5 Tips for Winter Cleaning Your Home

These unusual cleaning tips will save you money, too.

By SHARE

Many of us start feeling that urge to deep clean our homes once spring rolls around. In fact, the "Spring Cleaning" ritual is practically hard-wired into most homeowners' minds. But think about this...why spend so much time cleaning right when the weather turns nice? Why not do it now, when we're stuck indoors anyway?

[In Pictures: 12 Money Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes]

Snow and rock salt is tracked inside every day from your kids and family, the fireplace is circulating ashes, the heat's running constantly, and with no open windows, all that dust is just hovering around. Having a deeply cleaned home is great for your abode and your psyche, and doing your cleaning in the winter is a great change of pace for most people - especially if you follow some sort of weekly house cleaning schedule. There are plenty of ways to cheaply clean your home, so here are some ideas to help get you started.

1. Clean Your Furnace

Change your furnace filter once a month. This helps in making your home more energy efficient, and keeps your air cleaner. And don't forget to look at the furnace itself. If it's coated in dust and grime, or if there are dust bunnies circulating around underneath, make sure to vacuum them up.

2. Deep Clean Your Carpet and Floors

I don't know about you, but I live in Michigan and my floors get trashed in the winter. Salt collects in between every carpet fiber, and the hardwood floors take on an unpleasant whitish sheen from melting salt water. To combat this, take the time to steam clean your carpet and scrub the floors. If you don't have a place for snowy boots and shoes, put out a couple of cookie sheets (the kind with the raised edge) for them to drain by the door. This will help keep that mess off the floors.

3. Dust

Homes get very dusty in the winter because the air is so warm and dry. Dust your home's surfaces from top to bottom to help keep the dust to a manageable level. Don't forget ceiling fan blades, the tops of window moldings, and the tops of books - all of which are often overlooked and can collect dust easily.  Also, give your lighting fixtures a good dusting. Dust easily collects on them during the winter too, and can make your indoor light look dingy. This will make a big difference in brightening things up. Many people also opt to get their home's air ducts professionally cleaned. This will not only drastically reduce the amount of dust, germs and allergens floating around, but it can also help your furnace run more efficiently.

[Visit the U.S. News My Money blog for the best money advice from around the web.]

4. Clean the Windows

If you have a fireplace or burn candles, your windows likely sport a thin film of soot on the inside, which can block precious sun. Give all your windows a good wipe down. I use vinegar mixed with water, and it works great.

5. Clean the Kitchen Ceiling

Think I'm kidding here? Your kitchen ceiling likely has a film of funk on it without you realizing it, mainly from all the moisture, fumes and smoke resulting from cooking. The same goes for the walls, especially those around the stove. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap in a bucket of warm water and gently scrub with a sponge, using only a minimum amount of water (not enough to drip). Of course, if you notice any discoloration or streaking, stop immediately.

Final Thoughts

I recently gave my own house a thorough, deep cleaning because of the after effects of winter. It proved to be great for me both mentally and physically. I got great exercise, and it felt wonderful to be in a clean and bright house. Have you deep cleaned your home lately?  Do you have any hardcore cleaning tips that help you cut through the mess?

Heather Levin contributes to the Money Crashers personal finance blog, and writes about green living and ideas for saving money on The Greenest Dollar.