Spring brings daffodils, warmer weather and an urge to clean.
Meg Pritchard admits that she ignored a lot of the deep-cleaning tasks at her home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania — until the pandemic hit.
Pritchard, 57, had time to tackle big cleaning projects. She cleared out cupboards, closets and the refrigerator, scrubbing the shelves, vacuuming the dark corners and disinfecting surfaces. The amount of dirt and dust surprised her. “It’s amazing how much dog hair collects in the shoe closet, [and] there was a layer of detergent in the laundry sink that I’d never noticed before,” she says.
Seventy-eight percent of households do spring cleaning every year, according to a 2022 survey by the National Cleaning Institute. Sixty-four percent said they would prioritize the kitchen, 61 percent would focus on the bedroom and 59 percent said they’d concentrate on the bathroom.
When you start spring cleaning, don’t forget to clean these eight essential — and often ignored — areas of your home.
1. Coffee maker
Cream and sugar might not be the only things you’re adding to your morning coffee. Microbiologists found 67 different types of bacteria in the drip trays of kitchen coffee makers. Cleaning your coffee maker won’t just prevent illness — it will also improve the flavor of your daily cup of joe.
“When you use a coffee maker daily, mineral deposits build up inside from your water,” says Lisa McManus, executive editor at America’s Test Kitchen Reviews. “Over time it acts like a blocked artery; the tubes narrow and the coffee maker gets slower and slower, which makes your coffee taste worse.”
Descaling your coffee maker removes mineral deposits and bacteria. Aim to descale your machine after every 100 pots of coffee. McManus suggests using packs of 100 filters as a reminder; when the package is empty, it’s time to clean.
Skip the vinegar and water, which can be too corrosive and might not work effectively. Instead, McManus suggests using gentle, commercially available descaling products.
“Put the powder in with water and run it through the coffee maker and then run a few brew cycles with just clean water to remove the descaling product,” she says.
Even if your plates and utensils look spotless, your dishwasher may be dirty. Researchers found that dishwashers often contained bacteria that were linked to health problems ranging from food poisoning to skin infections.