Cleaning Tips to Prepare for Winter

While most people believe that the best time to clean is in the spring, it is not the only time that it is important to keep your home clean. After all, when the snow hits people tend to shut themselves inside their homes for months, but they don’t think about all the dust and dirt they have been collecting since the last spring cleaning. If left alone that’s what will be inhaled during the upcoming months of cold and snow. 

The EPA even estimates that indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. So, we have created a checklist to help you breathe easier all winter long in your home. With COVID-19 still a threat to everyone’s health, especially our respiratory health, anything we can do to breathe a little easier would greatly benefit ourselves as well as our clients.

#1: Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets

If possible, take them outside where you can blast the insides with a garden hose, then add disinfectant.

For an environmentally safe way to sterilize these nasty grime collectors, use undiluted hydrogen peroxide or vinegar mixed 50/50 with water. DO NOT mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar – the result is harmful peracetic acid. Regular bleach is an effective disinfectant but is not environmentally safe. 

Let the garbage cans sit for an hour, then pour out the contents and scrub the insides with a stiff bristle brush to remove any residue. Rinse and, if possible, let the wastebasket dry in direct sunlight, which helps eliminate bacteria.

#2: Wash and Disinfect Toilet Brush Holders

If possible, take the holder and the brush outside and spray wash thoroughly with a garden hose. Immerse the holder and brush in a bucket with 50/50 mix vinegar and hot water or 1-part bleach to 6-part hot water.

Let everything sit in the solution for a couple hours, then rinse the holder and brush with a hose and place in direct sunlight to dry. 

#3: Turn Over Furniture and Vacuum the Bottoms

You should be moving the furniture around to vacuum underneath it. Don’t forget to vacuum the underside of the furniture which can hold dust and germs.

Tilt upholstered chairs and couches back or on their side to expose the bottom. The dust covers tacked underneath furniture can catch grime and dust bunnies. Carefully vacuum away any dust and grime. Be careful not to press too hard on the fabric so as not to damage the furniture.

#4: Clean the Tops of Doors, Trim, and Artwork

Tables and countertops aren’t the only surfaces that collect dust and dirt in the house. Increased dirt can affect your air quality. In fact, almost everything in the house has a horizontal surface that can catch and hold dust. This is the perfect time to carefully dust and wipe down those surfaces that often get overlooked:

  • Interior doors
  • Trim, including baseboards and chair rails
  • Artwork and mirrors
  • Electrical wall plates
  • Wall-mounted smoke detectors, CO detectors, and thermostats
  • Upper kitchen cabinets
  • Light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Computer monitors
  • Books on shelves
  • Inside trim of the fridge and freezer

#5: Winterize Your Entryway

Coming inside after walking in the snow can cause quite the mess inside your home. Here are a few ideas that could make it easier for you to get in and out of the house when surrounded by snow:

  • Place a chair or bench by the door for you to sit in while you take your shoes off or put them on
  • Use a rubber mat for snow boots to set that will hold in the water from any melting snow.
  • Have a coir outdoor mat for cleaning off your boots before heading inside.
  • If needed, put down a boot scraper by the front door to help remove any excess ice or snow before going in. 

With the cold and snowy weather in our forecast, winter is a great opportunity to proactively clean and disinfect the inside of our homes. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year has looked a lot different for us. We are spending more time in our homes than we have in the previous years. With all of the additional time being spent inside, it’s important for us to maintain a safe and clean household to prevent germs and dust build-up.