I’ve never noticed just how quickly my apartment can get dirty until I started spending all of my time here. In the past (you know, all the way back in 2019), there were dinners out, days at the office, and weekends spent with friends and family. It is honestly nothing short of amazing how quickly dishes will pile up in the sink when you’re cooking all of your meals at home, how fast recycling accumulates when you’re ordering everything, or how soon your laundry hamper grows into a laundry mountain.
While washing dishes, doing laundry, and just generally making sure the dust is kept in check is important all the time, a full-on spring clean means extra little projects beyond the standard weekly chore list. It can be super easy to overlook projects that aren’t part of your usual routine. There’s a time and a place for a quick speed cleaning, but spring cleaning isn’t it. From the insides of your appliances to the pillows you sleep on at night, make sure these spots are at the very top of your spring cleaning list.
1. Your appliances
You probably know that your oven or refrigerator drawer needs a good deep clean if you spill something or that your microwave should get scrubbed every so often, but those messier appliances aren’t the only ones that deserve a spot on your spring cleaning to-do list. That’s right, even appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine that you might assume are generally pretty clean (given, you know, that that’s their whole purpose) need a good one-over with your cleaning supplies. Make sure that you pay attention to the dishwasher filter, seal, water sprayers, and more, all of which should be cleaned so as to make sure your machine is at its best.
When it comes to the washing machine, make sure you’re cleaning it every so often to remove any built-up detergent or other residues. It’s not an everyday chore, but if you’ve never done it? It’s definitely time.
2. Your baseboards
Even if you vacuum or mop your floors regularly, you probably don’t give the baseboards the attention they deserve. Go take a good look at them. See that dust? Now that you’ve seen it, you can’t exactly just leave it like that, can you? Grab a rag and get to dusting.
3. Your air filters
Indoor allergies are no joke, but one of the ways that you can combat them is by making sure that your air conditioner filters are nice and squeaky clean. Give your air filters a good vacuuming to keep the dust, mold, and dirt at bay, and make sure to change them regularly as well.
4. That spot under the couch that the vacuum doesn’t reach
Let’s be honest: you’re not regularly cleaning underneath your couch, bed, or other large, heavy furniture—or, at least, you’re not cleaning it very well. And while that might seem generally fine (or easy enough to ignore) most days, it’s time to make sure those dusty spots finally get vacuumed. Moving your couch, dressers, entertainment cabinets, and bed might seem like a big job, but it’s really more annoying than anything else. Dedicate a little extra time to vacuuming and make sure you actually get those spots clean once and for all.
5. Your rugs
Vacuuming your rugs is probably on your regular chore list, but when it comes to spring cleaning, it’s time to get those suckers really clean. Any rugs (or carpeting) in high-traffic areas need a deeper clean every now and again. For small, machine-washable rugs, simply read the directions and toss them in the washing machine. For larger rugs or any that can’t be washed in a machine, first take note of the material your rug is made from to determine your action plan. Then, as Architectural Digest advised, make sure you start by vacuuming before following it up with a cleaning solution that will make your rug sparkle (you know what I mean). Don’t forget to make sure it’s thoroughly dried before walking on it or moving any furniture back on top of it.
6. Your pillows
I’ll never forget the first time it horrifyingly dawned on me that you were supposed to clean your pillows themselves and not just be diligent about your pillowcases. But, worry not, you don’t actually have to wash your pillows that often. According to Good Housekeeping, anywhere from two to four times a year should be enough to keep your pillows clean. Take a look at the tag and follow the instructions—and make sure you replace your pillows when necessary.
7. The slats on your ceiling fans or window coverings
You probably don’t wipe down the slats on your window blinds or ceiling fan every time you clean your house, but it should be something you’re doing every so often. Close your blinds, dust them, then wipe them down, according to Architectural Digest. Repeat every few weeks or months to keep the dust away.
8. Your floors
If you regularly sweep or vacuum your floors, you may think they’re pretty clean. That being said, they might not actually be as clean as you think. Add “give floors a deep clean” to your spring cleaning checklist, but make sure you’re using the right materials for the type of flooring with which you’re working. Currently walking around barefoot in blissful ignorance? You won’t have to do that once your floors really are clean.
9. The tops of woodwork, mirrors, and frames
Even if you think you’re a pretty thorough cleaner, you might sometimes forget to wipe down the tops of the woodwork, mirrors, and frames in your house, but those can gather some serious dust. Just use a dust rag, cloth, or even a damp paper towel. It’s quick and easy, but often overlooked.
10. Your refrigerator
Your refrigerator is probably pretty gross. I know, I know, that sounds like a personal attack, but it’s not! You’re not alone—if you’re not cleaning your refrigerator regularly, it’s just probably pretty gross. Finally do something about that and take things out of your refrigerator, wipe down condiments and pickles and all of that, toss anything that’s gone bad, clean the shelves and drawers, and reorganize it all. You’ll feel like a brand-new person.
11. Under your sink
Whether an under-the-sink cabinet or just the patch of floor that’s all-too-often ignored, the spot below your sink needs a good cleaning too. Wipe everything down, make sure nothing has spilled—you’re good to go.
12. Your garbage cans
Let’s just get this out of the way right now: if you’re not cleaning your garbage cans, it is absolutely time to start. Whether it’s visibly dirty, smells a little funky, or just hasn’t ever been cleaned before, your garbage can needs a deep clean, and it needs it now. According to Apartment Therapy, your garbage can needs a good scrub about once a month. Make sure you’re cleaning it up, disinfecting if necessary, and letting the inside dry thoroughly before replacing the bag (this part’s KEY). It’s actually not as bad as it might seem. Your home will feel cleaner and you’ll feel like you’ve got your sh*t together. It’s a win-win.