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Tips to Help Keep Your House Clean All Winter
Submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator

With the shorter, colder days of winter come added time spent indoors, extra jackets, blankets or comforters along with snow and mud tracked indoors. Follow these tips to help keep your home clean all winter:

  • Encourage your family to leave their shoes at the door. You might consider placing a box or special mat by the door to help catch melting snow in shoe and boot soles.

  • If you have pets that venture outdoors, consider keeping a towel by the door to give your pet a quick rubdown - especially paws - before letting them in the house.

  • Place throw-rugs in high-traffic areas - even over other carpets - to keep your wall-to-wall carpets from aging prematurely and make quick-cleaning as easy as shaking out a rug.

  • Carpet and upholstery cleaners can help save your carpet and furniture! Most winter stains from snow or mud are easy to clean, but be sure to read the cleaning label carefully and follow directions closely. Using the wrong cleaner can ruin fabrics.

  • Sand and grit tracked into your home can scratch tile floors. Regular cleaning will help keep your kitchen and bathroom floors safe and clean.

  • Vacuum carpets often to remove tracked in sand and dirt.

  • Vacuum upholstery regularly to catch small soil and food particles before they work their way into fabrics.

  • Keep jackets, blankets and comforters clean all winter by washing them once a month.

  • Since winter is "cold and flu season," keep a supply of hand soap at every sink. Encourage your family to wash their hands regularly.

Donít forget to clean these often forgotten places:

  • Inside the bottom of the dishwasher door - spray a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner and sponge clean it. Youíll be amazed at what you pick up!

  • Interior walls and shelves of the refrigerator, for health and cleanliness - always remember to wipe up spills immediately. This keeps your refrigerator looking its best and helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Use a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water.

  • Tops of the ceiling fan blades - capture dust with special dusting mitts or dusters designed for getting these hard-to-reach surfaces.

  • Ovens - cleaning spills as you go will make this tough job easier. First allow surfaces to cool before cleaning. Use an oven cleaner; however, donít use an oven cleaner on a self-cleaning or continuous cleaning oven because it may damage the surface. Always read the product label directions before using.

  • Exterior of the range - allow cooking surfaces to cool before cleaning. Then use non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner.

  • Telephone receivers, door handles, computer keyboards Ė use disinfectant wipes on these surfaces to whisk away dirt and germs.

Take time to follow these tips to keep your house clean and healthy during the dark days of winter.

(This resource was added January 2007 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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