Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Home Environment
With the weather warming up and the flowers in bloom, many of us feel like throwing our windows open, airing the place out, and getting rid of the dust and dirt our homes collected over those winter months. Spring is often thought of as a time of renewal and fresh beginnings. Which explains that sudden urge to dive into spring cleaning.
While good for your home, spring cleaning offers a range of health benefits for humans as well. The simple act of decluttering can make us feel lighter, less stressed, more at peace and focused. Beyond the mood boost, spring cleaning can also help you provide a healthier home environment for you and your family or occupants. Here’s how.
Eliminate Pollen, Dust and Other Allergens
April showers bring May flowers, which also bring pollen, spores and other allergens into your home. If you’ve been cooped up indoors during the winter months, your home is also likely to be heavy on the dust. Along with being another allergen, dust in the home contains an average of more than 5,000 species of bacteria and 2,000 species of fungi.1 All the more reason to whip out that duster.
A thorough housecleaning can reduce the amount of dust, mold, pet dander, pollen and other particulates that can trigger allergies as well as worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions. When spring cleaning, be sure to include overlooked items that tend to collect dust and pollen, such as furniture legs, floor baseboards, railings, windowsills, as well as the tops of frames, mirrors and lamps. Carpet and area rugs are also magnets for dust, dirt and bacteria. In fact, researchers found that most people’s carpets have around 200,000 bacteria per square inch.2 Pass the vacuum cleaner!
Along with your carpets, be sure to vacuum rugs, floors, upholstery, cobwebs that gather in corners and ceilings, and window treatments to rid them of dust and dirt as well. Keep in mind, studies have shown that bacteria can be transferred to upholstery and fabric cushions, and then back to people, so those soft surfaces can contribute to the spread of illness.3 Be sure to wash all bedding and blankets, as well. Then throw your pillows in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any dust mites that can also be an allergy trigger.
Don’t forget one of the most common sources of allergens in your home: your HVAC system. Spring cleaning your air ducts is an effective way to reduce the amount of dust, pollen, mold, dander, and other impurities for healthier indoor air quality.
Disinfect and Sanitize for Peace of Mind
Cold and flu season may be waning, but germs can still linger through spring and into summer. To protect your family and occupants from common bacteria and viruses that can cause illness, take the time to disinfect and sanitize your home’s surfaces. Pay attention to surfaces that frequently get touched by the people in your environment, such as banisters, faucets, handles, light switches, game consoles, and computer keyboards.
As shared spaces, your bathrooms deserve a thorough disinfecting and sanitizing as well. One of the most neglected areas in a bathroom, tile and grout provide a moist, warm breeding ground for bacteria including salmonella, streptococcus and staphylococcus. And if you’ve noticed your grout turning pink, that is actually a type of bacteria called Serratia marcescens that thrives on damp surfaces and soap scum.4 Don’t forget about the fungus that causes athlete’s foot and loves to grow on damp showers floors. In other words, invest some elbow grease disinfecting and sanitizing your bathroom surfaces.
Then there’s your kitchen. Your beautiful granite countertops alone can harbor over 100,000 bacteria per gram of granite, and over 54 billion bacteria in the cracks and crevices.5 Deep-clean, sanitize and disinfect those countertops along with sinks, refrigerators, cutting boards and anything else that comes into regular contact with food to help prevent foodborne illness.
Make Your Home a Safe Zone
Decluttering your home during spring cleaning can help clear the mind, while also making your living spaces safer — especially for older occupants and guests. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four adults over age 65 fall each year, leading to 3 million emergency room visits.6 Clearing your entrance, hallways, floors and staircases can help reduce the risk of falls. Make sure your area rugs, carpets and floors don’t present a tripping or slipping hazard either.
Call the Spring Cleaning Pros
The advantages of spring cleaning for your mental and physical well-being are clear. The challenge comes in finding the time and energy to do the thorough spring cleaning your home and family deserves. Make it easy on yourself and call in a professional cleaning service to do the spring cleaning for you.
Choose a certified professional cleaning service that specializes in deep-cleaning surfaces throughout your home — including carpets, rugs, natural stone, hardwood floors, tile and grout, upholstery, window treatments and air ducts. Ask how the technicians ensure your surfaces will be deep cleaned, sanitized and disinfected, and if they offer a satisfaction guarantee.
If you’re ready for that spring-clean feeling in your home or business, call the pros at COIT today. We’ll give your space and all its surfaces a fresh start for a cleaner, healthier environment.