The home is a safe environment for you and your family, as well as dirt, debris and a lot of different microorganisms like dust mites, bacteria and bugs of all shapes and sizes.
What you cook, your pets, and where you step before coming home can bring all manner of undesirable contaminants into the home. Even our own bodies shed hair and skin flakes. All of these things contribute to a dirty home.
For some, cleaning is a never ending pursuit. For others, finding the time to take out the trash is hard enough. The trick to cleaning effectively is to hit key areas of the home at least once a month, on the weekend in one big expenditure of physical energy. Count it as your exercise for the day.
Below, you will find the list in order that we think works best to help you achieve your dreams of a cleaner home. For best results, use natural cleaners and reusable rags. This helps cut back on waste and synthetic chemicals that can get into the air and cause respiratory issues.
Change Filters Around The Home
The best way to clean the air in your home is with a new air filter. In fact, there are several filters in your home that you should check or replace each month – or sooner! The best part about filters is that they do all the cleaning so you don’t have to move a muscle!
Change Mattress Covers
If you only wash your sheets on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you’ll want to put your mattress covers through the wash cycle. Save energy by washing with cold water, and consider using natural detergents. You can also use hot water with bleach for a deep clean. We like to tackle this task first because the wash and dry cycle can take awhile.
Clean Fixtures and Fans
Use a step ladder and duster designed to reach the top side of the fan blade, light fixtures, or any other high surfaces and wipe them clean. You should finish this step first so that any dust or dirt that falls to the ground will get cleaned up when you start cleaning the floors. No reason to dirty your recently cleaned floors!
Wipe Down Curtains and Furniture
Just like above, wipe crumbs or other debris onto the floor. If you couch is fabric, use a lint roller to grab hair and lint. If you let your pets onto furniture, consider using a steamer or specialized liquid cleaner. Make sure to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid ruining the material.
Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets
Your carpets harbor bacteria, fungi, viruses, dust mites and other microscopic particles and organism. While you probably won’t completely rid your carpets of foreign organisms with consumer grade vacuum and carpet streamers, you can help reduce their numbers and keep the surface of the carpet clean. For best results, adjust the carpet height setting on the vacuum then take your time running the carpet cleaner around furniture. If you can move the furniture to get underneath, you’ll get better results.
Disinfect Countertops, Stovetop and Microwave
After each meal, if you are wiping down the area with a sponge, you are probably in the clear, so long as raw foods like meat haven’t made contact with surfaces. But now is the time to disinfect everything in your kitchen. Take out the rotating microwave tray, oven racks and grease catch pan. Thoroughly clean each of these, including burners, the outside of appliances, the interior of the dishwasher, on top of the fridge, and all visible surfaces.
Wash Hard Flooring
Warm water and white vinegar are very effective for washing floors and preventing them from feeling sticky. Wash under cabinets and in cracks so you don’t leave behind anything. Leaving crumbs or dried food particles on the ground is an invitation for cockroaches, ants, and other bugs to take up residence behind appliances and cabinets.
Deep Clean Where Pets Spend Their Time
For allergy sufferers or those worried about cleanliness, pets should never be allowed inside bedrooms. Their use of the hallways outside of bedrooms should also be minimized when possible. Bugs, particularly fleas and ticks, love to take up residence under fur. Dogs, in particular, spend a lot of time outside and love to roll around in dirt. Once they come back inside, the mild temperatures and humidity make a hospitable place for blood sucking pests. After running the vacuum cleaner and carpet steamer, spray animal-safe indoor cleaner around the area. Also, wash and dry animal beds, making sure to dry them on high heat to kill microorganisms living in the fabric.
Make Your Bathroom Sparkle
You should aim for quick, bi-weekly cleanings of bathroom fixtures, sinks and toilets. All you need is a rag and a little cleaner to remove surface grime, soap scum and discoloration. This will keep things tidy, and make it easier to fully disinfect bathrooms. To disinfect properly, the area needs to be cleaned once, then cleaner should be applied again and left for 10 minutes. Finally, remove everything in cabinets and check for animal droppings or bugs that might be hiding in in corners or cracks.
Sweep and Wash Garage Floor
Opening and closing the garage door, the things picked up by the car’s tires, and gaps in the garage door make it easy for dirt and debris, bugs, and small animals to sneak inside. Once in the garage, it becomes more likely that the things you don’t want in the home will find a way inside.
If possible, keep equipment like lawnmowers and hoses in the shed to limit dirt and moisture. Tool benches and storage containers should be elevated off the ground, which makes it easier to clean around, but also limits where animals and bugs can hide. At this point, sweep out the garage, then use a scrub brush or mop to thoroughly wash the floor.
Keep Your Car Clean
Keeping the outside and inside of the car clean is important. Washing the outside of the car limits how much dirt and debris makes it into the garage. Cleaning out the inside of the car will help prevent smaller bugs from making the inside of the car their home. Bugs are small enough to crawl through vents, out of the car, and into the garage where they may find their way into the home. After washing the exterior, use a shop vac and, if appropriate, a steam cleaner to clean carpets and cloth seats.
Start Enjoying Your Clean Home
With practice, you will be able to tackle each of these tasks in little time at all. The benefits of completing these tasks should be immediately apparent. The air will smell better, surfaces will stay cleaner for longer, and if you are an allergy sufferer, you should expect to breathe better.
Do you have a monthly cleaning ritual? Tell us about it and we may feature your comment in a future blog!