Although it’s important to keep your house clean and tidy all year round, it can be more challenging to keep on top of it during the winter.
To help you enjoy a welcoming cosy home this winter, we have put together 20 top winter cleaning tips for you.
Cleaning is one thing but trying to clean an area that is over cluttered is another! It will take you twice as long to clean a room if you haven’t tidied it first. Whether it’s slippers lying around, a pile of ironing stacking up, dirty glasses on the side or the pet’s toys sprawled across the floor, these obstacles will make cleaning a whole lot harder for you.
It’s good practice to allow 10 minutes before you clean for having a quick whip around and tidying up all those bits and bobs you’ve left lying around. You’ll feel a whole lot better once you’ve done it and it will help you keep on top of maintaining it if you do a little bit every day.
2. Prepare your entrance for winter
Our shoes are the biggest culprit for bringing dirt into the house! You can avoid muddy floors and stray leaves dotted through the house by preparing your entrance with just a few items:
- Outdoor door mat – By leaving a mat just outside your front door, guests and tenants will give there shoes a quick brush before coming in. Hopefully this will prevent any larger items from entering the house, such as leaves, twigs, chunks of mud etc.
- Outdoor shoe brush – If you’ve been walking through a muddy field, it’s highly likely that it’s not only the bottom of your shoes that have become filthy; mud tends to coat the edge of your shoes also. Simply rubbing your feet on a door mat won’t get rid of this additional mud but a fixed shoe brush will enable you to clean out all the nooks and crannies! You can find an example of a shoe scraper brush here.
- Indoor door mat – It may seem a bit excessive but it doesn’t hurt to have an extra door mat just inside the door, to help remove any excess dirt. It can be easy to forget to clean your mats but it is important to shake them out outdoors every now and then and replace them when the bristles become worn down.
- Umbrella holder – When you turn up to someone’s house with a soggy umbrella it can be difficult deciding where to leave it as you’re aware it’s going to leave a small pool of water behind. By leaving an umbrella stand in your porch/entrance, you will both save your guests a bit of hassle, and also prevent any unwanted indoor puddles. Just remember to clean it out every now and then!
- Shoe rack – Last but not least, it can be a good idea to leave a small shoe rack in the entrance. This way, when people come in they will be more inclined to remove their shoes and in turn keep your carpets clean.
3. Prepare the fireplace
If you have a fireplace, you’re going to want to make use of it in the winter. The downside to having a real fireplace is the dirt and ash that comes with using it. You can make cleaning the fireplace a much more manageable task if you prepare and make sure you have everything you need to keep it clean.
Firstly, it’s a really good idea to get a professional chimney sweep in every year, to clean out the chimney and make sure that everything is cleared and safe before you begin burning logs.
Secondly, put some precautions in place to avoid any ash-stained carpets! Introduce a dark coloured or patterned rug next to the fireplace, to protect the carpet. You can also lay some fabric or protective sheeting between the floor and the log storage, or keep your logs in a lined basket.
4. Prepare the guest bedrooms
As Christmas falls in the middle of winter, it’s likely that you’re going to have a house guest or two at some point! As guest rooms are rarely used, they often take a backseat when it comes to the cleaning routine, which means that there’s going to be gathered dust lying around.
Give the guest rooms a refresh by giving them a good clean, changing the sheets, airing the room out and adding in some welcoming amenities to make your guests feel at home i.e. magazines, slipper socks, toothpaste etc.
5. Don’t forget to look underneath the furniture
It can be easy to run the hoover over the floor, mop the tiles and call it a day, but every now and then you need to give some extra attention to floor and explore all the forgotten nooks and crannies! Once a month or every fortnight if you can manage it, move the furniture and get the hoover nozzle under, in between and behind the cupboards. There will be a lot of dust lying around that you’re breathing in every day, and you may even find some lost treasures; an old £5 note, your favourite lipstick or that earring you could never find!
6. Refresh the sofa, cushions and throws
We spend a large percentage of our home time relaxing on sofas in the lounge, watching TV, reading books, online shopping etc. We also spend a lot of time in our beds and yet we regularly clean the sheets, so why don’t we make more of an effort to clean the sofa? The main reason is that most of us aren’t sure how to clean sofas and it’s also easy to forget they need cleaning.
To keep your lounge area comfy, clean and inviting, it’s important to refresh the sofa, cushions and throws every so often. How you clean them depends on the materials but you should be able to find cleaning directions on the labels attached.
7. Clean the heaters
Having been stored in the back of the cupboard or attic for the last 6 months, your heater will have gathered a heap of dust. You’ve probably experienced that moment when you first turn your heater on and the room fills with the smell of burning dust and you realise your inhaling all of the dust and particles that have been gathering in the heater. To avoid this all too familiar situation, disconnect the heater and take it outside to wipe down with a microfiber duster, then clean the exterior carefully with a damp sponge. Depending on the type of heater, you may be able to take it apart and give it a clean inside. To finish off, make sure that the heater is completely dry and then using an extension cable, turn it on just outside the house, so that any excess dust is blown outside rather than into the rest of your home.
8. Refresh the mattresses
With the average Brit spending 8 hours asleep each night, your bed is likely the most used piece of furniture in your house. Although we regularly clean our sheets, most people forget to give any attention to the mattress itself.
Every few months try to include your mattress in your cleaning routine. When you have stripped the bed and the sheets are in the wash, vacuum the mattress (using the upholstery head), then sprinkle some baking powder over the mattress and leave for a couple of hours and hoover. You can also flip or turn the mattress to avoid sleeping in your body shape dent over and over again. You’ll help protect your mattress by investing in a mattress topper; you’ll also have an extremely comfy night’s sleep! When you are happy that you have given your mattress a new lease of life, put the sheets back on and get ready for the best nap you’ve ever had!
