Monday, March 8, 2010

Tip 42: What lurks behind the fridge (spring cleaning day 2)

What lurks behind the fridge can be scary, but so can what's in the back of your closet, or under a rug, or in your laundry room. Let's talk about intensive spring vacuuming!

Now that our vacuum cleaner has been nursed back to health and is ready to take on the world, we thought we would put it to good use. Most importantly, we needed to follow...

Tip 42: Using your vacuum cleaner's most narrow attachment, vacuum out your refrigerator coils to keep your fridge running as efficiently as possible.

Home repair experts might recommend going through this procedure twice a year. For me, it's plenty impressive to do this once a year. We definitely clean behind our fridge more than once a year, but getting into those coils is another story. Perhaps putting this in writing will encourage me to do another refrigerator coil cleaning session in the fall.

Here's exhibit A for why you should clean your coils. It's just gross:
Exhibit B is the notion that you can be cleaner and greener by doing this relatively simple task that only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. If you're going to really get in there and take that coil covering off, be sure you unplug your fridge first, and be careful not to bend any coils in your intense cleaning process.

Before we started our intense vacuuming around the house, we:
1) Gave each dog a bath.
2) Took the dogs for a long walk.
3) Did a thorough Furmination session.

The dogs are shedding a lot lately, most likely because they're starting to lose their winter coats. We wanted to start with clean dogs to keep our house cleaner longer.

We also:
1) Washed the dog's bed covers.
2) Washed all the bathroom rugs in the house. This is partially because the dogs got them dirty in the process of taking baths, but also because we want all floors to be clean.

Then, after a thorough yet otherwise routine vacuuming of the house, we got down to the nitty gritty:
1) The aforementioned behind-the-fridge experience
2) In all the nooks and crannies in closets, especially our master closet, the largest and most-used closet in the house. We took all items that touch the ground out of the closet and cleaned with the vacuum cleaner attachment.
3) In the laundry room, the forgotten step child of all cleaning routines
4) Behind furniture, particularly furniture up against walls in high-traffic areas, including behind our bed and nightstands:

Eat your heart out, ladies; my man wields a vacuum.
Next up...the reward for spring cleaning? Amazing popcorn!


  1. I just want to say how much I love your blog! I like how everything is broken down into managable tasks. You totally inspire me to keep at it.

  2. So I was thinking maybe you and Matt can pretend that our house is your house! It would be so clean and organized!!

  3. I'm really glad you talked about cleaning the refrigerator coils.....we were unaware that this had to be done until a few months ago, when the fridge repairman showed me how dirty they were, then charged me $400 to fix our broken fridge as a result of our negligence! Clean behind your refrigerators people!!

  4. @Megs: Thanks so much for the nice feedback! I am all about manageable tasks, so I am glad you are diggin' them.

    @Mimi: Sending you wishes of cleanliness and organization :)

    @Kate: Wow! Good (though crappy) anecdote. I didn't realize that this could wind up being a repair. Here I was thinking that cleaning coils is eco-friendly. Great advice!