With spring season officially here, it’s time to prepare your home for sunnier days. Seasonal cleaning is a great way not only to refresh your home but also to check each corner of your house for mold and take the necessary steps to prevent mold from invading.
Cleaning your house from top to bottom can take a few days. That being said, it is very important to ensure you didn’t forget to check or clean often-overlooked places such as behind the washing machine or above the kitchen elements. These places are often dark and moist, and as such provide the perfect conditions for mold growth.
Since mold loves dust, dirt and moisture, getting rid of it all is the first step to preventing mold from growing in your home. Performing a thorough mold check and cleaning your home will help you prevent mold from growing in your home.
Create a cleaning strategy
As previously mentioned, cleaning the entire home is not an easy task. There is a lot of moving, dusting, vacuuming and washing. Creating a strategy that will help you stay organized and on track with your cleaning tasks will help you finish the whole process more quickly.
While you are planing which room you will attack first, it’s good to focus on repetitive tasks in each room. For example, go through every room and take down the curtains. You will have a big enough pile for the first load. While you are cleaning, your washing machine will do the job, and all that is left to do is to simply take the curtains out and you are ready for the next load.
You can always rely on checklists (printable or online) or cleaning apps on your mobile.
Cleaning your home room by room
Whether you are starting with the bathroom or bedroom, there are some tasks you should do in every single room of your home, from dusting your ceiling to vacuuming the floors. With each step you take, thoroughly examine your home for possible signs of mold. If it is light-colored, it is probably mildew, and only mildew can be treated with home products. If you are not sure if it is mold or mildew, let professionals test it for you!
Clean your walls and ceilings
As we’ve said many times before, mold loves moisture. It loves it so much that it will throw a party everywhere they find enough moisture and organic food. That being said, in order to prevent mold from invading your home, it is important to thoroughly check your walls and ceilings for any signs of leaks. Both high humidity level and condensation may increase your chances of having mold on your walls, so keeping control of these two components will keep control of mold.
Start by dusting and vacuuming all the surfaces in every room. Wipe the walls and get rid of any spider web you see. If you notice any leaks, find the cause and fix it immediately. While you are at it, carefully dust your light bulbs, chandeliers and any other light source you have in your room. Remember, there is no better organic food for mold than dust.
Clean your vents
One of the best ways to ensure your indoor air is clean is to keep your vents clean. It is very important to vacuum your vents with a strong vacuum cleaner (home versions are usually not suitable for this job). You will need a long hose to reach deep into the ducts. Mold and mildew can be found inside the air ducts, thus it is recommended that you clean them regularly to prevent mold from forming in those hidden places.
Since you need a powerful tool to clean the air ducts, you should consider hiring a professional to do the job properly to ensure your air is fresh and mold or mildew is treated properly.
Take care of your windows
Take down all drapes and curtains and wash them thoroughly. Make sure you dry them well before you hang them again. If the weather allows it, you can put them back while they are still wet and leave the windows wide open. This will make your entire room smell fresh, but again, you should be careful about the humidity level, as it can bring about mold.
Using warm water, damp cloth and mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each window with a brush and rinse thoroughly. By doing this, you will remove any dirt and mildew from your windows. In case you see dark spots on your windows and suspect a mold problem, now is the perfect moment to call professionals to test if it is mold or not. Window condensation often causes mold to grow in your home.
Don’t forget to wash both the interior side of your windows as well as the exterior one and windowsills. The best way to prevent mold in your home is to keep your windows open as often as possible, as mold isn’t a fan of fresh air.
Vacuum the carpets and wipe the floors
Although carpets and rugs look beautiful, unfortunately, we often overlook the potential danger of mold growth on them. Since we can blame it on dirt and moisture, in order to prevent mold, all you have to do is clean the carpets and floors thoroughly at least once during spring cleaning.
The old rules mandate that you roll up the rugs, then vacuum and clean the floors in every single room. Move your furniture so that you can reach every corner of your room to ensure there are no dirty or moldy places.
If you can, leave the carpets out of your home and invest in renewing your floors and making them look shiny again. If you have vinyl or linoleum floors, you can clean them with a floor polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be easily treated with a special paste or liquid wax.
In case you have to keep your carpets, inspect them thoroughly and deep clean them before you bring them back in to ensure there is no mold on them. In addition, you need to dry them well because dirt is not the only food source for mold.
Take care of your furniture
Each piece of furniture you have in the room should be specially treated during spring cleaning even if it involves simple vacuuming or deep cleaning.
When you are moving everything to take care of your carpets and floors, keep your furniture out for a little bit longer. Check behind your furniture for mold, and if it is mold-free, clean it with a damp cloth, warm water and mild detergent. You can find special products that you can use for different types of furniture (e.g. wooden, textile, etc.). Before you put your furniture back, just make sure it is completely dry.
