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With fall trends like cozy, colorful sofas, taper candles and abstract patterns, you want a clean home base. While you might already have a fall cleaning checklist with reminders to empty out your closet, deep clean curtains and laundry and vacuum all the floors and the rugs, you might want to add a few more items the list. Here are things that also need some fall cleaning that sometimes fall to the wayside but are essential for the safety and aesthetics of your home.
This might just be the most essential item on the list. A clean gutter will prevent snow dams in the winter and keep small animals like squirrels and birds from building nests in your gutter. Most importantly, a clean gutter ensures water moves and flows into the downpipe to protect your home from water damage.
You can get a professional to clean your gutter or you can follow these steps:
- Remove leaves, twigs and large debris from the gutter.
- Flush out with water and a spray nozzle, working from gutter to downspout.
- Scoop out any remaining debris.
- Inspect your gutter for any signs of damage and repair.
Clean your gutters twice or thrice during the fall if tall trees drop leaves on your roof.
2. Windows and Doors
Before winter kicks in, you will want to clean your doors and windows. Wipe doors with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and clean windows to prevent build-up of grime, dust and pollen. It’s also an excellent time to check for gaps and cracks and fill those in.
Clean your HVAC ducts to prepare for the colder months. This will clear out any dust, insects and spores that have made their home in your HVAC system. You want to ensure your heating elements are free from buildup to keep you safe from TC.
4. Lights and Ceiling Fans
Cleaning professionals recommend you clean your home from ceiling to floor so that any dust on high surfaces falls to the floor before you do a vacuum. Clear up the dust that’s accumulated in your ceiling fans and light fixtures with a feather duster or microfiber gloves.
Do a fall cleaning in your garage to protect from dust, leaks and pests. While the garage may be the easiest place to store old items, dispose of items you no longer need this fall and vacuum the floors, wipe down surfaces and use a dehumidifier to draw out any moisture and prevent mold and damp in winter.
6. Kitchen Appliances
Get your kitchen ready for Thanksgiving dinners by cleaning your big kitchen appliances. Appliances like the stove, oven and refrigerator need a deep clean occasionally. Why not add it to your fall cleaning checklists? Use baking soda and vinegar overnight on stubborn grease and grime in your oven to make it easier to wipe away. If the oven racks also need some attention, soak them in the bathtub overnight to loosen any food residue.
7. Garden Tools
The best time to clean your garden tools is right before you store them away for winter. Because they are part of your beautiful investment in your garden, you need to keep them pristine and safe. If you’ve got tools with stubborn dirt, a great way to clean them is to use the sand and oil method:
- Fill a bucket with 5 gallons of sand and ¾ quarts of motor oil.
- Mix the sand and oil together with a trowel
- Once combined, plunge the tool you want to clean in and out of the mixture several times
- Tap it against the bucket and wipe off the sand residue. The sand scrapes off stubborn dirt while the oil protects the metal and prevents rust.
If rust has already crept up on your tools, soak in vinegar and salt for 12-24 hours then wipe clean.
Now is the time to clean your lawnmower if you have one. Use a hose to rinse grass residue and a putty knife to remove sticky dirt. Change the engine and oil filters and store it in your garden shed until summer.
Fall is for jumping in leaves – and raking them, but it’s also a great time to prepare your garden for next season.
Some garden maintenance and cleanup you may want to do include:
- Remove your annuals. This prevents fungi from growing in the soil, deters hungry wildlife and gives the soil a chance to rest before springtime.
- Clean up old plants from vegetables and fruit. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also till the vegetable garden and add some compost.
- Prune trees to prevent falling branches and limbs in winter that could fall on other plants or your roof.
9. Upholstered Furniture
Refresh your beautiful upholstered couch with a deep clean and vacuum to make way for cozy cuddles on cold days in the fall. Check the codes on the care label to clean your upholstery correctly. W means you can use water-based cleaners, S means you need a solvent-based cleaner and X means you can only vacuum or brush the fabric. To clean fabric and microfiber couches:
- Steam the couch with a handheld steamer to kill surface dust mites.
- Test a spot to see if it’s safe to vacuum. Do this at least a day before to prevent large areas from water spotting and color loss.
- When you’re sure a vacuum is perfect for the job, Vacuum the upholstery, covering every sofa surface like the backs, arms and cushions.
- Spot clean stains with water or chemicals suitable for the material.
- Sanitize your couch with a fabric spray
10. Garden Furniture
Clean your outdoor furniture and store it away to protect it from seasonal damage. Cleaning will prevent the buildup of stains and mildew from exposure to the elements and will keep any wood parts in good shape.
Amend your Fall Cleaning Checklist for a Cozy, Comfortable fall
Add these items to your fall cleaning checklist for the ultimate seasonal reset.