Five Hidden Spots to Clean This Spring

Even in the cleanest homes, there are some nooks and crannies that can escape some of the most diligent housekeepers. This year, add these five frequently overlooked areas to your “spring cleaning” list.


Refrigerator compressor coils.
The condenser coils on many refrigerators are located behind a vent at the bottom-front of the unit. Because they’re so close to the ground, they can be a magnet for dust and hair. Simply remove the vent cover and use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to clean the coils. But be careful not to damage the coils! Note: on some refrigerators, the compressor coils may not be accessible.

Dryer exhaust vent.
Lint can build up inside your dryer exhaust vent and become a fire hazard. Take your vent tube off and clean it with a shop vac. And while you’re at it, check for cracks and leaks. Replace if necessary.

Washer and dryer drums.
It seems hard to believe, but grease, dirt and other contaminants can build up inside your washer and dryer drums. It’s a good idea to clean them both once a year. To clean your dryer drum, you can use your favorite household cleaner, or a diluted bleach solution to remove discolorations. Be sure to remove any residue with a clean, damp cloth. To clean your washer drum, you can run a large cycle with hot water and add ½ cup of baking soda. Wipe the drum clean when the cycle finishes, then rinse with clean water.

Microwave ceiling.
You probably wipe up spills from the bottom of your microwave all the time, but when was the last time you looked at the ceiling inside the unit? Now is the time to check for accumulated splatters and drips and make them a target for scrubbing. To make it easier to clean, try heating a bowl of equal parts water and vinegar so the steam softens up the splatters. Let it cool a bit, then wipe clean.

It’s amazing how much dirt and debris can accumulate in your gutters over the winter. Leaves and pine needles can block downspouts, causing gutters to overflow—and that can lead to water damage. If you haven’t checked your gutters in a while, do it this spring. A quick rinse with the garden hose might do the trick. But if they’re really dirty or hard to reach, it might be time to call in a professional.