier. Take our quiz to learn the basics for handling any cleaning job.
What do experts recommend that you do each day in your home?
They say you should take less than a half an hour every day to take care of basic cleaning tasks beyond things like washing dishes. Use this time to wipe down countertops, sinks, spilt food on floors and mirrors, wipe down toilet and clear clutter.
What should you do in your home at least twice a year?
It is important change batteries at least twice a year in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and this is easy to remember if you change them when daylight time comes and goes. You should also change filters in your HVAC systems as well as flipping and vacuuming your mattresses.
What is a good, inexpensive and environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaning solution that you can formulate yourself?
You can make a good all-purpose cleaner by mixing four tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of warm water. The ammonia formulation is for a heavy duty cleaner that you would use in a well-ventilated area and mixing vinegar with baking soda will produce a miniature volcano.
What is the first thing you should do in the spring when the weather warms enough that you no longer need to run your furnace?
Air currents will scatter ashes sitting in your hearth throughout your home, so make sure you clean them up and vacuum the hearth. Air filters that sit in the ducts clean the air from the furnace and the air conditioner, so it's important to replace them to reduce circulation of dust, mold and allergens.
What is an important routine maintenance task in a home that many people tend to ignore or forget about?
It is important to drain any sediment collected at the bottom of your water heater, because ignoring this task can result in inefficient operation and early tank failure. It is not necessary to clean out P-traps unless water drainage is slowing down and flushing floor drains is not necessary, but you may want to check that they are fully functional.
What is another thing you should do in the spring while you are changing air filters?
You will probably want to test run your air conditioning system to insure that it is still functional before you really need it when it gets hot outside. Never run a central air conditioner if your furnace has just finished running as drastic temperature swings can damage a heat exchanger.
What is another task that is best performed on your home in the spring and fall seasons?
Spring and fall are the best seasons to wash windows on both the inside and the outside. It is much easier to clean windows while temperatures are cooler so the cleaning solution does not dry out too quickly.
What is a good thing to do when you pull out warm weather clothing and store winter clothing in the spring?
Spring and fall are good times to separate out clothes that do not fit or that you do not wear anymore and donate them to charity. Most communities have clothing drop boxes or charity organizations that will accept or even pick up used clothing in good condition.
What is another important cleaning job that is important to perform in the fall as well as during spring-cleaning?
Spring and fall are the best times to move and vacuum under all furniture and appliances. When you pull out your refrigerator, take a few minutes to also vacuum around the compressor at the bottom and the cooling coils at the back with the soft brush attachment.
What is an important area to clean with a soft dust mop while you are working at spring-cleaning?
Walls collect a layer of dust and you will want to dust the entire wall surface with a soft dust mop. Avoid focusing only on accumulated cobwebs and dust a wall starting at the top and working down, covering the entire surface.
What tasks do you want to focus on when you move out to organize your garage in the spring?
Take a good look at your garage, sweep up and hose down the floor before you reorganize and remove clutter. Arrange sports equipment, bikes, garden tools and camping equipment so that it is easy to access.
What else should you do after a rough winter or in the fall before the weather turns bad?
This is the time to do a circle check on your property and home. Walk around while paying particular attention to spotting problems such as missing roofing tiles, loose drain pipes or eaves troughs, damaged siding, etc.
What kind of window cleaning product should you use for best results?
Save money and achieve results with a simple solution of three tablespoons of white vinegar in a quart of water. Put solution in a spray bottle and wipe the window clean with crumpled up newspaper.
What is a great way to stop mildew or mold in its tracks before it gets a hold in your bathroom?
You can keep a spray bottle with a mix of one cup of water and one drop of tea tree oil to spray after each shower or bath. This inexpensive homemade mix is environmentally friendly and leaves a nice fresh scent in your bathroom.
What is one of the most appropriate cleaning tasks to tackle in the fall?
You will want to clean and organize your kitchen to prepare for traditional cooking that starts with the fall season. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years around the corner, make sure you are set up for easy cooking.
What other tasks should you complete in the late fall before the first freeze?
Clean patio furniture along with summer toys and store them away before washing all exterior windows. Drain, disconnect and store garden hoses and wading pools along with preparing your garden for winter.
What is an important routine maintenance task that often is ignored until there is a problem?
Although fixing caulking around doors and windows or oiling hinges and locks is important, chimney maintenance before the wood-burning season starts is a safety concern that is often ignored. Have your chimney professionally cleaned. While you are at it, clean accumulated lint out of your clothes dryer vent.
What is the best way to open up a slow moving drain before it is completely plugged?
Although commercial drain openers work well most times, it is better to avoid their use and a plumber is usually unnecessary. Use our simple earth-friendly recipe and 10 minutes after it stops foaming simply flush the drain with boiling water from a kettle.
What should you do if you enjoy decorating for the festive holiday season?
If you enjoy decorating for the holidays, make sure to clean the house before you start. When the holiday season ends, take time to dust and wipe down your ornaments and decorations. You can shower your artificial tree before you put it away.
What is a good idea in any area that is subject to severe weather, flooding or frequent power outages?
Keep your car gas tank almost full and carry a survival kit in the car along with supplies for a few days stored at home. Include items like blankets, flashlights, batteries, matches, a couple of candles, energy bars and tin foil.
You Might Also Like
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!