(BPT) - Spring is here, which means it's time to start cleaning. While a good wipe down can leave your home feeling clean, there are several overlooked items that could be hosting germs, dirt and dust. So when you're ready to get out the broom, mop and rags, don't forget to tidy up these areas of the home.
1. Bed pillows. Clean your pillows every six months by popping them in the washing machine. For the best results, wash two pillows at a time to help keep the washer balanced.
2. Washing machine. Run an empty washer through a "Normal" cycle to keep your washer delivering at its best performance. Whirlpool brand washers like the Cabrio High-Efficiency Top Load Washer also feature a "Clean Washer" cycle.
3. Dryer. In addition to cleaning out the lint trap, use the nozzle attachment of your vacuum to suck out any dirt that makes its way into the dryer. Then, wipe down the inside of the dryer with soapy water.
4. Electronic screens. Computer and flat-screens can get spotty. Give all of your screens a cleaning with a screen-safe spray or wipes designed for monitors.
5. Bath mat. You step on it almost every day, so if you're not washing your bath mat regularly, then you're stepping in leftover dead skin particles, soap scum and dirt after showering. Terry cloth and rubber mats can be machine washed while wooden mats can be wiped down with an all-purpose cleaner.
6. Dishwasher. That wonderful appliance in your kitchen does in fact need to be cleaned too. First, remove and rinse the filter (detachable cylindrical filter located on the bottom of the dishwasher) under the faucet. Large food particles can get stuck in the filter which may cause a funky odor. Next, place a dishwasher-safe cup full of vinegar on the empty dishwasher's top rack. Run a full cycle, using the hot-water setting. Finally, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short hot-water cycle.
7. Ceiling fans and light fixtures. Hard-to-reach lights and fans are easy to forget. Use a soft microfiber cloth to remove large amounts of dust on ceiling fans, and run glass light fixtures through the dishwasher to bring the sparkle back quickly.
8. Mattress. A clean bed means more than washing your sheets and pillowcases. First, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to remove any crumbs or dust. Then, blot or rub stains with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda with a clean rag. Finally, sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the entire mattress and let it sit for a couple of hours. This will absorb any excess liquid from the stain removal process. Hit your mattress with the vacuum once more to remove the powder and leave your mattress smelling fresh and clean.