Spring cleaning is good for your home and your health

Tackling dusty ceiling fans and air vents

TAMPA, Fla. - Today is the first day of spring, a glorious time to indulge in spring training, spring break...

...and spring cleaning! Spring cleaning? Um, hooray?

We know, we know: Nobody wants to spend a beautiful day outside INSIDE scrubbing away with a sponge.

So instead of sprucing up the whole house in one fell swoop, you should concentrate on cleaning places that directly effect you and your family's health.

Let's battle that dust first.

"Spring cleaning is the perfect time to start getting some dust off the fans and out of the air vents...so it's a little bit healthier for you and your family," says Wes Kulaga, owner of Tampa's Two Maids & a Mop. He recommends reusable terry cloth towels and anti-bacterial cleaner as your two main weapons against dirt. And you should always have a plan: "My advice for anyone who's going to clean their own home is to set a system up: clean from top to bottom, then back to front and then left to right. If you keep your supplies and tools on you with an apron, you'll be able to...clean the whole room in one turn."

"When cleaning a ceiling fan, instead of getting the fan wet itself, get whatever (cloth) you're cleaning with wet first," says Two Maids & A Mop cleaning specialist Kate Henley. "It'll be a lot easier to get the dust off. Also, you want to start at the very top of the fan because the dust is going to move down and fall on the top of the fan blades. So you can wipe that off when you get there."

Air vents are also crucial -- after all, if vents are dusty, they're simply going to blow more dust back into the air -- not to mention on your suddenly clean ceiling fans. Vents can also shoot dust onto molding around doors and entryways, which a lot of people neglect to clean. "You want to make sure you're getting your horizontal AND vertical surfaces." 

Ceiling fans and air vents are a good place to start. If you're ambitious, go after the next key area: the bathroom. Kulaga says when you're cleaning a bathroom, start with the wet surfaces first: the shower and the toilet. They typically take longer to clean. Remember: clean the top of an area to the bottom, so you're washing down. Clean the sink and the counter last -- and only after you've cleaned and dusted the bathroom mirror.

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