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Gert's Dirt: Working toward a clean home

From Donna Bellino 

As promised we continue to work on organizing and cleaning trouble spots in the home. This week we will focus on the Laundry area. Whether you washer and dryer are kept in your kitchen, bathroom, hall or have a separate room this area, it is easy for this spot to become cluttered, dusty and disorganized.

Start by empting the room of everything except the washer and dryer. Recycle empty bottles of detergent, donate unused items and put away the rest. Now it’s time for a good thorough cleaning! Wipe down the tables, shelves, cabinets, and appliances.

Washing machine maintenance involves checking the hoses to be sure there are no bulges or weakened areas. Wipe down the door and gaskets with a mild solution of vinegar and water. Always leave the door to the washer open to prevent mildew. Be sure your washing machine is on a level surface.

To care for your dryer, you must empty the lint trap after every load. Wash the screen every few months to remove residue built up from dryer sheets. Using the long skinny attachment to your vacuum, remove as much lint as you can from where the screen slides in. Next pull the dryer out and vacuum and wash the floor behind and under it. Inspect the vent hose. Be sure there are no holes, kinks or sharp bends. With a garbage can near by, remove the hose from the back of the dryer and shake it down into the garbage. You will be shocked to see how much lint falls out. This is an important step to prevent fires and to assure your dryer is functioning optimally. You should do this once or twice a year depending on how much laundry you do. Next inspect the flaps on the outside. Do they move freely? Do the flaps close when not in use? Can you clean any more lint from there? As with your washer, the dryer should be on a level surface.

Now that the room is sparkling clean and maintenance done on the appliances, it is time to organize. Using baskets, bins , shelves and cabinets to store your detergent, fabric softener, stain remover and other products you like to use. Here at the Bellino Pad, all the change collected goes into a cute bank shaped as a rabbit. I call it the “Money Bunny”. When it is full we all get to have an ice cream treat!

Here are some other ideas that can make this area more functional depending on your situation.

 • A clothes line or bar to air dry delicate items or hang up clothes before wrinkles set in.

 • A paper towel holder and paper towel to asily wipe up any drips or spills and to dry the washing machine door.

 • A basket for collecting items that need mending. And one to collect items to put away.

 • A clock

 • A bin or drawer for lonely socks waiting for their mates.

 • A few clothes pins or long hair pins to place on those pesky hems before you dry them to keep them flat.

 • A garbage can with liners.

 • A good flat surface to fold.

 • Laundry baskets for each member of the family to collect their clothes into. Perhaps color coded for each member.

If you have room, an ironing board and iron can be stored and used here. Hopefully everyone remembers what they are!

Put a pretty rug on the floor. Add any fun décor to enhance your laundry experience. Now wash, dry, fold and enjoy!

Donna Bellino is a nurse and owner of Gertie’s Cleaning and Home Service. I care for you, your health, and your home. Gertie’s: Naturally Clean!