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There are many places in our homes that we sometimes forget to clean. Unfortunately, these places can build up harmful dust and bacteria. The good news is that most of them can be cleaned in just a few minutes. So, what are some of the areas that need attention? Glad you asked.

First, let us turn our attention to kitchen appliances. These appliances collect lots of dust, grime, and sometimes even food. From time to time pull out your refrigerator and clean the coils, wipe down the sides of the refrigerator and the surrounding walls, and be sure to scrub the floor. You will want to do the same with other appliances, as well.

The washing machine can be cleaned by running a mix of white vinegar with baking soda on the hot cycle. There are also products specifically made for cleaning out washing machines. One thing I always do at the end of my normal washing cycles is wipe dry the entire door, including the rubber seal. I also leave the door open for a few hours, or overnight, so that it can dry completely inside. I find that this keeps down musty odors. Remember to clean the dryer, too. Always remove the lint from the filter between each load and clean around the appliance. In addition, every once in a while wash the filter itself to remove the film buildup from dryer sheets. As you are aware, dust is never ending in the laundry area and can be a fire hazard.

Trash cans are a breeding place for bacteria. Make it a habit to spray a disinfectant and/or wipe out the inside of the can (kitchen and bathroom) each time you change the bag. When you have extra time, rinse out the inside with soap and water.

Light switches, doorknobs, and door handles are touched dozens of times per day. Be sure to clean these areas on a regular basis; and, don’t forget to clean the TV remote, computer keyboard, telephones, and any other surface that you know is touched over and over.

When vacuuming, don’t forget the baseboards. Baseboards collect dust and dirt from foot traffic and pets each and every day. Take just a few minutes more to run a damp cloth along the surface.

Frequently changing the towels in a bathroom or kitchen can prevent cross-contamination of germs and bacteria. Plus, clean towels give the room a fresh smell. Have paper towels ready in the kitchen for hand drying and countertops in order to save the dish towels for the dishes.

Countertops can be cleaned quickly by using some of the new disinfectant wipes that are now available. Of course, Lysol or some such product should be used often in order to prevent germs from spreading or food from sticking to your surfaces.

Air vents attract dust, so take a few extra minutes to clean them and the area around them. This can be done in all rooms on one day or one room at a time as your schedule allows. Just remember to clean all of them several times a year.

One last area . . . the kitchen sink. I must admit that I am a clean freak when it comes to my kitchen sink. After washing my dishes, I love to get the water as hot as possible, run the garbage disposal, pour a small amount of dishwashing liquid (especially a fresh smelling one with a good degreaser) down my sink as the disposal is running, and then rinse the sink and drain completely by letting the water run a few seconds after turning off the disposal. This keeps the drain clean and the kitchen smelling good.

There are many other areas that should be cleaned on a regular basis, but you get the idea. Find your “forgotten/overlooked” areas and get started on them today. A little extra time and effort make a big difference.

Contact me if you need encouragement getting started on or with a project around your house. Also, I am available to speak to local organizations and church groups. You can reach me by calling (903) 339-6101, home; or (903) 284-0283, cell. Feel free to leave a voice mail or text message. My e-mail address is: purrsonal.redesigns@live.com.

Lynda (Pike) Litterst, CRS/CSS/Organizer

PURRsonal ReDesigns

Jacksonville, TX 75766

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