7 spring cleaning tasks that we all tend to miss

No matter how hard you try, it’s easy to overlook some spots when you spring clean — because you’re blind to what you see and use every day in your own home.

So before you say you’re done with your spring cleaning, check to see if you missed any of these tasks:

1. Clean and inspect your vacuum

A clogged and dirty vacuum can undo any cleaning you’ve done the minute you switch it on. Blame it on that stinky odor that only vacuums seem to emit.

Best to clean it first:

• Change the bag and wipe down the bag’s holder or empty and thoroughly wash the bagless container with a soapy damp rag.

• Wipe down the entire vacuum.

• Pull debris from the vacuum’s brushes and wipe out the underside as much as you can.

• Change the filter.

• Inspect the hose for holes.

This goes for your wet/dry vacuum, and handheld one, too, if you have them.

2. Clean the undersides of surfaces

The bottoms and underside edges of dining tables, kitchen countertops, and high-chair trays can get pretty sticky. This will also include the undersides of chairs.

While you’re at it, if your table has leaves, wipe down those alarmingly icky cracks, too. Don’t question what the mystery gunk is: Just clean it and forget you ever saw it.

3. Dispose of dried-out paints, adhesives, etc.

Check with your city or province for a spring toxic waste disposal event and plan to do your spring cleaning before that day. That way, you can responsibly get rid of all those dried-out cans of adhesives, varnishes, paints, and finishes clogging up your storage space and your DIY workspace.

4. Pitch outdated pantry staples

Basics like flour, vinegar, and sauces that are past their expiration date lose flavour, and anything containing oil, like nuts, can go rancid. Baking soda, while still safe to eat, will lose its potency after six months opened or after two years unopened.

To bring a bigger bang to your recipes, also replace any dried spices that have been open longer than a year. Going forward, you can buy smaller portions where bulk spices are sold, so you always have a fresh supply.

5. Clean the crevices in kitchen appliances

Even if you wipe your appliances daily, gunk and crumbs can hide in nooks and crannies — like behind the knobs and under the grill on the range, and cracks around your dishwasher buttons. The most overlooked place? That super-narrow space between your stove and the kitchen counter or wall. It’s shocking how much can drip down there when you aren’t paying attention.

You shouldn’t need more than some baking soda and soapy water — along with an old toothbrush to reach into crevices — to banish the eww factor. But you’ll have to pull the stove out to clean the sides of it, so you might need help with that.

6. Wash grocery totes

And speaking of yuck, when is the last time you cleaned your reusable grocery bags? Studies have found bacteria easily moves from your bags to your fridge, countertops, etc. — increasing the chances of food poisoning and cross-contamination. And with the coronavirus still circulating, keeping your reusable bags sanitized is even more important. If you’re not worried about your own health, at least consider the health of the cashier at the grocery store graciously bagging your food items for you. Your hands touch a lot of different surfaces and then touch the handles constantly.

Throw them in the washer or wash by hand with hot, soapy water.

7. Sanitize trash cans and the area around them

It’s inevitable that sometimes icky stuff leaks out and crumbs make their way around the bag. But in the rush to get the new bag in there, cleaning it up often gets forgotten. And the can’s lid: Have you looked at it, really looked at it lately? Yuck.

That also goes for the cupboard you keep it in, or the floor and wall where you store it.

Sanitize with a mixture of soap and bleach (don’t forget to wear gloves!) and, if your can is stowed in a cabinet, use a vacuum attachment to suck up dust and crumbs inside the cabinet box. And wash the inside of the cabinet door, too. There’s almost always yucky stuff there.

— Houselogic.com