Fall cleaning is just as important as spring cleaning, if not more so. Why? Because the right fall cleaning routine can actually help prevent your family from catching colds and flu during the season. A clean home is less likely to harbor dust and grime where bacteria, viruses and mold spores can collect. Which household chores should you focus on? We have a list right here for you.
1. Change your filter – While not normally a task we associate with cleaning, changing the air filter in your HVAC system helps prevent dust and dirt from distributing through your home and also helps with allergens. If you have pets, change the filter monthly during the winter months.
2. Wash windows and curtains – Curtains are a common collecting place for dust and dirt blown in from outside. Dirty windows are a good collecting place for condensation in the winter, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Clean windows weekly. Wash curtains before you turn the heat on for the year and wash them twice more during the colder months.
3. Items you use with your hands – Remote controls, door handles, light switches, cell phones, keyboards and home office desks are all prone to collecting germs from our hands that travel in with us from outside. Clean and disinfect all of these items at least weekly. Another good idea is to make washing your hands the first thing you do every time you come home.
4. High traffic areas – doorways, foyers and mudrooms are hotbeds for germs. Clean down everything you touch with your hands, including coat hooks and door jams and other often overlooked places that get touched.
5. Sinks and toilets – It’s common knowledge that steamy hot bathrooms can be breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses and molds. Scrub down sinks and toilets at least weekly, including toilet seat and handle, sink faucet handles and anything you touch.
6. Radiators and vents – Damp cleaning radiators and vents removes dust and grime that can harbor bacteria and viruses that when you add heat or airflow would have germs floating around your home. You’ll want to damp clean with hot soapy water instead of using a duster, which can leave behind germs even if it removes dust. Clean this at least every few weeks or when you see visible dust.
7. Blankets, bedding, toppers and pillows – Wash all bedding, blankets, toppers and pillows (note: if your washer and dryer are too small, you might have to go to the laundromat for this). Bedding absorbs sweat and skin cells that you shed at night. Not washing your bedding frequently enough can lead to an overgrowth of mites and result in rashes, allergies, congestion and poor sleep. Wash all the bedding before you turn on the heat for the winter, in January and again in March.
8. Carpets and rugs – If you have carpets or rugs, you’ll want to deep clean them before you turn the heat on for winter to remove pollens, dust, dirt, mites and even possibly fleas or flea eggs if you have pets. Deep clean carpets a second time in February or March.
Having the right cleaning routine during the fall and winter months can help you avoid colds and flu for your family Keeping germy or dusty areas cleaned down helps prevent the build-up and transfer of bacteria, viruses and other germs you don’t want to share among your family or get sick from yourself.