Gordon Muth of R. Muth and Sons recommends a pressure washer or leaf blower to help with spring cleaning.

Gordon Muth of R. Muth and Sons recommends a pressure washer or leaf blower to help with spring cleaning.

Homes: Must-have tools for spring cleaning

While many jobs only require cleaning products and elbow grease, other spring cleaning tasks are made much easier with more energy.

  • Feb. 24, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Every year the annual ritual known as spring cleaning rears its ugly head and people all over this great country break out the cleaning products, the brooms, the dust rags, and anything else they think will help them remove the grunge of winter from their home.

Now, while many jobs only require a bit of cleaning product and some elbow grease, other spring cleaning tasks are made much easier with a bit more energy.

Yes, certain jobs around the home require power tools.

Gord Muth, from R. Muth and Sons in Maple Ridge, knows all about power tools for spring cleaning. His family has been helping Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows families with their equipment needs for decades, and he has a number of suggestions for making life easier when it comes to some of those spring cleaning jobs.

• A pressure washer really is a must, he suggests, because it’s so handy for a variety of tasks, and because it can save so much personal time and energy.

Pressure washers are indispensable for removing dirt and green slime from your siding, decks and concrete.

And if you’re going to use one for these applications, there are numerous attachments that can make the job even easier. A turbo tip nozzle is perfect for driveway jobs, and a smaller flat-surface cleaner (they come in numerous sizes) can be modified for hand use on the side of a building, for instance.

• Leaf blowers, says Muth, are great not only for clearing leaves and debris from driveways, sidewalks and other open areas, but you can also get adapters that make them great for cleaning gutters.

They’re also very useful for blowing debris off your roof, which helps prevent deterioration of the roofing materials. Many of these units today suck air, as well as blow so they can be used for collecting material, too.

One other suggested use: drying your car after you’ve washed it.

• A third idea that might prove useful, especially if you have a large driveway, is a power broom. There are rubber or bristle variations, and they’re great for not only removing debris, but also for clearing light snowfalls when winter rolls around again.

Of course, outdoor spring cleaning is only part of the program, and Josh Bradford, sales manager at the Rona store in Maple Ridge, has a number of tool and equipment ideas for helping with those tougher indoor jobs.

• Thoroughly cleaning your carpets at least once a year is a good idea, and a steam cleaner really is the only way to do it properly. You can hire a company to do the job for you, or you can rent a steam cleaner if you don’t mind doing the work yourself.

• Speaking of steam cleaning, a hard-surface cleaner that uses steam to eliminate bacteria, or to tackle hard-to-remove dirt and grime is very popular these days.

• Chances are you have a vacuum cleaner, but a shop vacuum has certain advantages when it comes to bigger messes. Typically it’s more powerful, and it has bigger openings, which allows it to suck up bigger items.

If you buy a wet/dry version, it has the added advantage of being able to suck up liquids.

Spring cleaning is always time consuming, but with some or all of these tools in your arsenal, your spring cleaning will be that much easier this year.


– By Robert Prince, a freelance writer.

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