The newer, quieter dishwashers have filters that need cleaning, Johnson said. To clean a sticky dishwasher filter, remove and soak it for a while in an all-purpose solution. Simple Green ($4.99, TrueValue) is an environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner.
Warm areas in contact with water can sometimes harbor mold or mildew. Although bleach kills mold, a safer bleach-alternative is CLR Bleach-free Mold & Mildew Foaming Action Stain Remover, ($5.48, www.jet.com)
2. Dryer. Lint buildup in dryer vents can be a fire hazard. Johnson says to start by removing the lint screen on the dryer and using the crevice tool on your vacuum to remove trapped lint. To get to the dryer vent, Tucker and Johnson suggest using a dryer vent brush to pull out any lingering lint. One option is the LintEater Dryer Vent Lint Removal Kit. ($29.98, Lowe’s)
3. Bed. Sure, you change your sheets and probably dust the headboard, but don’t forget under the bed. It can be hard to get a vacuum under the bed, especially an upright, but a vacuum like SharkNinja’s new IONFlex ($359, sharkclean.com) is designed to fit under tight spaces like beds and dressers. It has tools for specialized cleaning, such as for crevices. A manual alternative to remove dust bunnies is OXO’s under-appliance duster. ($12.99, oxo.com)
4. Drapes, upholstery and shades. The longer daylight and sunnier days spring brings can highlight dusty areas. Forced-air furnaces can produce dust, and particulates can be especially heavy in homes with wood-burning fireplaces. “Now you can see everything you thought you were cleaning,” Johnson said.
Use the vacuum’s upholstery brush on drapes, especially if you can’t remove them for washing, and the crevice tool to get in-between couch cushions. To clean blinds and lampshades, and for general dusting, opt for a microfiber duster, like OXO’s Delicate Duster ($6.99, oxo.com) over a feather duster. Microfibers trap dust rather than just moving it around, Johnson said. Microfiber dusters also work on delicate fabrics that might suffer from vacuuming.
5. Refrigerator. Tucker says dirt, dust, grease and pet hair can collect on your refrigerator condenser coils, making your fridge work harder. To clean, unplug it and remove the base grill. Using a vacuum’s soft brush attachment, clean the front surface area and open areas behind the grill. This is also a good time to check your filters and replace them if necessary. Toss any funny-tasting ice, and wash the storage bin with warm water and a mild detergent, and dry completely before returning it to the freezer, Tucker adds.