09 May 2016
When the spring sun finally starts shining in through our windows, many of us feel a sudden longing to clean up our home. This is easy to understand when sunbeams inexorably light up the streaks of dirt on the window panes and the dust swirling around on the floor. It is time for spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning is nothing new – in Judaism there is the ancient custom of cleaning your home carefully before the spring festival of Passover, and in ancient Persian culture people celebrated New Year’s Day, Nowruz, on the first day of spring by practising Khouneh Tekouni, which literally means “shaking the house”, a tradition which is still alive in Iran today.
In Europe and North America, the tradition of spring cleaning came about because until the 19th century people used coal and wood fires to heat their houses and when it started to get warmer in March it was the ideal time to open the windows and doors and let out all the smoke and dust.
However, the fact that our modern homes are equipped with vacuum cleaners, clean sources of heat and electric lighting has not stopped us from considering spring to be the perfect time to turn our houses upside down and give them a good clean.
No matter how much or how little time you spend at home, a proper spring clean can work wonders. In addition to the purely physical aspects, such as avoiding breathing in old dust and other particles, simply returning to a clean home after work can make it easier to relax and feel better.
Move all the furniture out the way so you can reach behind and around it properly, wipe inside and on top of cupboards and clean the floors thoroughly. All floors require slightly different types of cleaning, but there are some general rules which apply to all floors.
Vacuum often, preferably several times a week, to remove gravel or other sharp objects that can scratch the floor. As well as being unattractive, more dirt can collect in scratches. Vacuum or sweep along the grain of the wood or the joints in the floor so you can more easily reach the dust that can collect in the grooves.
Damp mop the floor about once a week, but remember not to use a mop that is too wet because this can damage certain types of floor.