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Spring Cleaning Tips

With spring just around the corner, millions of people will shake off the winter blues and begin spring cleaning.

If you’re ready to rid your home of a winter’s worth dirt and grime, consider these tips from Reader’s Digest (rd.com):

Make doormats welcoming. Shake 'em, wash 'em, swat 'em with a broom. Give them the toughest cleaning they can take. They’re your front line against tracked-in dirt—so keep them clean enough to function at peak efficiency.

Clean carpets and upholstery. Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil, and germs will need a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear—and for that close inspection by your relaxing guests. When you’re shampooing carpets or cleaning upholstery with a rented carpet cleaner, practice first in an unobtrusive area to make sure you have the knack of the machine and that the treatment won’t discolor fabrics or cause dyes to run. Save time by moving furniture just slightly—not out of the room or against the wall, as the old rules dictated—and place the legs of each piece back on top of small wax paper squares after shampooing. The wax paper will protect your carpet and keep the furniture legs from getting wet as the carpet dries. Open the windows to speed the drying process, which can take a day or more. If you’re not the furniture-shifting and machine-renting type, make it easy on yourself. Call in a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner to do the work and take the morning off.

Finish your floors. To protect the floors in your kitchen from another year of wear and tear, wax or apply a sealer following label directions. The simplest method: Use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner. Don’t feel guilty about saving time!

Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards and woodwork. The walls may not look as if they need a bath—after all, dust and soot fall to the floor, right? Most of it does, but just enough clings to vertical surfaces to warrant a seasonal or preholiday bath. Use a sponge and hand dishwashing detergent, washing the surface in sections. A sponge mop makes it easier to reach higher spots. Use two buckets: one for dishwashing detergent solution and another for wringing your sponge. Dry the walls and woodwork with a clean cloth.

Clean ceiling fixtures. Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment.