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Spring Cleaning Shortcuts

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 02/04/13 -- (Family Features) Spring brings a sense of fresh beginnings, and for many, that includes the annual ritual of spring cleaning. A survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute found that 62 percent of people engage in spring cleaning each year, and their top three priorities are the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

This year, spring cleaning doesn't have to be a long, dreaded process. Follow these quick tips to not only get your house clean in no time, but keep it clean in the long run.

Dealing with Dust
Dust buildup not only looks bad, but it can also be bad for allergies.

  • Skip the feather duster -- it just spreads dust around. For fast dusting, use multi-surface cleaning wipes to pick up dust from furniture and electronics. When you dust, work from the top down.

  • Cut back on dust by making sure your vacuum cleaner bags and filters are clean and in good working order. That will keep dust and debris from being blown out into the air as you vacuum.

  • Change your furnace filter regularly and dust or vacuum vents to keep buildup to a minimum.

As one of the busiest rooms in the house, the kitchen gets cleaned frequently, but there are some areas that may need a little more TLC.

  • Use steam to clean the inside of the microwave. Bring two cups of water to a boil in the microwave, keep the door closed and let the water sit for a few minutes. The steam loosens dried-on food particles, making it easier to wipe them away. For a fresh scent, drop a slice or two of lemon in the water before boiling. Keep it clean by using food covers to prevent food splatters.

  • Keeping the sink, counters and appliances clean and sanitized is fast and easy with a product such as Kitchen Windex Touch-Up Cleaner. A quick pump onto a paper towel, rag or sponge and you can wipe away messes and kill 99.9 percent of common household bacteria in no time. The bottle is designed to stay out where you need it, and the cleaner works on a variety of hard, non-porous surfaces.

  • When you clean the sink, make sure to get behind the faucet and around the seals using an old toothbrush.

  • Don't forget to clean the outside of the refrigerator and freezer. Clear off the clutter of notes, coupons and photos, and then clean the doors, handles and seals.

  • Keep the inside of the refrigerator smelling fresh with an open box of baking soda.

From make-up spills and toothpaste smudges to mildew and everything in-between, the bathroom needs touching-up on a daily basis.

  • To keep the counter clean of little messes and smudges, use an antibacterial product. Windex also makes a Touch-Up Cleaner for the bathroom. Dab the cleaner onto a rag or tissue and wipe down the counter, faucet and any other hard, non-porous surfaces to clean and sanitize quickly.

  • To get rid of soap scum, clean the tub and shower with a foaming cleanser that does most of the work for you, and simply rinse it off. Wash shower curtains and liners according to label instructions.

  • To help prevent soap scum buildup in the future, try switching to a liquid shower gel. Bar soaps have binders that are a primary cause of soapy residue. You can also use a towel to quickly wipe down the tub and faucets after each shower.

  • Combination mold and mildew cleaners can make fast work of those deep messes. Spray where needed, and rinse off following label instructions. Be sure the bathroom is well ventilated before spraying them on.

  • To discourage mildew, use the bathroom fan during a shower and for about 30 minutes after. You can also use a dehumidifier or open the window.

You'll be amazed at how much cleaner a room will look when the floors are done right.

  • If you have the time and money to rent and use a carpet cleaner, now's the time to do it. If not, target stains with a carpet cleaner and give all your carpets a good vacuuming. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and rugs to absorb odors.

  • Steam mops are a great way to quickly clean multiple flooring surfaces without a mop and bucket. You can do a whole room in just a few minutes.

  • A lot of the dirt and dust in a home is brought inside on the soles of your shoes. To keep carpets and flooring clean, place doormats inside and outside each entrance and always take your shoes off when entering.

  • Wiping floorboards of dust and dirt is often overlooked and makes a big difference in the appearance of your home.

Get more cleaning tips and solutions at www.windex.com.

Cleaning Must-Haves
Keep these items handy to make spring cleaning -- and everyday cleaning -- a breeze.

  • Adhesive lint roller -- Great for quickly sprucing up fabric and upholstery. You can also use it to remove dust from lamp shades.

  • Baking soda -- Helps neutralize odors in sinks, refrigerators, upholstery and carpets.

  • Windex Touch-Up Cleaner -- A convenient solution to tackle the frequent messes that happen in the bathroom and kitchen.

  • Multi-surface wipes -- Make it easy to freshen up any room in the house.

  • Sponges -- Good for removing scuff marks and smudges from walls and furniture.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.

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