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CleaningMatters logo sm September/October 2010

An Ounce of Prevention

Clean before storing summer sundries

In many parts of the country, that long, leisurely stretch of nice weather is a thing of the past. One day it’s summer; the next day, winter has arrived. So don’t get caught unaware! Nancy Bock, Vice President of Consumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute® (ACI), recommends proper cleaning and storage of summer sundries to save time and aggravation when spring comes.

Portable Grill
Dismantle the grill. Clean all the individual parts, as well as the interior shell, with a bucket of warm water and soap followed by a thorough rinsing from the garden hose. Once all the parts are clean, reassemble it and fire it up to completely dry it. Let it cool and then apply a light coat of cooking oil to the metal parts. Cover the grill and store it in a sheltered spot. While the garage may be fine for your grill, propane tanks should never be stored in an enclosed area. Remove them from the grill and store them separately outside. If you have a grill connected to an in-ground gas line, consult the owner’s manual for cleaning instructions. In the spring, burn off the protective coat of oil before putting food on the grill.

Garden Tools
Remove any caked-on soil using a stiff brush and soapy water. Then lightly rub the metal surfaces with steel wool until they are clean and shiny. If rust spots remain, remove them with a rust-remover product. Then lightly coat any blade areas with a bit of oil. Store them in an enclosed place.

Window or Wall Air Conditioner
For window/wall units: vacuum the evaporator coils. Change the disposable filter or clean the permanent filter. For the latter, sprinkle powdered laundry detergent over the surface, and then fill the sink with about one inch of hot water. Let the filter soak for about 15 minutes and rinse it well with warm water. Make sure the filter is thoroughly dry before reinstalling it. If the unit stays in place all year, cover it during the off season. If you remove and store it anyplace that is prone to dampness, such as a cellar or a garage, raise it off the floor with a few pieces of wood. This will protect it from moisture on the floor.

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Cleaning Matters® is compiled by the American Cleaning Institute and is not copyrighted. Such information is offered solely to aid the reader. The American Cleaning Institute and its member companies do not make any guarantees or warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to the information contained in Cleaning Matters and assume no responsibility for the use of this information.