Spring is slipping away from us. As we enter the hot, sweaty days of summer we are less likely to do some of the tough cleaning jobs around the house. We have your how-to check list for a few of the items you may have forgotten to clean up this year. Hurry and finish cleaning, it's almost time to enjoy drinks by the pool!
Place a measuring cup full of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Since there should be nothing else in the dishwasher, run it on a short cycle, 1 hour, and turn off the heat dry setting to conserve energy. If you have any build up on the inside of the dishwasher door it should easily wipe off after the cycle has run. Now your dishwasher will do a much more effective job and will smell noticeably fresher.
First, start by cleaning the lid and top of the interior of your machine. This can be done with vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. A microfiber cloth works well for cleaning the large surface areas and a toothbrush will get into all of the cracks without wasting too much time and energy. Don't forget to remove the bleach and fabric softener dispensers to clean under those too! Next, fill the machine up with hot water and 2 cups of bleach. Let the machine sit for an hour, so any buildup can break down, then run a full cycle. If this is the first time you are washing your machine it will probably require the extra elbow grease bleach provides. If the machine is new or you stay on top of cleaning, a heavy dose of vinegar may be enough to clean and sanitize the machine. If your machine is extremely dirty, run a cycle with vinegar and then follow with a cycle of bleach.
This may be the hardest to clean simply because it requires moving the machine a little. Unplug the dryer and slide it away from the wall. Take the extension arm from your vacuum and suck out any buildup in the tube. Also, remove the lint collector in the machine and vacuum inside this opening as well. This is important to do regularly because excessive buildup can easily lead to a fire. While you're here, take a rag soaked in vinegar and wipe down the drum and inside of the machine.
On a bare mattress, sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface. Let the baking soda sit for one hour. Next, take the extension arm of your vacuum and suction off the baking soda, taking with it any dust mites! So simple and easy!
This is another easy one that we should all do more often. Place your pillows in the washer on a heavy duty cycle. If you use a traditional detergent such as Tide or Arm & Hammer, use half the amount you normally would for this size load to avoid acquiring a detergent build-up. If you use a "clean" detergent you are okay using a full scoop. If your pillows have yellowed it should be okay to bleach them but double check the label since each pillow is different. Next, place the pillows in the dryer on low until dry. If you have some clean tennis balls around the house, throw a few in the dryer to help evenly fluff the pillows up as they tumble. This saves you the hard work of evening out the fluff after the pillows have dried. This washing method works for all pillows; couch, bed, down, or down alternative.
Photo Credit: Amanda T.