Winter Cleaning Checklist
Winter is a great time to clean your real estate properties. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the fun in fall and winter—the holidays and vacations, cozy sweaters and warm cups of tea. But even if you haven’t noticed the dust bunnies under your bed or cobwebs over your refrigerator, it might be time for a little extra scrubbing and tidying up.
So we’ve created this quick checklist of things to check on in your properties before spring arrives.
Declutter Your Space
Start by removing any clutter from your property. Go through every room and get rid of anything that you don’t use or need. This includes items like clothes, shoes and old books that you haven’t read in years. Next, organize the remaining items so they have a place to live within their rooms. Put things in one spot and make sure they’re in good condition before moving them back into the house.
Wash Your Windows
To clean your windows, use a squeegee to remove water from the window and then a microfiber cloth (or paper towel) to wipe away dirt. If you want to get into hard-to-reach places, use a toothbrush or painter’s tape to make sure there are no streaks in those areas. Also, don’t use newspaper—it’ll leave behind tiny little bits of ink on your glass that will act like dirt magnets! Vinegar and water can also be used as cleaning solutions but must be rinsed completely off. When cleaning around the rubber gasket where two pieces of glass meet, make sure that any residue left behind doesn’t let bugs inside since this part provides an entryway for pests; also inspect drains regularly so as not to miss anything lurking down there.
Deep Clean Your Carpets
Next, deep clean your carpets. If you have an old carpet cleaner or steamer, get it out and take it for a spin. If not, grab a bottle of shampoo and give the carpets a good cleaning. You should also vacuum—that way there won’t be any extra water left behind after you steam them up again. This will make sure that moisture leaves the fibers so they don’t mold or mildew in summer heat.
If you prefer natural products over harsh chemicals when dealing with stains and spills, try using lemon juice or vinegar as both are great stain removers for carpets (and many other surfaces). Just be careful about using vinegar on colored carpets. Use it sparingly (just enough to make sure no stain remains) because it can dye certain fabrics permanently if applied too heavily. Power Facilities Management suggests that vinegar should be avoided when it comes to carpet cleaning.
Clean Out The Fireplace
Cleaning out the fireplace is one of those tasks that’s always on your to-do list, but you never get around to doing it. This time of year is a great time to finally get it done. The process is not really difficult. Remove ashes and debris from the bottom of your fireplace. If there are any loose bricks or stones at the bottom, remove them as well to make sure that nothing could fall into your chimney if one were to break off during use (this happens fairly often). Inspect the flue for cracks or holes and tighten any loose screws where necessary. If you have access to both sides of the flue inside your fireplace, check for proper ventilation by sliding a piece of cardboard between them—there shouldn’t be more than 1/2 an inch between them when properly sized and installed properly.
Clean Out The Hot Water Heater
Remove any dust and debris from the bottom of the tank. This can be done with a vacuum cleaner, but you may have to do this step by hand if your hot water heater has an upper access panel that cannot be removed by pulling off or lifting it up. Clean the pilot light, which is located inside the tank and turns on when you turn on your gas line to supply fuel to heat water in your home. Then clean around thermostat and temperature control dials with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Clean out drain valve using dishwashing liquid and water then rinse thoroughly before replacing back into position after cleaning process is complete.
Clean Heating Vents
This can be done with the help of a vacuum, or by simply removing the vents and cleaning them with a damp cloth. Be sure to remove any filters in your system that need to be cleaned or replaced, and check for leaks in the ductwork. If you find any damage, it’s best to have it repaired by a professional.
Check & Replace Air Filters
Air filters are an important part of keeping dust and other allergens away from your home. We recommend replacing them every 3 months for the best results. Use a vacuum cleaner on the air filter only if absolutely necessary, as it can damage it and make it less effective at filtering out allergens and pollutants. You can clean most air filters by wiping with a damp cloth or washing in soapy water, but first remove ashes and debris from around the fireplace opening before cleaning your fireplace screen or chimney liner/pot. If needed, clean any other parts of your fireplace including doors, grates, fireboxes, ash pans etc.
Sanitization of Furniture
Sanitization is an integral part of cleaning post the COVID 19. Use a sanitizing solution of one part bleach to ten parts water. It is important to use the proper amount of bleach so that your furniture does not become damaged. Use the solution on all surfaces of the furniture, including under cushions and other areas that are difficult to reach. Make sure you also clean all crevices where dust and dirt can accumulate by using an old toothbrush or cotton swab dipped in the disinfecting solution. Allow everything to dry thoroughly before placing items back into their designated places in your home’s rooms and closets.