Though we always talk about spring cleaning after the winter is over, cleaning during the winter is actually equally, if not more, important. Think about it: You and your family are shut up inside for weeks (or months, depending on where you live!) without the benefit of fresh air from the outside, and because you are all at home a lot more, the house is definitely going to get dirtier than usual. Below are some strategies from Fresh Tech Maid, house cleaning services Chicago, on how you can keep your Chicago clean home smelling and feeling fresh, focusing on the preservation of indoor air quality and hardwood floors.

Now’s Your Chance! Deep Clean Everything

One of the benefits of being stuck inside after work and on the weekends is that you no longer have an excuse to put off those chores you’ve been ignoring. The following areas can use a little extra love during the winter, as they tend to be forgotten during the warmer months. Plus, cleaning these parts of the home will help ensure better air quality for you and your family.

Garbage and Recycling Cans

These containers are probably the dirtiest things in your home, and need to be cleaned at least once a year. This is a task that is best done outside, so try to get to this chore completed before the freezing weather rolls in. Empty out the bins, and thoroughly rinse them with a hose out in the yard. Once you have removed the surface layer of grime, pour in a vinegar cleaning solution and give them another blast with the hose. If you are feeling really ambitious, get your gloves on and scrub away!

Vacuum the Hard Spots

Another heavily soiled area of the home tends to be underneath and behind the fridge. This heavy appliance is a pain to move, but think what could be under there! Use a flat mop to get under the fridge and pull out all the dirt that has gathered so you can vacuum it up. Then, have someone help you pull the fridge away from the wall so that you can get your vacuum attachment behind it. It is important to clean out the coils on the back of the fridge to make sure it is running optimally and not getting clogged with debris.

While you are at it, turn over your kitchen and living room furniture and vacuum the bottoms of these as well. The bottoms of upholstered furniture especially can get very dirty and dusty with hair if you have pets running around!

Say Goodbye to Dust

The lack of fresh air during the winter can be detrimental to your home’s air quality. Remedy this by removing as much of the dust and germs as possible. This includes dusting the hard-to-reach areas like the tops of door frames, dust boards, and the blades of ceiling fans. Most importantly, you must remember to change the filters in your furnace! In fact, this task should be done every one to two months at minimum.

Protect Your Hardwood Floors From Salt When it Snows

One of the most common complaints we hear at Fresh Tech Maid, house cleaning services Chicago, during the winter is how rough the season is on beautiful hardwood floors. Kids especially tend to run inside with their winter boots on, scattering harmful snow and salt all over, which then dries and leaves an unappealing residue. Luckily, we have developed several simple and proven methods of keeping your hardwood floors shining all year round.

The Right Tools for the Job

First things first, you must prepare to take care of your wood floors ahead of time. This means investing in the equipment that will allow you to quickly clean up slush and salt before it can stain and damage the floor. Fresh Tech Maid cleaning technicians have found that the best tools for cleaning up this type of mess are a broom and microfiber mop, so make sure you have these on-hand before the winter months roll in. Be sure to also purchase floor mats for each entrance to your home, the type that is both bristly enough to scrape debris of of boots, but also thick enough to soak up excess snow and moisture. These mats should be washed regularly to ensure that they do not become saturated.

Avoid Salt

The best way to prevent damaging salt from harming your hardwood floors is to make sure that it does not enter your home in the first place! Even if you are careful to always wipe your feet before going inside, the tiniest salt particles can still get in and damage the floor. Though salt is very useful in melting ice on the porch and sidewalks, avoid using it if you can. If you live in a very cold environment where it is necessary to use salt for safety purposes, consider creating a section of your garage or another entry area where it is mandatory to leave shoes before going indoors.

Clean Up Quick

If all of these precautions are still not enough, (and if you have kids and pets, it’s likely they won’t be!) make sure to keep your broom and mop within reach, and clean up snow and ice immediately to prevent staining. The best way to do this is to first sweep up any solid debris like salt granules and ice chips, and then use a microfiber mop with a natural cleaning solution to make sure you get all of the damaging material off of the hardwood.

Fresh Tech Maid, house cleaning services Chicago, IL, hopes that these suggestions will help you preserve the beauty of your hardwood floors this winter, as well as ensure the health of your family by keeping the air inside your home clean.