Elements of Clean

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THE ELEMENTS OF CLEAN
To aid and abet your quest for a
(reasonably) dirt-free home, Real Simple
has compiled a periodic table of cleaning
tasks, from scrubbing down the shower
to purging the pantry, handily organized
Fu
Furniture
Dust all hard
surfaces.
and color-coded by how often they
should be done. (Tackling tasks regularly
Fl
Sk
U
Bu
Floors
Kitchen sink
Upholstery
Stove burner
grates
Vacuum or
mop.
Scrub and
disinfect.
Vacuum.
Jeff Campbell, author of Spring Cleaning
Ap
Shw Wb
Mg
(Dell Trade, $8.25), “but many are
Appliances
Shower
Wastebaskets
Moldings
determined by your family and your
Wipe down
surfaces.
Clean and
scrub down.
Wipe out and
disinfect.
Dust.
Cn
Tu
Dk
Kc
load of bedding, or clip it to the
Counters
Bathtub
Doorknobs
refrigerator after its three-month scrub-
Kitchen
cabinets
Wipe down
and disinfect.
Clean and
scrub down.
Wipe down
and disinfect.
Toi
Sh
Cf
Mi
Toilet
Sheets
Ceiling fans
Microwave
Scrub and
disinfect.
Change and
launder.
Wipe off and
dust.
Clean and
deodorize.
keeps grime from piling up and prevents
chores from becoming huge, so it
ultimately saves both time and hard
labor.) Keep in mind that these time
frames are suggestions, not hard-and-
Scrub clean.
fast rules. “Some maintenance dates are
determined by season or necessity,” says
lifestyle.” Kids, pets, and habits all make
a difference, so factor in yours. Then
tack the chart up on the laundry-room
bulletin board before your next weekly
down. It’s all in the service of getting
Wipe down
fronts.
your cleaning routine down to a science.
Weekly
For reprints of this chart, go to www.realsimple.com/cleanchart
Monthly
2005 © Time Inc. All rights reserved.
realsimple
C-w
O
Curtains
(washable)
Oven
Clean.
Launder or
hand wash.
Mt
Wi
Ls
Fs-w
Mattresses
Windows
Lamp shades
Fabric shades
(washable)
Vacuum every
3 months; flip
every 6 months.
Wash inside
and out.
Wash and
clean.
Wash.
Fu-l
Hd
U-w
Cb
R
Fl-w
Furniture
(leather)
Stove hood
Upholstery
(washable)
Cabinets
Rugs
Wood floors
(polyurethaned)
Sponge-clean.
Empty and
clean.
Professionally
clean.
Bl-w Ap-s
Sc
Gr
U-u
Wa
Blinds
(wooden)
Slipcovers
Tile grout
Upholstery
(unwashable)
Walls
Wash or
dry-clean.
Scrub.
Clean and
condition.
Clean and
degrease.
Appliances
(stainless
steel)
Wash.
Touch up as
needed.
Wash.
Have cleaned
every 2 years.
Polish.
Dr
Re
Pw
Cc
Car
Py
Drapes
Refrigerator
Pillows
Condenser coil
(refrigerator)
Carpeting
Pantry
Deep-vacuum.
Clean interior.
Launder or
dry-clean.
Professionally
clean.
Clean
thoroughly.
Bb
Cff
Cm
Fi
Fs
Dr
Baseboards
Coffeemaker
Comforter
Filter
(stove hood)
Fabric shades
Drapes
Wash or wipe
down.
Clean and
descale.
Launder or
dry-clean.
Professionally
clean every
2 years.
Professionally
clean every
2 years.
Every 3 to 6 Months
Vacuum or
dust.
Wash and dry.
Every 6 to 12 Months
For reprints of this chart, go to www.realsimple.com/cleanchart
Every Year or So
2005 © Time Inc. All rights reserved.