Spring cleaning: Home areas you may have missed

As we help you tackle spring cleaning this week, we're focusing on the important areas around your house that you're probably missing.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When it comes to spring cleaning, floors, kitchen counters and your bathroom tend to get the most attention.

But what about the other germ-infested parts of your house?

It’s no secret that dirt and dust love ceiling fans, but cleaning those blades is not easy, and unless you look up a lot, you might not realize how much dust is on them.

So here’s one way you can clean them without making a mess: Consumer Reports recommends using a pillowcase. Just slip it over one blade at a time, then pull it and the dust right off. Then you can wipe the fan blades with a damp cloth using an all-purpose cleaner. Be sure to dry them when you’re finished because damp blades gather more dust.

Another spot that loves dust: Your curtains. The particles can latch on to fabrics, especially if they are a thicker material. The trick to clean them is to put them in the dryer for 15 minutes on the “air only” cycle. Re-hang them immediately to avoid wrinkles.

Speaking of your dryer -- it and your washing machine need a cleaning. Mold and soap scum can build up inside both. Lint can be dangerous in your dryer if it is not cleaned regularly to avoid a fire. A build-up of lint can also reduce your dryer’s effectiveness.

To cut down on mold, be sure to move washed clothes to the dryer right away. Leave the door slightly open between loads -- as long as children and pets can’t get into it. Use the right type and amount of laundry detergent to minimize soap scum. Some are too sudsy for high-efficiency washers, so you want to use the ones that are labeled “HE” or for “all washers.” Also, run a hot-water cycle with just bleach every month -- or every 50 loads -- to help keep it odor-free.

For the dryer, clean the lint filter after every load. Also, remove the lint from the duct in the back of the appliance at least every three months. You can tell if that’s overdue by feeling the outdoor dryer vent. You should feel air coming out. If you don’t, you may need to disconnect the duct from the dryer and clean it out.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.