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Spring Cleaning at Your Lake Home

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Spring CleaningAs the weather warms up, homeowners everywhere are throwing open the front doors, opening the windows, and pulling on the gloves for a little spring cleaning.

Here are some tips to help you tackle that task!

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Before vacuuming, replace your vacuum cleaner bag. Clean the dust cup, and replace or wash the filters if you can. Snip any threads or hair snarled in the roller brush with scissors or a seam ripper.

Clean out the fridge! Spring is the perfect time to get rid of any forgotten leftovers. Check the expiration dates on any sauces or frozen goods, as well.

For a more thorough clean, remove all the food items and wipe down all the surfaces in the fridge with a cleaning solution. Spills, crumbs and stains will all linger indefinitely if you don’t get them out.

You can also load up the dishwasher to handle things other than dishes – light fixture globes, plastic toys, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, oven control knobs, and more. Just use the gentle cycle – and skip the heated drying!

Here’s a tip to clean the gunk out of your microwave. Put a large, microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water and a chopped-up lemon, lime, or orange, or several tablespoons of vinegar inside. Run it on high for several minutes (or until the mixture boils). Then let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping down all interior surfaces with a sponge.

Dust, wash and scrub

If your drapes are looking drab and dusty, remove the hooks and run them through the air fluff cycle in your dryer along with a wet handtowel for 15 minutes. This draws off the dust. Hang them up immediately. For heavier curtains, vacuuming them with the wand from your vacuum cleaner can also work.

Banish the dust bunnies clinging to your ceiling fan blades by wiping the blades down with a coat of furniture polish. Wipe off the excess and lightly buff them dry.

Canvas grocery bags are great alternatives to plastic, but they need cleaning like any other fabric. Run them through the washing machine to remove any lingering food bacteria. Make sure you pay attention to the material if and when you put them in the dryer – many reusable grocery bags are a plastic composite, and could melt under high heat!

Change out your HVAC filters. Vacation homes or single occupant homes should have their air filters changed once a year. If you live there, it should be changed every 90 days, and every 60 days if you have a pet. Your sinuses will thank you!

Spring is the perfect time to steam clean your rugs and carpets. If a steam cleaner is unavailable, chances are your grocery store has a range of carpet cleaners. These will take care of those lingering cranberry sauce stains from last Thanksgiving.

Count it all up!

If your lake home is a vacation home, and you’ve had guests, this is the perfect time to make sure you are well stocked for the warmer months. Inventory and wash your towels, bedsheets, and other linens. Check to make sure your bathrooms are well-stocked with toiletries and other necessary items, as well.

Round up all your cookware, drinkware, and silverware. Many guests leave these items behind until your cabinets are overflowing! Contact the owners of any extras, if you know who they are. If not, you can always donate that fourth casserole dish or fifth corkscrew to the local thrift store.

Cleaning Outdoors

Wash your windows on a cloudy day. Direct sunlight can dry the cleaner before you wipe it off, leaving streaks.

Clean your barbecue grill to get ready for the cooking season. Give the grill itself a good scrubbing with a cleaning brush and grill cleaner. If the undersides are greasy, make sure to wipe them off with a wet, soapy sponge first! For gas grills, scrub and clean out the burners, making sure to unclog any ports. Be sure to scrub the walls of the cook box, as well.

If you have access to a pressure washer, spring is an excellent time to give any cement, stone or brick walkways a thorough cleaning. Your exterior will not only look brighter, it will be safer and less slippery when the kids are scampering up from their dip in the lake.

Maintaining clean gutters is crucial to your home’s exterior. Clogged gutters are not only an eyesore, they can cause the fascia board underneath to rot. Hardware stores now carry a wide selection of gutter cleaning tools to make this process much easier than it was in years past! Many have telescoping poles that hook up to your water hose and spray down into the gutter, so you never have to leave the safety of terra firma.

Spring cleaning is a great time to replace any welcome mats that look worn out. These are the first thing many people see when they arrive at your home (especially if you rent it out).

If you winterized your home by turning the water off, carefully check your water pipes for leaks upon turning it back on. Remember to let your water heater fill completely before turning on the heat. Run all faucets and flush all toilets several times.

Check the Outdoor Equipment

Dig out and test any water equipment (kayaks, life preservers, inflatable rafts) for mold or leaks well before you plan to use them! Pull them out of storage and make sure they are in good working order. Wipe them down with an appropriate cleaner, if need be. Setting them out in the sun for a day will help rid them of any musty smells.

If there are trees on your property, check to see that there aren’t any broken or damaged limbs hanging down. Contact a professional to have them removed, if necessary.

When all is said and done, pull up a chair, and enjoy a well-deserved drink. You earned it!

 

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