Weekend Projects

Your Home Has “Square Graveyards” & Here’s How to Clean Them

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

When vacuuming and mopping our floors, we inevitably and unavoidably clean around our major appliances, such as the dishwasher, fridge, and washer and dryer. They’re far too difficult to move and no regular cleaning tool is narrow enough to fit beneath them. So week after week, dust and other “collectibles” gather beneath these square graveyards of household debris. That’s about to change.

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

(Image credit: Submitted by Tam-Anh)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Weekend’s Assignment:

Clean under your appliances.

We have two options for this weekend’s project: a short-cut way and the thorough super feel-good way.

The Short Cut for Cleaning Under Appliances

To clean under your appliances without moving them, grab a yardstick and cover the end with an old pair of pantyhose, a microfiber cloth attached with a rubber band, or an old tube sock. Sweep your tool multiple times under each appliance. Vacuum or sweep up what you’ve unearthed.

The Thorough Way to Clean Under Appliances

The thought of moving appliances might raise your mental hackles, but knowing that the space underneath your appliances is spotless (at least for a while) is pretty satisfying. And it’s not as bad as you might think.

Here’s a step-by-step:

  1. Sweep a broom handle or yard stick under the appliance to get any loose items that might make it difficult to move the appliance
  2. Unplug your appliance
  3. Move your appliance: Many refrigerators are on rollers. For washers and dryers, you may need a partner to help you scoot the appliance out.
  4. Vacuum or sweep
  5. Follow with a damp mop. To help loosen grease and grime, try a solution of water and white vinegar.
  6. Let the floor dry
  7. Replace the appliance and plug it back in
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.