Stay safe during spring cleaning
A thorough spring cleaning gets your house sparkling, but it's not without hazards. Get off to a squeaky clean start but be sure to do it with caution and care.
What are some tips for cleaning this spring?
After being cooped up all winter, it's time to bring a little freshness to your home. Follow these spring-cleaning tips to avoid starting the season off on a broken foot.
- Start with a schedule: Review your home, make a list of what is needed. Then you can prioritize and schedule your cleaning to keep from being overwhelmed.
- Clear the clutter: Before you start cleaning, pick up any stray objects that you could trip over.
- Work top to bottom: Start from the ceiling and work your way down. This will force the debris downward and help prevent re-dusting and re-cleaning.
- Follow instructions: If the label on the cleaning product recommends wearing gloves or a mask, there's good reason for it. Gather the proper supplies before you start scrubbing.
- Go mild: Only use hazardous cleaning agents such as ammonia and bleach when absolutely necessary. And never mix the two — you could create a toxic gas.
- Ventilate: Even if it's chilly outside, open windows to circulate fresh air and help prevent chemical or allergic reactions.
- Think green: Use homemade or green cleaners to help reduce your exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals. Consumer Reports recommends shopping for products with verified labels, such as Certified Biodegradable, Design for the Environment, Greenguard, and Green Seal.
- Keep cleaning products out of reach: Make sure kids and pets can't get access to them.
- Be careful with the bucket: Even a couple inches of water can be a drowning risk for small children. Keep filled mop buckets away from kids. Store buckets empty and upside down.
- Tread lightly: Walk carefully on just-mopped floors or steer clear until they're completely dry.
- Climb with care: If you need to use a ladder, ask someone to hold it. Avoid leaning too far to one side.
- Lift carefully: Moving furniture? Reference these helpful guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Ask for help with large objects.
- Allergies? Wear rubber gloves and masks along with protective clothing to help prevent irritations and allergic reactions.
And while you are cleaning each room, consider updating your home inventory to keep it up to date.