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Cleaning tips and tricks

Cleaning tips and tricks
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You know the obvious of washing your towels and sheets, but what about not-so-obvious items like stovetops and coffee pots? Many items in your cupboard and pantry deserve a good cleaning too, so you might as well take the time to clean your home.

Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans
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Sometimes, it’s not enough to clean what’s in front of you, but what’s up above you as well. “[Ceiling fans] need to be cleaned regularly,” Jacqueline Janus, cleaning expert and owner of cleaning company Two Chicks and a Broom tells Reader’s Digest. “You can’t see up there, but it’s a great place for dust to settle, even if you keep them running.”

Prepare outdoor furniture

Prepare outdoor furniture
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Freezing temperatures outside isn’t an excuse to neglect outdoor furniture. “Give your outside furniture a good clean,” Jennie Varner, Brand Manager for Molly Maid, told Reader’s Digest. “Mix up a mild solution of dish detergent and water to clean umbrellas and cushions, and combine 4 litres of water to ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of rubbing alcohol and about 2 squirts of dishwashing liquid to clean glass tables.”

Window screens

Window screens
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There are a few items around the house that you don’t even think about cleaning. Window screens are just those items. “Did you know that rain actually doesn’t make your windows dirty? It’s when rain passes through a dirty screen and carries dirt and debris with it onto your window that you see splotches after a shower,” David Flax, Vice President of Operations for Window Genie, tells Reader’s Digest. “It’s likely your screens accumulated a lot of dust, dirt and other contaminants over time, so prevent recurring dirty windows by also having your screens thoroughly cleaned during your next window cleaning.”

Here are some more spots to never, ever skip when spring cleaning.

House trimmings

House trimmings
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There are a lot of items in the house that are overlooked for cleaning – and that includes trimmings. Trimmings like skirting boards, wall mouldings, doors, and wall switch plates are all things that get a lot of use and need to be wiped regularly to prevent grime build-up. To clean these kinds of trimmings try using a damp microfibre cloth.

The kitchen sponge

The kitchen sponge
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The often thankless task of cleaning cutlery, dishes, and random kitchenware goes to the kitchen sponge. In the end, instead of actually cleaning it, the solution might be to just toss the sponge and get a new one.

Did you know that these common kitchen items are secretly toxic?

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Dust blinds

Dust blinds
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Sometimes, the most overlooked spots in your house that should be cleaned are also the most obvious. Fortunately, dusting blinds is easy to do. “Close the blinds and use a microfibre cloth, a clean pair of cotton gloves or an old, clean sock to run your hand along each slat to pick up dust starting at the top and working your way down,” says Varner. “Next, close the blinds in the opposite direction and repeat.”

Outside of kitchen appliances

Outside of kitchen appliances
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When cooking dinner or baking a cake, you don’t really think about cleaning the front of a microwave or the knobs of the oven – but those items can get dirty, too. “These items regularly pick up dust, grime, build up from cooking oils, etc,” Janus says. “Clean the front, sides and top (especially the fridge, it gets really grimy up there).”

Coffee maker

Coffee maker
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“Coffee makers can get dirty inside just like anything else, and if you’re not using distilled water every time you brew, hard water build-up can take a toll,” says Janus. “Mix a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, add it to the water reservoir and start the brew cycle. I would recommend doing this twice, before running it again with just water 2-3 times to clear out the vinegar.”

Read on for the best kitchen and dining room cleaning hacks.

Credit cards

Credit cards
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You may be concerned with cleaning up your credit, but you may also need to clean your physical credit cards, too. “People often forget to clean the things inside their wallets such as credit cards, bus passes, library cards, and debit cards, even though these quickly accumulate germs,” says Varner. “To clean, wipe down with a damp towel or antibacterial wipe. Use a rubber eraser on the magnetic strip to wipe away excess grime.”

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Reader’s Digest Magazine delayed due to coronavirus
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in Malaysia and the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in these regions. We hope to have the issues available around 15 April in Malaysia and around 24 April in the Philippines, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience.
Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team