As anyone in the Chicagoland area can certainly attest, winter has arrived. And while the official start of the season won’t be here for a few weeks, it’s pretty clear that winter weather is here to stay. And, as we move our activities indoors and prepare for holiday gatherings with friends and family, many for the first time in a couple of years, it can be tough to make sure our homes are as clean and sanitized as we would like. Get ready to face the elements and tackle winter’s toughest cleaning challenges with our winter cleaning pro tips.
Take Care Of Your HVAC And Radiators
The most important cleaning project you can take on as the winter season approaches is to make sure the system that keeps you warm on cold winter nights is in top working condition. This means swapping out air filters, and considering a professional cleaning for your ducts and vents. Keeping dust and household allergens out of the air can go a long way to keeping you and your family healthy and free from nasty airborne pollutants, and can even help protect you from airborne disease. Your household’s air quality becomes even more important during the colder months of the year, when it’s tougher to open a window to get fresh air circulation in the home.
If your home or apartment relies on a radiator, make sure that is cleaned out as well. Dust trapped in the radiator can reduce its heating power by up to 30 percent. Wiping down your radiator with a diluted white vinegar solution, and then drying it off with a microfiber towel can improve your radiator’s performance and keep harmful pollutants out of your home.
Dust, Dust, Dust
It’s no secret that dust seems to accumulate more in the colder months of the year. Dryer outside air, combined with the fact that your HVAC system tends to dry out air by passing it over an open flame, can combine to create drier conditions within your home. This perfect storm is the perfect time for dust to circulate. Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we prefer to use a lambswool or microfiber duster to get at crown moldings, corners, baseboards, fan blades, and other hard-to-reach surfaces where dust can accumulate, just waiting to be blown around your home by your heating system. Keeping dust out of the air can ease the burden on your respiratory system, and it makes your home a more inviting, comfortable, and welcoming place to be. Using the top-to-bottom method, clean from the ceiling downward, making sure to remove any pesky cobwebs that might appear, particularly in the corners of your home.
And don’t forget dust on your soft surfaces! Curtains, sofas, and chairs can all be magnets for dust and indoor allergens. Using your vacuum’s attachments to remove dust from these surfaces can help to keep potential issues at bay, as well as making your home truly sparkle.
Keep Your Windows Sparkling All Winter
As the afternoons get shorter, it’s critical to let as much natural light into your home as possible during the day. And windows, screens, and windowsills are absolute magnets for dust and grime, especially as the weather gets wetter and colder. We know that keeping your windows clean can be a tough chore, particularly in the months when there’s snow on the ground, but tackling the project with a plan in mind can help make the job a lot easier.
First, dust your window frame, sill, screen, and blinds with a dry microfiber cloth. Going over these areas with a dry, clean cloth will help you trap a ton of dust, and make the rest of your cleaning tasks easier. Then, using a bit of Dawn dish soap, clean your screens. Screens are a magnet for outdoor grit, grime, and pollutants, and getting them clean makes a world of difference when it comes to maximizing your home’s indoor light. Next, use a little bit of fresh water and your favorite all-purpose soap to clean your window frames, window sills, and window ledges. Finally, apply a natural window cleaner (maybe one full of your favorite essential oils) to the glass of your window, then use a squeegee to wipe the area clean. Be sure to work from top to bottom, and dry your squeegee every so often. After you’ve completed this, wipe down your blinds or window treatments, and you’re ready to enjoy your new lighter, brighter indoor space!
Have A Plan For Outdoor Winter Gear
Outdoor gear is a magnet for all of the slush, salt, and water that accumulates outdoors during the winter months — all the things we’d rather keep outside our homes! Having a plan for your winter boots, coats, and outerwear can help save you from the hassle of mopping or scrubbing dirty floors every few days. A weatherproof basket or bin next to the door can help remind everyone to take their shoes off right in the entryway, and an extra towel or two in a basket can allow you to dry off before tracking rain or snow through the house. If you have the space, a bench and rubber mat or weatherproof rug can help make it easier to shed winter layers right in your home’s entryway.
Keep Surfaces Sanitized
Over the past two years, we’ve learned more than ever the importance of keeping our kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean and disinfected. And in the winter, Covid-19 is far from the only virus in the air. Be sure to use sanitizers that are approved to kill household germs, allow plenty of contact time after applying your disinfectant of choice, and clean the sponges, towels, and mats in your kitchen and bathroom on a regular basis to avoid viruses, bacteria, or even mold from settling on them.
Ready To Tackle Winter Cleaning? We’re Here to Help
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, one of our primary goals is to make cleaning less stressful for you — and more healthy and sustainable for our environment.
We also believe in passing along our green cleaning knowledge, whenever we can. We love to talk all things cleaning and organizing, including the strategies that can make taking care of your home a more sustainable and enjoyable practice. The more people we can bring together in our mission for a healthier world, the better off our planet will be!
So, if you ever have a question about comparing cleaning products, starting a new composting practice, or making a sustainable swap in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch — we’re always happy to talk shop and try to make a difference, however we can.
At SDCS, we’re sincerely passionate about these issues, dedicated to finding real solutions, and always eager to keep the conversation going.
Curious about what steps you can take to have a positive impact on the environment, in your kitchen or beyond? Want to talk about the best ways to set up an environmentally friendly cleaning for your Chicago home? Contact us today for your free service estimate!