realsimple 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.