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Cleaning

11 things to clean before the cold weather comes

Get ready for fall with our seasonal cleaning checklist

A vacuum, duster, grill brush, and bottle of glass cleaning spray on a blue and green background. Credit: Reviewed / Shark / Sswiffer / Grillart / Biokleen

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Fall is here but before you can break out the fire pit, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and snuggle into a warm fuzzy sweater, there are things that you really need to clean now that the seasons are changing.

Cleaning tasks that will keep your household safe, make your belongings last longer, and even make your home a little bit brighter. But don’t worry, I’m not asking you to spend the whole weekend working, because cleaning these things won’t take you super long, and you’ll be really happy that you took the time to attend to them.

Here are 11 things to add to your fall cleaning checklist.

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1. Clean your grill

A grill brush to clean a grill wish
Credit: Reviewed / Grillart

A grill brush is a great tool for removing gunk from your grill.

Before you close the lid for the last time, give your grill a scrub, paying special attention to the grates using a tool like the Grillart Grill Brush.

Not only will you be happy to have it all fresh and shiny for next year, but you’ll also be deterring rodents from sneaking in and looking for a tasty treat once the ground has frozen over.
$17 at Amazon

2. Wash your outdoor furniture cushions

Anyone who has ever done laundry knows that the longer a stain sits, the more difficult it is to clean out, which is why you really should add cleaning your outdoor furniture cushions to your cleaning checklist.

Spring rain and summer breezes are sure to have left a film of dirt on your cushions, but when you clean your outdoor cushions, they will be ready and waiting when you pull them out again once the temps begin to rise.

3. Sweep the chimney

A chimney cleaning kit that comes with several different tools and attachments
Credit: Reviewed / Bluesea

Don't forget to clean your chimney before the first fire of the fall!

It doesn’t get much more relaxing than snuggling in a blanket next to a cozy fire, but if you haven’t had your wood burning fireplace cleaned in a while, then soot and debris within the chimney itself can actually catch on fire.

Whether you order a chimney sweeping kit like the Bluesea Chimney Sweep Kit or leave the task to the professionals, you’re going to want to make sweeping the chimney a top priority on your cleaning checklist.
$80 at Amazon

4. Clear out your gutters and downspouts

Leaves, twigs, and debris have spent the summer nestling themselves into your gutters and downspouts thanks to the blowing of storms and animals carrying things up onto your roof, where they then clog up your gutter system and cause it to malfunction.

In the warmer months it’s not quite as big of a deal, but when snow and ice form on your roof and have no way to drain, that clog can cause ice dams, roof leaks, and dangerous icicles, which is why cleaning your gutters and downspouts should happen before the winter months set in.

5. Drain and dry everything used with water

It’s a scientific fact that bacteria breeds in stagnant water, which is why you’re going to want to make sure that you drain your garden hoses, pool toys, children’s water tables, fishing gear, and anything else that was used with water during the warmer weather.

But don’t just drain them, make sure that you also store them in a place and at a temperature where they will also be able to dry inside, so that come spring you aren’t met with a moldy and potentially sickening mess.

6. Vacuum your refrigerator coils

The Shark Navigator vacuum
Credit: Reviewed / Shark

Vacuuming your refrigerator coils can help it run more efficiently.

Most people don’t ever think about their refrigerator coils until suddenly their refrigerator stops cooling, which can be an expensive oversight when you are throwing away all of your spoiled food. However, it is a common problem because dust and debris can collect on refrigerator coils (a critical part of the refrigerator’s cooling system), which then causes them to stop cooling.

The good news is that most of the time they just need a good vacuum, like the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away, to continue doing their job, so don’t forget to add this to your cleaning checklist (unless you want to say good-bye to your groceries).

$176 at Amazon

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7. Remove the lint from your dryer vents

Dryer vents clogged with lint is the biggest fire risk a homeowner can face and if you’re a water loving family, you’ve probably dried quite a few beach towels and in turn, created quite a bit of lint.

Before you pack away your bathing suit and toss your favorite fluffy blanket into the dryer, make sure that you give your dryer vents a good cleaning so you aren’t making a bad problem worse. It’s not too difficult to do yourself, but if you need help don’t be afraid to call in a professional; your home and your life could depend on it.

8. Clean your windows and screens

A bottle of Biokleen glass cleaner for windows
Credit: Reviewed / Biokleen

Clean the summer grime from your window with glass cleaner.

Chances are you spent a lot of time outside, but now that the weather is cooling down, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll spend a lot of time indoors. You don’t have to completely give up the feeling of being with nature as long as your windows are crystal clear. One of the best glass cleaning sprays, like the Biokleen Glass Cleaner, can help you get the job done.

This task might be a bit more time consuming, but you’ll be happy you did it when you have a great view of the beautiful fall leaves. Don’t neglect your screens either. They often collect even more dirt than the window glass which can also impede your view.

$13 at Amazon

9. Sweep away cobwebs

Unless it’s leaking, you probably don’t give a lot of attention to your ceilings, but I can tell you who does; insects. Us a duster like the highly-rated Swiffer Ceiling Fan Duster to get to work because it’s time to sweep those summer cobwebs away.

Not only will it brighten a room by allowing more light to reflect down from the ceiling, but it will also deter warmth seeking insects from creeping into your home and seeing a left over cobweb as an available rental unit.

$15 at Amazon

10. Replace the furnace filter

There’s a distinctive smell that comes out of the vents when the furnace is turned on for the first time each fall, and that smell is the stench of burning dust caught in your furnace and your furnace filter. While the smell isn’t very pleasant, the fact that your furnace system is filled with dust is the bigger problem because it reduces the air quality in your home and can cause breathing issues for susceptible individuals.

Before you say farewell to your air conditioner and flip the furnace switch on, change the filter and perform the regular furnace maintenance suggested in your furnace user manual; if you don’t have a copy, you can usually find one online.

11. Clean and drain lawn equipment

Leaving old gasoline or oil in a lawn mower, pressure washer, leaf blower, and other outdoor equipment is just asking for problems because the gas and oil can varnish the system or clog the lines, so you’re going to want to drain it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While you’re at it, now is an ideal time to perform routine maintenance such as sharpening blades, checking for loose parts, and cleaning away old grass clippings which can cause rust from trapped moisture.

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