Cleaning Tips for Your New House: A Clean Start for a Healthier Home
Even if your home is brand new, indoor air pollution is something you should be worried about. While some indoor pollutants—dust, dander, and pollen, for instance—build up with time, others can come from the building materials that went into the construction of your new home. That’s why it’s so important to conduct a thorough cleaning before you move in. It gives you a fresh start in your new home while reducing irritants that could make you sick.
Of course, moving is stressful enough. If you lack the time and energy to clean your new house yourself, it’s definitely worth it to consider hiring a housekeeper. Many housekeeping companies offer move-in specials for families taking up a new residence. To find a housekeeping service in your area, do a quick online search and compare reviews to find a great fit. Once you have someone on board, go over your moving housecleaning checklist to ensure your home is move-in ready.
Air it Out
If you walk into your new home and smell chemicals or paint, the first thing you need to do is air out each room. Improper ventilation can trap air pollutants of all types inside the home. Open windows and turn on ceiling fans set to counter-clockwise to push air down and outside. While the windows are open, use the opportunity to wash and re-install your screens so you can continue airing out your home long into bug season.
Bust that Dust
Dusting your home from top to bottom will also drastically reduce indoor allergens. Experts recommend using microfiber cloths when dusting, because they trap and remove allergens from surfaces. When you begin dusting in a room, focus on corners, windows, doors, blinds, baseboards, ceiling fans, and light fixtures. When you have these areas clean, it’s easier to see which other spaces in the room need a once-over. Furthermore, once you are done dusting a room, be sure to clean the floors thoroughly. While you probably caught some dirt and dust, a good deal likely found its way down to your floors.
Prevent Water Damage
If you notice any water leaks in the home, fix them immediately. Mold and mildew are common contributors to indoor air pollution, and the best way to deal with both is by preventing water damage. If your home routinely has high levels of humidity due to climate, consider installing a dehumidifier. Note that the ideal in-home humidity level should hover around 45 percent.
Check for Bugs
No, we don’t mean secret microphones. Insects, spiders, and other creepy crawlers will always try to find a way into your house as a way to escape the elements, and possibly find water and food. As long as there are bugs trying to get into your house, there will be bugs that die in your house. Check corners and lighting fixtures for cobwebs, and look between the walls and crown molding for dead insects. Make quick work of cleaning them out with a cordless hand vacuum you can easily carry from room to room.
Disinfect the Bathrooms
Your new bathroom probably doesn’t have any soap scum in the shower yet, but a good initial cleaning makes it easier to keep your bathrooms sparkling throughout the year. Go over all surfaces with a sponge soaked in dish soap and water. Next, apply a light mist of antibacterial spray inside the bathroom to kill any lingering germs, bacteria, and viruses. You can also use a bleach-based cleaner to disinfect the inside of your toilet bowl, but be sure to turn on bathroom vents (or open a window) to prevent toxic chemical buildup inside the bathroom. Finally, stock your bathroom with a daily shower spray your family can use after bathing to keep mold, mildew, and stains at bay.
Get your new home move-in ready with a thorough cleaning. If you notice your house is stuffy or smells of chemicals, start with a thorough airing-out to release toxic air and let clean air indoors. To effectively dust the whole house, work from top to bottom in each room, always finishing by cleaning the floors. Water damage can lead to indoor air pollution, among other problems. Search for leaks and fix them as soon as you move in. Use a cordless hand vacuum to remove dead bugs and cobwebs that have made your home theirs. Finally, keep your bathroom clean and healthy for all who use it by wiping surfaces and using antibacterial products to remove germs and viruses from this very busy part of the house.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice Robertson manages TidyHome.info, a resource educating families about how to reduce allergens and breathe clean air in their homes.