An iconic short British comedy sketch in the 1920’s “Dinner for One” featured a character asking the question, “Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?” of his co-star. What would be the answer if we had to apply that question today, to the topic of spring cleaning at home?

“Yes, and no,” would be Emma Corder’s answer. She is the managing director of cleaning products manufacturer Industroclean.

Many people might not feel the need for a full-scale “spring cleaning” exercise to the same extent they would have done in other years, she explains.

“The pandemic has meant that many people spent longer periods of time at home this year, which gave us the time to clean out unused rooms and do the kind of decluttering that often gets forgotten. There is still a lot more to spring cleaning that just focusing on forgotten areas of the house,” says Corder.

The change of season brings with it a number of factors that should not be ignored, as there is a health-related element to these factors.

“I think it is fair to say that the pandemic has inadvertently also brought about a heightened sense of awareness among members of the public on what to keep in mind when doing any kind of cleaning at home. The general level of knowledge about cleaning materials has certainly increased,” says Corder.

“People should hold onto this new knowledge and focus on the impact of the change of season. Mould and mildew are two areas that should be focussed on.”  

The winter season leads to a build-up of humidity inside homes, caused by closed doors and windows, moisture from several hot baths and showers, and a general poorer level of air circulation inside the home.

“When the humid air encounters surfaces that are cooler, moisture will accumulate on the porous surfaces which may cause mould. Most of these are in hard-to-reach places or are easily missed and could be hazardous to your health if not dealt with correctly,” adds Corder.

Mould can cause rot and damage to your belongings, and it can also cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases.

The biggest area that you will find mould will be either bathroom or kitchens and always those hard-to-reach places. Corder recommends consumers investigate buying and using the correct products. General purpose scouring pads for those hard-to-reach places, will also make a big and positive impact.

Spring also means the return of allergies such as hay fever. This is why Corder recommends a focus on the tips mentioned above, as well as vacuuming once or twice a week.

“This can help get rid of up to 90% of dirt and pollen. I also recommend that you use a vacuum with a Hepa exhaust filter as this will trap 99.7% of particles including your pet hair. Remember that your furry children will be losing more hair now, as we move into summer.”

Now is also not the time to shampoo your carpets, she adds.

“There might still be some residual moisture in your carpets, and the shampooing could inadvertently cause mould growth and lead to the increased presence of dust mites. The best course of action is to just spot clean where the spills have happened.” 90% of the dirt in a carpet is dry, so rather invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner and attend to individual spots as they occur.

Dusting is also recommended, but not with your normal feather duster as this only serves to disperse the particles.

“Dust as often as you can, but rather use Microfiber Cleaning cloths or dusters. These are highly efficient, and offer lint free cleaning on virtually any surface. These is also a flexible one for hard-to-reach places.  It would also be a good time to clean any air filters in your furnace or ducts,” says Corder.

“Spring cleaning, if done properly, involves a general deep cleaning of every part of your house. It is not just those extra things you were able to do early in the year. Now is a good time to make sure you have prepared your home against the change of the season and against the rest of the pandemic.”

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