Declutter your space and clean the toys
If you have younger kids, you are probably constantly jumping over toys around the house. For your kids’ safety, this is the best time to clean all of them and throw away those that are broken or that haven’t been used in a while. You can wash the remaining toys in warm water and let them dry outside in the sun.
We tend to keep all those lovely decorations we usually never use. You should at least dust or wipe them, or just simply throw away the items you no longer need.
When it comes to decluttering, people tend to pile up stuff in one place (usually in the basement) and leave them like that. Not only do unused things block your space, but they also block the flow of air. To prevent mold from growing, throw away anything you don’t need and move everything else so that you have access to enough airflow.
Dust your bookshelf
If you love to read, you should be aware of dust on your bookshelves too. Remove each book, dust or vacuum them as well as the shelves they were sitting on. Thoroughly clean the shelf before putting the books back. In addition, you should check if your books are wet. If a small part of a book is wet, not only can this damage it, but it can also bring about mold.
If you collect newspapers or magazines, don’t forget that they also make a great food source for mold. Throw them away and swap your newspaper-buying habit for reading online. Not only will you strip mold of its food, but you will also make your home more eco-friendly. Instead of supporting tree cutting, this time support tree growth.
Kitchen cleaning time
Mold and other unwanted pets adore the kitchen because they can find lots of food there. Everything they need to thrive – from rotten food to moist places – can be found in your kitchen. That being said, taking special care of your kitchen, not only during spring cleaning but on a regular basis too, is the best way to prevent mold from growing in it.
Start with the dishes
Wash all the dishes in your kitchen sink and make sure they are dry before you store them. Pay close attention to your cutting boards. Make sure you thoroughly clean and dry them before you put them back, and if you have a problem with bad odors, you can always scrub them with lemon.
If you are using a dishwasher, don’t forget to clean the insides after you are done. While you are at it, check behind your dishwasher too. Mold loves dark and moist places, and, as you can guess, it can find everything we have mentioned behind your dishwasher.
Clean the cabinets and food storage areas
While you are washing your dishes, pay close attention to your kitchen cabinets and food storage areas before you put the dishes back, as mold can often be found there. Take all the stored dishes out and simply wipe everything. Before you start putting the dishes back, ensure your cabinets are dry.
Degrease kitchen cabinets and perform a thorough check of your food storage areas. Throw away anything spoiled or moldy and inspect if there is mold inside the food storage. In order to prevent mold from growing, make sure you use the food you buy before it gets moldy.
Don’t forget to clean your fridge too! Even though you might think that mold cannot live in the fridge due to cold, it actually can and will live in your fridge if there is enough moisture and food sources (and we all know fridge is full of both).
Clean your trash cans
Garbage gives two things to mold – food and moisture. That being said, now is the perfect time not only to take your trash out (and we hope you do it at least once a day) but also to thoroughly clean your trash can. Use detergents and hot water to kill all bacteria and, most importantly, leave the can outside to dry well before you start throwing trash in it again to prevent mold from growing in it.
If you are using garbage disposal, do not forget to clean it too. Pour vinegar to kill bacteria, clean it inside and out and rinse it with hot water and lemon to make it smell good.
Don’t forget to check the pipes in the kitchen for possible leaks. Inspect closely all walls and windows, and if you notice any signs of mold, grab your phone and call professionals to help you clean your house.
Clean your bathroom
Once you are done with the kitchen, focus on the place that’s often rife with mold – the bathroom. Since high level of moisture is the main cause of mold in the bathroom, make sure you clean all air vents and keep your windows open as often as possible during your spring cleaning.
Take care of your bathtub, towels and everything involved in the showering process
Thoroughly clean your bathtub, both inside and out. If you have shower curtains, take them down and wash them in the washing machine if the fabric allows it. If you notice dark spots on them, do not try to clean them up – throw them away immediately.
Check your bathroom mats for possible mold signs and wash them in the washing machine if you have the non-slip kind. You should opt for very absorbent floor mats to ensure the water splashed during showering doesn’t find its way to your tiled floor.
Do not forget the towels too! After using a towel a couple of times, wash it in hot water and ensure it is completely dry before you store it back. You can swap fabric softeners for vinegar if you have sensitive skin or if you are allergic to them.
The key to protecting your bathroom from mold is to keep everything dry.
Clean your washing machine
During your spring cleaning, you may find yourself turning on your washing machine several times. After you are done with the last load, it is time to clean your machine.
Mold can often be found inside the washing machine due to high moisture levels, especially if left closed after your laundry is done. Running a 90 degree cycle without clothes in your washing machine can help. Replace your detergent and softeners with baking soda and vinegar to get rid of all bacteria and mold. Once the process is finished, keep the door open to properly dry the inside of your washing machine and in that way prevent mold from coming back.
Ensure proper air flow
After you are done cleaning your home, all that is left to do is check your vents and turn them on to get the air flowing in your bathroom. Since this room often has high humidity, you should consider dehumidifiers if you already have a problem with mold.
And finally, we can only say – happy cleaning! 🙂