Thought you could get away with one big clean a year? I'm afraid not. Autumn cleaning is the new Spring cleaning, and with Winter and Christmas following shortly after, it makes perfect sense.
As temperatures begin to drop, we are much less inclined to spend time outdoors. Instead, days spent cooking homely meals, playing games or watching TV by the fire become much more appealing. Hygge is in full swing, that's for sure!
The beginning of Autumn is the ideal time to get your home looking great so you can enjoy your surroundings come rain or shine. With Halloween and the festive season up and coming and the prospect of both invited and unexpected visitors dropping by for a few months, the house will no doubt need some preparation.
What should I clean in Autumn?
Just as with your annual Spring Clean, Autumn cleaning is about going back to basics. It involves a lot of deep cleaning, and it's an opportunity to turn your attention to tasks that don't get done frequently.
1. How to clean cobwebs
It's spider season! That means one thing for your walls, ceilings, and any other crevices that these eight-legged creatures can possibly find their way into - cobwebs.
Next time you've got dusting planned, tackle the cobwebs too. Grab a long feather duster, and start up-high, swiping over walls and ceilings. Don't forget the corners of the room, and also around light fittings (you may need a ladder for this).
Be sure to dust before you vacuum or you could be adding to your list of chores.
2. Get your windows sparkling clean
As the heating comes on in Autumn, condensation often appears around the windows. It's important to give frames some TLC to prevent then becoming damaged from excess moisture.
Ideally, you want to clean on the outside as well as the inside. If you don't fancy doing this yourself, get a professional in. Although it may seem like an unnecessary cost, you'll be amazed at what a difference clean glass makes to the amount of natural light in your home.
For the insides, wipe down the frames using a cloth, dampened in a diluted general household cleaner. You may also want to use an old toothbrush to get into crevices. Then clean the glass using your preferred method (we use water then wipe with newspaper/kitchen roll). If mould has already formed, use a mould remover spray and touch up the paint with a mould-resistant seal.
3. How to clean skirting boards
Once you've done a thorough dusting, it's time to turn your attention to another, often-neglected area - skirting boards.
If you keep on top of your skirting boards, they won't need anything more than a quick once-over. Our favourite way to do this is with the vacuum. Pop a soft brush attachment on and gently vacuum over them.
If you have allowed your skirting boards to gather dust, you may need to wipe them over with a slightly-dampened microfibre cloth too.
4. Autumn is a great time to clean upholstery
It's officially home-cinema season. Make sure your surroundings are cosy and clean by giving upholstery a refresh.
If your sofa is smelling a little strange, SF Gate has some wonderful methods for tackling all sorts of odours. For general cleaning, we like to vacuum over upholstery using a soft brush, then sprinkling baking soda over the area. Leave for 15 minutes, then vacuum once more to leave your living room furniture looking and smelling lovely.
All ready for those cosy days, nights and weekends in!
5. Refresh your carpets the easy way
Time to focus on what's beneath us. If you insist on a shoes-off policy in your household, carpet cleaning shouldn't present too much of a problem.
For most of us, spot cleaning is enough to remove any slight stains. To give carpets a general refresh, you can use the same method as for upholstery cleaning, with baking soda and a vacuum.
If you want a really thorough clean, it's best to call in a professional. A carpet cleaner's equipment provides results far superior to anything achievable with a DIY method. They will be able to really get into the pile of the carpet, removing germs and debris that aren't visible to the human eye.
6. Learn how to deep clean your washing machine
Take a minute to consider how many clothes your washing machine has cycled since Spring. A lot, right?
While your clothes might still be coming out looking clean, there could be dirt lurking inside. Pop your head near the drum, and you may smell damp. Take the drawer out, and you may find mould.
Luckily, it's relatively easy to clean your washing machine (if a bit filthy, at times).
7. Clean your fridge and freezer
More time inside can only mean one thing - more food! With the festive season coming up, you'll need fridge and freezer space for all those sausage rolls, mince pies and many, many bottles of wine. This makes Autumn a great time to clean your fridge and freezer.