9. Clean the guttering and windows
Whilst cleaning the inside of the windows is a fairly easy task, cleaning the outside presents far more of a challenge. This is something you may want to hire professional help to assist with but it’s important that it’s done nevertheless.
When gutters aren’t cleaned properly it can result in water damage to the interior of your house, which can lead in mould and an expensive nightmare. Over time, guttering becomes clogged with leaves, twigs and debris, resulting in an inefficient drainage system. It also creates an inviting home for unwanted pests and rodents.
How often you clean your gutters depends on your surroundings but as a general rule they should be cleaned in autumn and spring. Although it’s a job that can be done by the homeowner, it can be dangerous and therefore is recommended that it’s carried out by a professional.
10. Clean out the kettle
As the days get colder you’re going to be enjoying a lot more teas and coffees! With your kettle in high demand, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough clean at the start of the season. You’ve probably had a cup of tea before with unwanted floating skin on it; although we tend to ignore it and avert our eyes the truth is that no one relishes the thought of ingesting limescale. You can remove the grime and limescale that has been building up inside your kettle with a shop-bought kettle cleaning product. Be sure to follow the instructions and safety advice, and carefully rinse the kettle out before use.
11. Create a slipper selection basket
This definitely isn’t an essential but it’s a lovely idea and will be appreciated by house guests! When guests come around to your house and remove their shoes in the entrance, it can be unpleasant to walk over cold tiles in nothing but socks. Why not leave a basket of slippers in the entrance for people to slip into when they come in?! This way everyone will feel at home quickly and can enjoy having warm toes for the rest of the evening.
12. Organise your cookware
We all have that annoying cupboard where you have to battle with an army of pots and pans in order to retrieve a single baking tray; what a nightmare! Why not take the stress out of cooking and spend a few hours organising your cookware this winter? Get rid of anything you don’t need so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for. Whilst the cupboards and shelves are empty give them a deep clean with some soapy water or antibacterial wipes. Then, when you refill your cupboard, try and arrange the cookware in some kind of order i.e. how often the item is used or size order.
This job may seem a bit of a nuisance at the time but you will be so grateful you tackled it!
13. Wax wooden furniture
Our tables and worksurfaces go through a lot. To avoid damaging your wooden furniture, it’s worth spending some time protecting it with wax. Not only does woodcare wax give furniture a more luxurious appearance, more importantly it provides protection against water, heat, stains and general wear and tear. You can find plenty of wood wax products online.
14. Clean the bins
It’s no surprise that the inside of our bins harbour a lot of germs and yet not many people think to clean them out. Every few months take the bin outside and wash it out with hot soapy water and sanitiser spray. Then prop the lid open and leave it to air out. Not only will this help kill the germs but it will also help deodorise the bin.
15. Clean all of the lamps
Another area that is often overlooked and left to gather dust is the lampshade. With the right tools this is such an easy task to tick off your list and all you need is a lint roller! Simply run your roller gently across the surface of the lampshade and watch the dust disappear. Make sure that the lamp is unplugged before doing this.
16. Clear out the kitchen cupboards
What are the chances you have a few odd tins of out-of-date tuna and baked beans lurking at the back of your kitchen cupboard; probably pretty high! It’s time to delve into the deepest corners of the kitchen cupboards and get rid of those tins, jars and sachets that you can’t even recollect buying. No one likes wasting food but if the food is beyond edible then there is no point holding onto it – empty the content into the food waste bin and then wash up and recycle the tin or jar it came in. Alternatively, if you have items that are in date but you know you’re never going to eat, gather them all into a bag and donate them to a food shelter where they will be put to good use.
17. Protect your footwear
Our shoes go through a lot in the winter, protecting our feet from the snow, rain, mud and more. If you want to prolong the life of your shoes, there are different ways that you can protect them so they are more resistant to the harsh winter weather.
How you protect your shoes depends on the type of shoe and material. If you have leather shoes you should polish them as often as possible, where as suede shoes should be coated with a shop-brought protective spray and brushed on a regular basis.
18. Clean the oven
Admittedly this is not a fun task but it has to be one of the most rewarding! You don’t realise how filthy your oven has become until you clean it and then realise that the oven door actually has a window and you don’t need to open the door every time you check on dinner.
All you need is a shop-brought oven cleaner, rubber gloves, sponges and you’re ready to go! Simply follow the instructions on the cleaner and you’ll be done before you know it.
19. Polish the wine glasses and champagne flutes
With plenty of parties and social gatherings in the winter, you want the wine glasses to be looking their best. Wine glasses need a little more attention that normal glasses to avoid water drop marks. Once you have washed the glasses you need to then polish them with a tea towel. For the best results, ideally this should be done while the glasses are still hot and steamy so directly after the washing machine has finished.
20. Prepare to clean up after your pet
You’re not the only one treading dirt into the house! Whereas we wear wellies and coats to help avoid the mud and rain, our pets are directly exposed to the elements and their little paws walk directly through the muddy fields.
After a walk or a play in the garden use an old towel to give your pet a once over, drying their coat and all four paws individually. By brushing their coat on a regular basis you will help remove any excess fur that would otherwise shed around the house.
If your household has a pet, it is going to need a bit more cleaning attention than a house without, but by cleaning and looking after your pet, you can help avoid muddy pawprints trailed through the house and fur balls hiding under furniture.
If you need a helping hand with cleaning, Workbusters can meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for regular help or the occasional deep clean, we can help.
You can contact our friendly team to find out more about the cleaning services we offer and how we can help you.