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Tips to get rid of dust, grease and grime

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Experts offer advice on how to get your house spick and span from top to bottom

Ceiling fans

Should be cleaned every other month, says Beth McGee, author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master. Clean them monthly if you live in a dusty environment or often keep your windows open. Wipe blades with water and dishwashing soap using a microfibre cloth, rinsing the cloth after each blade.


First vacuum hair, dust and debris, then scrub with a microfibre towel and all-purpose cleaner.

Shower heads

Wipe at least once a fortnight and deep-clean twice a year.

Washing machine and dryer

Mould, mildew and lint can build up inside a washing machine and dryer. For a new washing machine with a sanitiser setting, run an empty cycle with a quarter-cup of bleach, McGee says. For older machines, run a quarter-cup of bleach in a cycle for the largest load with the hottest water setting. Clean the dryer’s lint trap after each use to prevent odours and lessen the risk of fire.


To banish odours, use a dishwasher detergent. Prefer a DIY approach? Remove the filter screen in the bottom of the dishwasher and soak it in warm water, says Debbie Sardone, co-owner of Use a scrubbing brush to scrape off embedded food and debris. Then place a small dish filled with a cup of white vinegar in the top rack and run an empty cycle with hot water.

Oven racks

Lay racks on a counter and spray them with a mixture of a quarter-cup white vinegar, a quarter cup dishwashing liquid and one cup water, McGee says. Let them sit for at least 20 minutes, then use a steel scrubbing pad to remove any cooked-on mess.


A quality mattress protector will guard against bedbugs, liquids, dust mites and pet hair. Most covers are machine washable and should be washed every three to four months. Scrub a stain with a microfibre towel and diluted laundry detergent. Then rub the spot with a damp towel to “rinse”.

Fridge coils

Most new fridges hide the coils behind a metal plate in the back that has to be unscrewed. Switch off the electricity, and once you gain access, clean them with a long-spiraled bristle brush and a vacuum. Loosen dust with the brush and then suck it out with the vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool. 

Washington Post

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