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8 Spring Cleaning Tips to Get It Done Faster

Once you’ve covered these major tasks, you’ll have your home spring-cleaned in no time.

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Welcome mat outside a cottage front door. ; Shutterstock ID 192399047; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHcdrin/Shutterstock

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. Make sure you know these cleaning hacks professional house cleaners use.

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Close-up Of A Vacuum Cleaner Over Grey Carpet; Shutterstock ID 1073809973; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Clean carpets and upholstery

Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil and germs will need a deep spring 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. Move furniture just slightly—not out of the room or against the wall—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, use a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner, or try the Test Kitchen-approved stain remover.

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Male hand applying wood care products and cleaners on hardwood floor surface.; Shutterstock ID 221628484Stokkete/Shutterstock

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. No-wax floors don’t need a polishing treatment, but an occasional makeover will keep them looking fresher and add a protective buffer that could help them last longer. Use a floor cleaner that cleans, shines or both. If you have wood floors, move furniture and rugs aside, then apply a wood cleaner and either liquid or paste polish to clean and add a new wax coating. Here are more spots you should never skip when spring cleaning.

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Hand in rubber protective glove with microfiber cloth cleaning baseboard on the floor from dust at the wall. Early spring cleaning or regular clean up. Maid cleans house.; Shutterstock ID 687988345FotoDuets/Shutterstock

Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards and woodwork

The walls may not look as if they need a bath—dust and soot fall to the floor, right? Most of it does, but just enough clings to vertical surfaces to warrant a seasonal or pre-holiday 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.

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man does house work with vacuum cleaner. Men lifted sofa in living room, vacuum cleaning. ; Shutterstock ID 216002761; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHBlueSkyImage/Shutterstock

Vacuum with intelligence

The old rules mandated that you go through the labor-intensive task of dragging every stick of furniture off the carpet during spring cleaning, just so the vacuum cleaner could cover every nook and cranny. Instead, simply move those big items a little to the left or to the right. Vacuum the area previously occupied by the furniture and then move it back into place. Check out these other cleaning shortcuts lazy people will appreciate.

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Hand in yellow glove and vacuum cleaner pipe. Ventilation grill cleaning.; Shutterstock ID 389950375; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHPaul Biryukov/Shutterstock

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. Here are more easy spring cleaning tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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ceiling light fittings with a woman's hand cleaning them with a cloth; Shutterstock ID 155752688; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHDawn Gilfillan/Shutterstock

Clean your light fixtures

A few minutes with a stepladder, all-purpose cleaner, a sponge, and a polish cloth will give new light to your life. If your home has skylights or tall ceilings, consider investing in a stepladder and extended-reach dust-and-dirt-removal tools, all of which are available at your local hardware store and at home supply stores. Find out which cleaning mistakes actually make your home dirtier.

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old heating radiator coils at the back of refrigeratorSanti S/Shutterstock

Check your coils

You should clean the refrigerator’s condenser coil when spring cleaning, usually found behind the toe grille, with a long-handled bottle brush and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove dust and lint. Built-up dust can shut down the unit by causing it to overheat. To remove dust from coils attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet (newer models roll on casters) and vacuum thoroughly; finish by sweeping or vacuuming the floor area you’ve revealed. Expect to rediscover coins, bottle caps and twist ties that you and the cat knocked over the past year. Just avoid these mistakes when in the kitchen.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest