The Great Fall Limpieza

Most of us abide by the yearly spring-cleaning ritual. But a growing number of Latinas con la falda bien puesta realize that spreading household chores over the year lightens the load. Here are five timely reminders when giving your home a deep scrub this season.                

Clear the Clutter
Before you do anything else, open up more of the surface area that you will need to clean. That means disposing of unwanted items, such as clothing you haven’t used in more than a year, unnecessary cooking utensils, piled-up magazines and papers, withered plants, and any other items that you are ready to let go. If you find expired vitamins, canned goods, or cough medicine, well, you know where those go.

Vacuum Everything

Use your vacuum on every household item that collects dust, and insert it into every nook and cranny that you find. Remember to vacuum such things as moldings, window curtains (in front and behind) and windowsills, upholstered furniture, sofa cushions, and both sides of your mattress. Give a wipe-down to closets, as well as kitchen and bathroom cabinets.                     

Deep-clean Your Carpet
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a carpet acts as a “sink” for indoor pollutants, such as pesticides, dust mites and fungi. But since a regular vacuum will not pick up the mites and mold that are hiding deep in the carpet, many experts recommend steam-cleaning at least every six months. If you want to hire a company to steam-clean your carpet, remember that carpets dry faster in warmer weather. So schedule your appointment early in the month.

Disinfect Linen
Because dust mites thrive in used bedding and may trigger allergies, wash pillows, comforters, duvet covers and mattress pads to get you through the winter. Remember to wash bed sheets on a weekly basis in a hot rinse and a dry cycle. And in order to prevent overusing one side of your mattress, turn it over bottom-to-top and head-to-foot.

De-grime Your Home Appliances
Remember to clean the filters and bins inside washing and drying machines. Another popular spot where dust gathers and grime accumulates is behind refrigerators and dishwashing machines.

Photo: Corbis Images

by Shirley Velásquez