By Natalie Taylor
It’s mid-February, and in San Miguel de Allende that means spring is at our doorstep—unlike in the US Midwest (from whence this writer hails), where spring arrives (maybe) by mid-May. What does spring mean other than “let’s head for the outdoors”? Spring cleaning! Because of the lockdown, most of us have spent more time inside and cooking more this past year. Our houses deserve a deep-cleaning more than ever. That means getting to places you (or your housekeeper) seldom reach but ought to, at least once a year. I’ve compiled some ideas from experts.
- Deep-clean your bed. If you fold your pillow and it stays folded, dump it. Otherwise, wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Same goes for sheets, duvet cover, mattress pad, dust ruffle, and throw-pillow covers. Sprinkle your mattress with a thin layer of baking soda, then vacuum it up after 30 minutes.
- Organize the medicine cabinet: Check expiration dates on drugs. Most are OK a few months past, but some antibiotics (the tetracycline family) can cause serious harm if ingested after their expiration date.
- Clean out all kitchen drawers: Remove everything, including storage bins from your drawers and dump all in soapy water. While they soak, wipe down the drawer bottoms, (Do the same with bathroom drawers).
- Wipe down light bulbs: That includes all hanging light fixtures as well as table lamps.
- Clean filters: Accumulated gunk lessens your appliances’ performance. The dishwasher filter catches food particles; once removed it can be rinsed and scrubbed under hot water. Your range hood has two filters. The grease filter should be cleaned once a month. The charcoal filter absorbs odors and should be replaced every six to 12 months. Add two cups of white vinegar to your washing machine’s detergent tray, and run a wash cycle with hot water. Unplug and disconnect the duct in your dryer, then vacuum around and under the appliance. The lint trap should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year.
- Sharpen knives: Dull blades are unsafe. The user applies more pressure, increasing the possibility of slippage and cuts. If your knives are slightly dull, a honing rod may do the trick. A truly proper sharpening requires a whetstone, and if you don’t have one, hire a professional. A good test for a knife’s sharpness: if it slices through a piece of paper with ease, it will slice everything properly.
- Wash all curtains and drapes: Follow the instructions on the fabric. This will mean either a cycle in your own washer or professional dry-cleaning.
- Deep-clean upholstered furniture: That means removing all pillows and vacuuming the bottoms. Don’t forget to remove and wash your pillow covers.
Whether you do this yourself or with your housekeeper, it will be a great feeling to know your home is fresh and mint-clean. For your house, this is the equivalent of a full-day spa treatment. Which might be the perfect ending and reward for yourself after this!