Wow, it is March already! In just another month or so, warmer temperatures will be here for real!
For some of us, spring cleaning represents a chance to declutter, downsize, and simplify.
For others, spring cleaning is all about preventing that dreaded spring sidekick—allergy season—from derailing us yet again.
Either way, we hope these time-honored spring cleaning tips will help you accomplish your personal spring cleaning goals!
But First, A Brief History Lesson
Have you ever noticed there isn’t a “summer cleaning,” “fall cleaning,” or “winter cleaning?” Only “spring cleaning” exists. Hmmm.
We got curious too, so we looked it up. Would you believe there is an exhibit in the United States Smithsonian museum dedicated to the history of cleaning?
We were pretty surprised too, but as it turns out, spring cleaning happens in spring for sound historical reasons.
In decades past, well before the invention of air ducts and central air conditioning and heating, cold rooms were heated with kerosene, whale oil, and wood or coal.
While effective, these heating surfaces conveyed a generous helping of soot, ash, and debris along with the heat.
If you can imagine several months’ worth of built-up grime covering everything you own, you can probably also imagine the eagerness with which those early Canadians looked forward to “spring cleaning week” each year.
Now, For Our Favorite Spring Cleaning Tips
Very few people today have the luxury of taking a week off for spring cleaning.
Happily, with these tips, you don’t need a week to accomplish the main purpose of spring cleaning.
Tip 1: Know what needs your special attention
Thankfully, most homes no longer have to rely on whale oil for heating. But there are some areas in any home that get grungier during the winter than others.
For deep cleaning, we recommend you focus your energies on these areas:
- Bedding. Your mattresses haven’t seen the light of day in quite some time, and if you have a pet, chances are they are chock-full of dander, which is a major contributor to spring allergies. If you can swing it, have your mattresses professionally cleaned. But at the very least, add a sanitary mattress cover to your mattress to keep existing dust mites from reproducing.
- Closets. This is especially important for any closets where footwear and sports equipment are being stored. Over time, trapped moisture can turn into mould or mildew and start to spread. As well, bacteria can grow, which is what causes the odour that makes moms run for the washing machine. Make sure to empty these closets, give contents a thorough washing and airing out, and do the same for the closet itself.
- Pet areas. Pets shed—if not hair, then skin. This dander is another major source of spring allergies, which are often made worse when pets sleep on or in your bed at night. Of course clean your own bedding regularly, but also give all your pet bedding and fabric toys a thorough washing and drying.
Tip 2: Hunt down indoor allergens where they hide
Certain areas in any household are like magnets to dust, dander, and common allergens. Often these are less accessible areas that don’t lend themselves to frequent cleanings.
For this reason, these areas definitely outrank more accessible areas when it comes to your spring cleaning energies:
- Ceiling and floor fans
- Mini-blinds and window treatments
- Lamp shades
- Crown moulding
- Areas behind/underneath furniture
- Area rugs and carpeting
- Major appliances (stove, microwave, washer/dryer, etc.)
Tip 3: Spring cleaning isn’t over until your air ducts are squeaky clean
Right now, we are offering a spring cleaning special: 10 percent discount off any professional air duct cleaning package.
If you have never had your air ducts professionally cleaned before (and most homeowners have not), you are in for a treat.
In just one day, we come in and completely vacuum out, deodorize, and sanitize your indoor air duct system. By the time we are finished, your entire air duct network will be as clean as new again.
This removes all of the trapped dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander, mould, mildew, dust mites, allergens, toxins, residual chemicals and volatile organic compounds and particulate matter, as well as insect shells, droppings, and other unwanted detritus that has been getting pushed into your indoor air supply every time your HVAC cycles on.
If anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, these folks will be the ones to notice the most difference after the duct cleaning.
By following all three of these tips within a short time frame, you can restore the purity and cleanliness of your indoor air supply just in time for the spring allergy season to start.
How to Maintain Your Newfound Indoor Air Cleanliness
But even all the tips in the world won’t be able to maintain the newfound indoor air purity you gain after you finish your spring cleaning.
To do this, you will need to make some lasting changes in your home environment as follows:
- Keep allergy covers on your mattresses and pillows.
- Regularly clean out your dryer vents and lint catcher.
- Switch to “green” cleaning supplies or use natural basics like baking soda and citrus juice.
- Keep all pet bedding laundered weekly or monthly and don’t let pets sleep on your bed with you—or, if you can’t resist, wash your bedding and clean your bedroom at least weekly.
- Change out air filters monthly or as the manufacturer recommends.
- Upgrade to HEPA-rated air filters and switch to a HEPA-rated vacuum cleaner.
- Regularly clean and sanitize footwear and sports gear to keep mould and bacteria at bay.
- Ventilate each room in your home with ceiling or floor fans daily.
- Open windows or doors on nice days to aid in air ventilation and circulation.