Builders and contractors don’t always use common sense when planning the layout of a home’s heating and cooling duct work. Sometimes the grille, or vent cover, is right in the middle of a wall. Even though I frequently run the soft brush attachment over the grille and occasionally spray it off with the hose, our vent cover was gross. After giving it some thought, I realized this was due to pollen. Each year, despite common sense, we throw the windows wide open and invite the fresh air in. There is something wonderful about airing out a home, those first warm days. Unfortunately riding on the breeze comes pollen in all its sticky, tacky glory. Over time, dust clings to pollen and forms an unholy bond. I know this, because I have tried scrubbing the grille with soapy water and brush with less than stellar results.
Two days ago I was hit by inspiration.
Somewhere in the recesses of the cleaning supply cabinet was a can of fume-free oven cleaner. Why we have this, I’m not really sure*.
I think the oven cleaner may have arrived when a friend passed along what the movers wouldn’t pack. We have a self-cleaning oven, I can’t imagine what would possess me to buy a can. The oven cleaner caught my eye and I decided, what the heck it’s this or buying spray paint. I removed the grille and took it to the bathroom since it was raining. After chasing the kids out of my make-up and out of the room, I sprayed down the entire grille, turned on the exhaust fan, and walked away. Ten minutes later I used the shower to rinse off the oven cleaner. To my delight, the grille looks brand new.
Is this a great cleaning tip for everyone? Not necessarily, as I hope most of you don’t have air returns smack in the middle of your living room. If your air return is in the ceiling, it’s less likely to have the pollen problem. It’ll still get dusty, but a quick wipe with a damp rag or the soft brush of a vacuum cleaner should be sufficient.
Have you ever stumbled on a strange solution to a cleaning problem?
*Am I the only one who has mysterious items show up in their home? Today we found a child’s shoe that does not belong to any of our children.
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