Ahhh, spring! The fresh air, the warmer weather, the sunshine! It’s time to open the windows, take a deep breath and open your eyes to all the dust and grime?! The dirt that has built up in and around your home over the winter months is staggering!
There are so many things to consider when spring rolls around. Your to-do list grows with all the extra chores spring cleaning entails. This can also lead to you becoming tired and stressed out, so we’ve compiled a list of top 10 spring cleaning safety tips to make sure you and yours stay safe and happy, allowing you to enjoy all the season has to offer!
#1: Ladders can be dangerous
Whether inside or out, be sure that your ladder is secured and steady, and ideally have someone hold it for you. A good rule of thumb is to never lean so far to either side of the ladder that your belly button goes beyond it.
Working on a ladder while washing windows or cleaning a gutter can be especially dangerous. Surfaces can easily become slippery, and you can get tangled up and fall. It is sometimes best to avoid this danger altogether by outsourcing tasks such as washing second story windows to someone knowledgeable and trained in the safety hazards of outdoor cleaning at heights. A fall from a ladder at just one story can cause a fatality, so we suggest that all outside work at heights be done by those who are properly trained.
#2: Lifting and moving heavy objects
Lifting and moving appliances and heavy furniture can cause sore muscles, aches, and strains. Lifting heavy objects improperly is one of the most common causes of back injuries. Before you lift and move a heavy object, make sure that your back is straight, and your knees are bent and in line with your heels. Then lift by using your legs – not your back.
#3: Slippery surfaces
Slippery surfaces are another issue you can come across during spring cleaning. Both inside and out, surfaces that are used regularly by your family can become hazardous when wet. Warn everyone, especially children, that the surface you are working on is not to be used until dry. Be sure to keep any pets safely away from where you are working as well.
#4: Hazardous cleaning chemicals
It is easy to say, “I’m just going to take a quick break,” but accidents can happen quickly especially when children or pets are involved. When using hazardous cleaning chemicals, be sure to close all lids properly and safely store the containers in a cool, dry place, where children and pets can’t get to them.
#5: Take a break when you’re tired
Most accidents happen when you are too tired to properly pay attention to what you are doing. If you need a break, take one. It’s that simple.
#6: Wear the proper safety equipment
Safety glasses, hearing protection, non-slip footwear, and rubber gloves are all meant to ensure you don’t end up harming your body. Protective equipment is a necessity for certain spring cleaning jobs. A mask may also be necessary if you have certain allergies, such as an allergy to dust. It may seem like overkill, but it’s best to be on the safe side.
#7: Wear bug spray and sunscreen
Spring brings sunshine and flowers, but also insects and harmful rays. To ensure your outdoor spring cleaning activities don’t make you uncomfortable later in the day, wearing sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing, and bug spray will decrease the chances of you becoming itchy and sore.
#8: If you’re working indoors, ensure proper ventilation
Many cleaning solutions contain harmful ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, headaches, sore throats, and breathing problems. Before you start, be sure that windows are open, and that you are using the cleaning product in the way it is intended. Especially important is not to combine products with ammonia and bleach, as they can cause toxic gases. Again, be sure to properly close and store all cleaning products in a cool, dry place, away from pets and children.
#9: Using a mop
Make sure to protect your back by using a mop and not cleaning floors on your hands and knees. This includes when you’re cleaning the bathtub. If you do need to get down on the floor to clean certain areas, make sure you are not using a jarring motion to scrub.
10: Stay hydrated
Just as important as taking a break when you’re tired, be sure to stay hydrated. Cleaning is hard work, especially the deep clean that comes with a spring clean. Some diet and exercise apps even include it as a form of exercise, which is convenient! Staying hydrated is especially important if you are working outside in the sun. It is very easy to become dehydrated or experience heatstroke, so listen to what your body is telling you, stop for a minute, and grab a glass of water.
You can get real satisfaction out of a job well done. And there can be nothing like sitting back after a day of hard work and admiring all of the progress you’ve made, but there are certain jobs that are best left to the pros. Anything using particularly harsh or abrasive cleaning chemicals should be outsourced, as well as any cleaning jobs that need to be done at heights, such as washing second-story windows or cleaning window screens.
You may want to save a few dollars by doing it all yourself, but in the end, it’s not worth the risk of injury associated with the job. Hiring a professional with the proper training could end up saving you money in the long run. They will be able to recognize issues you might miss, such as small breaks in screens that can become larger over time, and scratches on windows that may turn into cracks. Taking care of these small problems early can lead to decreased energy bills, as well as lowering the chance of pests gaining access to your home.
Hopefully, these spring cleaning safety tips will be helpful. Remember to break up your spring cleaning checklist so that you don’t become overwhelmed or exhausted. You don’t have to get everything done in one weekend. Leave yourself some time to relax and enjoy the newly pleasant weather. In the end, you should be enjoying yourself this spring, so take your time and stay safe!