As the weather warms and as summer inches closer, people find themselves stuck with a dreaded routine chore: spring cleaning.
But with the coronavirus racing through the world, spring cleaning in 2020 is likely more significant than spring cleaning in years past, cleaning services said.
"This time of the year, it's so important to do a thorough, deep cleaning of your home," said Maureen Flowers, co-owner of Maureen & Melissa's Spic & Span Cleaning in Pike County. "Especially given the fact we're in this terrible crisis with this virus."
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
To remove the grime of winter, however, people often go an extra mile in the spring.
Aarron Nichols, owner of Nichols Cleaning Services, which was formerly McCarthy Cleaning, said the spring months often bring a boost in business.
"This has been an anomaly," Nichols, of Wyoming County, said. "I'm busy but I should be much busier than I am right now. The residential cleanings are just down. The only thing I've been doing residential is pressure washing and cleaning empty houses."
Flowers said they are busy maintaining empty rental properties, but their residential business likewise is down.
"On a normal year, we're very busy this
time of season," Flowers said.
Nichols said, "Allowing someone in your home might not be the best idea until everything is safe."
Those willing to tackle a thorough spring cleaning themselves should keep in mind a few things, such as regularly changing out the water in a mop bucket, being careful with bleach and changing out filters.
"A lot of times people will do the natural thing — clean the bathroom, clean the toilet," Flowers said. "And of course that goes without saying that's very important, but then you have to do the other things that people tend to forget."
Tips for sprucing up include:
If you're mopping the floor, change out the water often, Nichols said. Otherwise you're just spreading filth rather than removing it. Likewise, Flowers said people trying to clean too large of an area with a disinfectant wipe are doing the same thing.
Be careful with bleach. If you're using bleach, make sure that the room is well ventilated. Flowers recommended wearing gloves and wearing a mask because the chemical is so caustic. Never mix bleach with ammonia, and if you're mixing bleach with water to make a disinfecting solution, be sure to properly dilute it. Clorox recommends one part bleach to 30 parts water.
Change out the filters in air conditioners and ventilation ducts. They get filthy, affect people with respiratory issues and are often overlooked, Flowers said.
While you're washing your windows, also wash your window screens. Flowers recommended washing them with a cleansing solution and then running a hose over them.
Clean the baseboards, clean around lights, and change out the batteries in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and security alarms, Flowers said.