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Before the days of electricity and modern appliances, spring cleaning was a grueling process born of necessity. Using wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and oil lamps all winter covered the walls and furnishings with soot. Shorter days meant that housewives couldn’t efficiently hand-wash and line-dry linens and curtains. Dirt tracked in from unpaved streets in the cities and field work in rural areas filled rugs and covered floors with fine grit.

Today’s housekeepers have dozens of tools and appliances that make the cleaning process easier and to keep the house clean throughout the year. Routine cleaning aside, the change of seasons from winter to spring marks a good time to do some deep-cleaning throughout the house and give some special attention to areas that tend to be overlooked the rest of the year.

See Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette HomeStyle section for tips.

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