winter cleaning

Many of us grew up hearing that spring is the time to deep clean the house after a long winter. It’s certainly harder to open up the windows and air out the house during the colder months. However, winter cleaning is the perfect way to do many deep-cleaning tasks that usually wait until spring. Why force yourself to stay indoors dusting and scrubbing when the weather gets nicer? Why breathe in dusty, stale air all winter? If you do a lot of the spring cleaning in the winter (when you tend to spend more time indoors anyway), there will be less to do when the weather changes for the better, so you can get outside and enjoy it!

Disinfect

Bad smells from trashcans and bathrooms make it unpleasant to hang out inside during the winter. Rinse your trashcans with water. You can either using a garden hose if it’s warm enough outside or a bath faucet or showerhead if not. Disinfect using a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. (You can also use a one part bleach to 6 parts water mixture, but it’s less environmentally-friendly.) Let the trashcan sit for an hour, then pour out the liquid and scrub with a stiff-bristle brush. Rinse and dry before replacing trash bags or throwing away waste. If possible, dry the trashcans in direct sunlight for extra bacteria-killing power.

After you do your normal bathroom-cleaning routine, once and a while it’s a good idea to deep clean the toilet brush and its holder. Spray the brush and holder with a hose or in the tub, then fill a bucket with a hot water mixture with either vinegar or bleach as outlined above. Let sit for at least an hour, then rinse and dry. Again, allowing them to dry in direct sunlight will help remove even more bacteria.

Dust

Dust settles everywhere. A big part of spring cleaning includes dusting hard-to-reach and out-of-view places, but you can perform this task just as easily during winter cleaning. Here are some of the places to focus on:

  • Door frames.
  • Trim and baseboards.
  • Art and mirror frames.
  • Electrical outlet plates.
  • Smoke detectors, CO detectors, and thermostats.
  • Cabinet tops.
  • Light fixtures.
  • Ceiling fan blades.
  • Computer monitors and TVs.
  • Shelves and books/knickknacks.

Vacuum

When you vacuum a room, you might move furniture around to vacuum the floor underneath. But once in a while it’s also important to turn over furniture and vacuum the bottom. Tip over furniture, especially upholstered chairs and couches, and vacuum out the dust bunnies and other debris that accumulates on the underside. This task is much easier with two people!

Another place to focus on vacuuming is behind the refrigerator. Your fridge works more efficiently when air flows freely around it and dust isn’t clogging the condenser coils or ventilation. You can see more information about refrigerator preventative maintenance in Complete Protection’s blog here.

Filters

Changing your furnace air filters regularly is an important step for keeping the air in your home clean and fresh. A dirty filter also makes your HVAC system work harder and run less efficiently. At the very least, these filters should be changed once or twice a year, but it should be done more often if your family has pets and/or allergies. Changing them every 60 to 90 days is usually the best policy.

Doorways

Winter weather makes it hard to keep the floors around doorways clean. There are a few things you can do to help prevent slush and grime from being tracked into the house. Boot scrapers and rough doormats let people wipe the worst muck from their shoes before entering, and a boot rack allows people to leave their wet shoes at the door. Keep a chair or two nearby to make it easier for people to remove their footwear.

If you get these winter cleaning and maintenance tasks done during the colder months, it’ll make spring cleaning much easier and faster. It will also keep your house fresher and more pleasant while you’re stuck inside. Don’t spend your time indoors during the beautiful spring weather!