You'll need to plan cleaning your fridge and defrosting your freezer in advance so you can empty the contents as much as possible before the clean. It's also handy to have a cool bag and ice blocks to keep any remaining items cool.
How to clean your fridge & defrost your freezer
- Start by turning your fridge-freezer off. Place an old towel on the floor to soak up any melting ice that drips from the freezer.
- Empty the contents, remove all the shelving and drawers, and place them neatly by the sink.
- Start with the fridge, whilst intermittently checking the freezer for melted ice - remove it when it becomes soft and place in the sink.
- Use a cloth rinsed in hot, diluted disinfectant to wipe down the interior of the fridge, then dry with kitchen towel. Wash the shelves and drawers thoroughly before replacing them.
- Remove the remaining melted ice from the freezer and dry the inside with a kitchen towel.
- Wipe the interior of the freezer down as you did the fridge, and dry again.
- Turn the fridge back on, and restock your items when cool.
8. How to clean your mattress
A lower temperature in Autumn means a thicker duvet and more covers. Our bed becomes more irresistible than ever during Autumn and Winter, which is great for us but no so good for germs!
Autumn is a great time to clean your mattress. Get it fresh for all those early Winter nights and frosty mornings.
9. Don't forget to clean out your drains
All those Autumnal leaves may look beautiful on the ground, but they'll cause real problems for your drains. In the middle of Autumn, it's a good idea to give them a clear out to prevent blockage.
Pop some gardening gloves on, climb up on some stable ladders and get emptying.
10. The last Autumn cleaning job is your oven
Last but not least, the dreaded oven. The idea may be daunting/sickening/all of the above, but it's much better to do it now. Wait until after Christmas, and you'll have all the added deliciousness of the festive season to clean up.
Make a paste with 1/2 a cup of baking soda and some water. This paste can then be spread onto the glass to remove all of that nasty grime. Leave it to sit for half an hour and wipe clean. Now you'll be able to see all of those fabulous feasts cooking away!
I can't wait to get my house ready for Winter! What one job is definitely on your Autumn-cleaning checklist?
Makes me feel so useless at 78 and disabled I cannot perform half of these tasks withiout pain. I pay a cleaner to come omnvce a week but she has no time to do it all as its too expesive for me to have her more than once a week for 2 hours at £15 per hour.
Hi Dianne. I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling. Perhaps you can relay some of our tips to her and she will be able to make your house look lovelier than ever! :)
Hello everyone guess what you made me do today and i thoughly enjoyed it . I cleaned my house to sparkle Those tips you gave were . brill and i got the neighbours jealous many thanks m .
Hi Marisha. I'm glad we motivated you to get the house clean - I bet it looks gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by :)
Great tips thank you! Can I add it is beneficial to open windows on cool fresh days to give the house a freshen up, & instead of making the bed, tidy it, & turn the duvet back to let the fresh air circulate it. I am surprised at the number of people I know that keep their windows closed except in the summer, & then wonder why they get condensation etc.
Hi Jo. Those are great tips! We're often very tempted to keep everything shut when the weather gets colder, but it's always important to aerate our homes. Thanks for sharing :)
Item 7 part 3, "Start with the fridge, whilst intermittently checking the freezer for melted ice – remove it when it becomes soft and place in the sink." , beware, the ice will cause condensation on the underside of the sink and can result in the contents of the cupboard underneath becoming soaked. Since it's only water, a better idea is to deposit the ice on an outside drain, or even onto a garden or border, and let it melt there. Also, as I have mentioned before, you can use a hair-dryer to melt accumulated ice more quickly BUT be careful to keep the hair-dryer well clear of any dripping water, electricity and water do not play nicely together!
Hi Donatello. Whilst I have never had issues with condensation, we, as always, welcome your input. For people who live in flats etc, depositing the ice outside isn't practical. Thanks for sharing! :)
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