Terrie is a creative person who loves DIY on a budget and updating her farm house. She enjoys sharing creative tips, tricks, and knowledge.
4 Places You Shouldn't Forget to Clean Every Year
Cleaning these four items without the use of chemicals is easier than it sounds. There are a lot more green cleaning products available now than ever before. You should clean all these items at least twice a year.
- Windows and window sills. Don't forget the screen.
- Dryer seal, lint holder, and dryer vent. Your dryer lint catcher needs to be done after every load or at least every second load.
- Air vents and ceiling exhaust fans.
- Stove hood and vent fans. Some also have a reusable grease filter. If you cook a lot, do your stove hood more often.
This article will show you how to clean each item.
Chemical-Free Cleaner Ingredients
- 1/2 cup vinegar, pour into a squirt bottle.
- 1 capful Thieves oil cleaner, pour into the bottle.
- 3 drops lemon oil, add to the bottle.
- Warm water, fill to top up the bottle.
- 1/2 cup baking soda in a shaker bottle or container.
- 1 small Dawn dish soap in a bottle.
- Spray this chemical-free homemade solution on almost anything you are cleaning. Use a textured cleaning scrubby for added cleaning effect. No rinsing is needed unless you have added other cleaners.
- If your surface is dirty, greasy, or stuck on, spray the area and sprinkle with baking soda; let sit about 10 minutes and wipe clean. The vinegar helps it dry without rinsing or leaving water marks. For windows, add 1/2 tsp. of blue Dawn.
1. Windows and Sills
Clean windows and sills with the spray cleaner described above. Start with the cleanest parts and proceed to the dirtiest—this will keep the cloth or sponge clean the longest. You can also have a pail on hand with warm water in it. This will allow you to rinse the sponge without having to run to a sink.
I recommend you clean windows in this order:
- Take the curtains down and throw them in the wash while you clean the window. Make sure you read their label and wash according to the instructions.
- Vacuum entire window area first, including the sill.
- Use the cleaner and spray the window top to bottom and wipe in the same order, working your way down.
- Use a small handled sponge to clean the window sill and the window track. It is the easiest way to clean them.
- If you have grime or stains on the sill, sprinkle them with baking soda and scrub with a toothbrush. Then wipe clean.
- Lay your window screens in the tub and spray them down. Let them soak for about 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse and let sit to dry.
- Once they are dry, install the screen, and voila, you have a nice, clean window.
2. Cleaning the Dryer
- Clean your dryer inside and out. Use the same nontoxic cleaner you used for the windows.
- Don't forget to empty the lint catcher.
- Spray and wipe clean, rinsing your sponge or cloth in between.
- Clean the door seal. I also clean the seal of my washing machine at the same time.
- Wipe down the entire outside of your dryer.
- Empty the hose that attaches to the back of your dryer, including the outside cover of the vent. I use my vacuum to clean this. Not cleaning the vent is one of the major contributors to house fires. If you do more than the average amount of laundry, then clean the vent and hose more often.
(The average home does 10- 12 loads of laundry a week!)
Dryer fires are one of the most common causes of house fires!
3. Cleaning Vents and Air Return Covers
These can be cleaned with the same spray. For a quick clean, you can also use nontoxic wipes or a cloth soaked in the same cleaner.
- For the vent covers with small openings, clean with a small scrub brush or toothbrush.
- For the fan part of an air exchange vent, you will want to wipe it down. Please do not spray into the blades, or you might damage the electrical components.
4. Stove Hood and Exhaust Vents
Remove the hood fan covers and the grease filter. Most are reusable and can be cleaned.
- Start them soaking in a mixture described above. Soak and rinse, then let dry. Clean the rest of the hood while the filter and covers are soaking.
- If you don't want cleaner everywhere, spray a cleaning sponge, then wipe the top of the stove hood. If it's been a while, then add a little baking soda and make a paste. The sponges I use are anti-microbial and good for the environment. Rub till clean, using a bucket of warm water to rinse the sponge as you clean.
- The same formula can be used to clean the oven. Put all parts back, and the stove hood is done. Even old farmhouse gas range hoods can be cleaned. You know it's clean when you can see yourself in the reflection.
Clean These Items in Less Than an Hour
Remove racks & spray
Remove fridge items
Sprinkle with baking soda
Attach a garden hose
Use the same spray& wipe clean
Let sit 20 min & rinse
Open valve and drain into a tub or to outside
Check for expired dates and put items back.
Wipe the top of the stove when done.
Disconnect hose turn on and let fill.
Wipe down the outside when it's all clean.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Terrie Lynn
Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on June 05, 2017:
Hi Arron that is so true. Thank you for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and it helped you in your cleaning.
aaron goodson on May 25, 2017:
when my temple is dirty i detox. When somewhere i live is dirty i clean
Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on May 24, 2017:
Hi Florish, Thank you. It does seem like like it's never ending. Just when i think there is nothing left to clean, it's time to start again. Just remember to take time for some too.
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 24, 2017:
This has inspired me to clean even more thoroughly than I already do. I'm always cleaning but it seems the house is never actually clean. It's a process, I suppose. These are helpful tips.
Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on April 20, 2017:
Hi Lesli. That's great. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a message. Have a good day.
Lesli on April 20, 2017:
Really enjoyed those cleaning tips and pics; has inspired me to get off my couch and clean my windows. . Thanks for that!
Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on April 14, 2017:
Thank you. It's not easy some times, trying to explain the steps a person takes to clean some items. Have a great weekend.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 14, 2017:
You told us and showed us. Thanks for these no-excuses tips on cleaning these four areas. Very helpful.