Spring cleaning for forgotten spaces: tips for clearing unconventional spots in the house

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Fresh air and a fresh start in spring are enough to give anyone the spring cleaning bug — but there are some areas most homeowners and renters don’t normally think about and probably should.

Wisconsin-based cleaning expert Brandon Pleshek, a third-generation janitor, TikTok creator and founder of Clean That Up, shared helpful tips and tricks with Fox News Digital for accessing the tiniest details of forgotten rooms in the home that most likely need a little TLC. .

So make a clean break from “dirt” — and grab rubber gloves, shop vacuums, and cleaning concoctions to freshen up some of the oft-forgotten but important spots in the house or apartment.

Refrigerator vents

Most people are not aware that the rim on the bottom of the refrigerator is completely removable – most likely collecting dust bunnies. While not all refrigerators have this removable vent, those that do can be vacuumed with a brush head.

A woman is shown thoroughly cleaning the inside of a refrigerator. Brandon Pleshek shared some secrets for brightening up forgotten spaces in the home. (iStock)

In addition, Pleshek advised cleaners to take the fridge off the wall, clean the now-exposed floor (which most likely needs a good vacuum or mop itself) — and locate the smaller vent on the back or side of the fridge.

This vent is also prone to attracting dust and can be cleaned with the same brush head.

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The inside of the refrigerator should not be ignored either. Now is a good time to take out all the food items and loosen drawers and shelves to give the interior a good wipe down.

Dryer vent

Cleaning a dryer’s lint filter after every (or a few) washes is a must – but what about the gunk trapped in the machine’s vent tubes?

To reach down the long hose, a dryer vent cleaning brush attached to the end of a power drill is the best tool to use. The nylon rods that lock together can reach deep into the vent from the outside of the house to clear trapped lint and debris.

Using a shop vacuum or garbage bag to collect dust residue outside will prevent you from having to pick up small pieces of the ground later.

Pleshek also shared another fun tip for homeowners or renters: Remove lint from the vent on the inside of the house with a leaf blower.

Dishwasher filter

Not every dishwasher has one, but newer models have a secret filter in the center of the machine. And yes, it needs to be cleaned!

A dirty filter is shown being pulled from the inside of a dishwasher.  (iStock)

A dirty filter is shown being pulled from the inside of a dishwasher. (iStock)

The cylindrical filter will twist and pull out of the base – and it can then be scrubbed or soaked in the sink with dish soap and warm water. For any odors, rinse and soak with vinegar.

In the case of a smelly dishwasher, Pleshek broke the news that this filter is most likely the culprit. Placing a cup of vinegar in the machine during a cycle can also help neutralize odors.

Mattresses

There may be a few different methods to the frenzy of cleaning mattresses, but hydrogen peroxide no doubt works just like magic, Pleshek advised.

Spraying the top of a mattress with some hydrogen peroxide and wiping it with a microfiber cloth will do the trick for a full clean, he said.

It is inevitable that stains will remain on the mattress, but a little hydrogen peroxide will remove most stains right away.  (iStock)

It is inevitable that stains will remain on the mattress, but a little hydrogen peroxide will remove most stains right away. (iStock)

No doubt when we sleep, we leave stains on our mattresses from sweat, drool — or maybe some other (not to mention) yellow stain from little ones or pets.

Pleshek’s best tip for stain removal is to spray hydrogen peroxide and then lift the stain with a spotting machine.

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“It’s kind of amazing, hydrogen peroxide,” he said. “You spray it on a drool-mystery spot on your mattress — you’ll just watch it disappear for a minute and start to disappear.”

Curtains (the kind of window and shower, that is)

Depending on the type of fabric they are made from, cleaning curtains can be tricky.

Curtains will be dusty for the most part, so it’s a good start to get a vacuum cleaner with a brush head and pick up dust and grime.

Wisconsin Brandon Pleshek, who runs the popular Clean That Up, shared a series of spring cleaning tips with Fox News Digital in March 2022 — the perfect time to remember all those forgotten places around the house.

Wisconsin Brandon Pleshek, who runs the popular Clean That Up, shared a series of spring cleaning tips with Fox News Digital in March 2022 — the perfect time to remember all those forgotten places around the house.
(Fox News digital)

For a deeper clean, Pleshek suggested filling a bucket with a drop of dish soap and water and soaking the curtains, since not every kind can be thrown in the washing machine.

If your curtains are labeled, check the cleaning instructions before submerging them in water.

In the shower, your plastic curtain fabric can also be tossed in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar to remove mold stains. Then hang up again to dry.

Toys and game devices

Toys in the house (whether they’ve been lying on the floor or “tasted” by a toddler) almost certainly need a deep cleaning.

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The easiest tip is to toss plastic or rubber toys in a mesh laundry bag and soak the entire bag in dish soap and water in the sink.

The bag can then be rinsed and air dried outside in the sun.

A little rubbing alcohol thrown into the mix will provide sanitization, but make sure certain toys like Legos aren’t affected, Pleshek advised.

Some toys can be thrown straight into the dishwasher on the top rack for a deep, clean clean.

As for video game controllers, they can get confused by being held by a lot of greasy hands.

Focused on game.  Two concentrated young men playing video games while sitting on the couch.  (iStock)

Focused on game. Two concentrated young men playing video games while sitting on the couch. (iStock)

Pleshek suggested combing residue from the crevices of the controllers with a toothpick and spraying them with a mixture of 50-50 rubbing alcohol and water.

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Then they can be wiped clean with a microfiber cloth.

Watch the video at the top of this article for more spring cleaning tips, or click here to access.

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