Simple winter cleaning tips to make your home sparkle

Come winter, keeping everything well kept can be a bit hit and miss – be it the murky weather and shortage of natural daylight to see the stains and grime, or just general fatigue.

However, a winter refresh can be a much-needed mood booster. Here’s a checklist of things we often forget about over the colder months.

1. Freshen up the front door

Ding-dong! Did your front door take a bit of a beating from all the heavy downpours this summer? If it’s looking a little lacklustre, a fresh lick of paint may be in order.

“The outside of our homes is often the poor relation to interior decorating and can make everything else look tired,” says Helen Shaw, marketing director at Benjamin Moore Paint. “Maintaining and refreshing your exterior masonry and woodwork not only protects the surfaces, but it’s a fantastic way of creating an impression, particularly if you embrace colour.”

Read more: Top tips for painting interior woodwork

Although the go-to paint is often white or off white, Ms Shaw says choosing a bolder colour is a great way of creating a feature. And something most of us can accomplish in a few hours, to make everything feel smarter and tidier.

“Having a standout front door not only looks fantastic, but offers an easy way for visiting friends and family to find your house in seconds,” she says.

“Consider taking the lead from nature when deciding on the colour. Shades of green in varying tones – from rich forest greens, to fern hues or soft sages – look striking, while also at one in a suburban environment,” adds Ms Shaw.

2. Clean the windows
For best results without any streaks, mix one part distilled vinegar to 10 parts warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. Clean from the top down, rinse and dry with a microfibre cloth or paper towel.

Read more: Cleaning tips our grannies taught us

3. Clear the clutter

The devil is in the detail and a winter weekend is the perfect time to have a good sort out. Go through every drawer and cupboard you’ve been putting off and donate anything you don’t need anymore, or make yourself some money selling things online.

Consider moving furniture around to space-save, utilise empty shelves and tidy things away in storage baskets, and store anything you’re not going to use until the summer.

4. Clean the carpets

Once you’ve cleared the decks, it’s time to turn your attention to the carpet. “Vacuuming frequently, especially in areas that see a lot of footfall, will help prolong the life of the carpet and reduce build-up of dirt and dust,” says Anna Del-Molino, carpet and rugs buyer at Carpetright.

“These high-traffic areas, such as entrances, doorways and floor around a favourite chair, will collect bacteria much faster than spaces not used as often,” says Ms Del-Molino. “Cleaning regularly will stop dirt from spreading to the rest of the house, and can extend the time between any professional cleans.”

Read more: Carpet cleaning: Hire a pro or DIY?

Consider the type of carpet you have and which type of vacuum most suits your flooring needs. Ms Del-Molino says an upright cleaner with an active beater bar will help loosen and lift soil and works well for cut pile carpets; whereas loop piles are best maintained using a suction cleaner.

5. Refresh the sofa or consider investing in a Smart one

Chances are, at some point over the past year, you’ve become a couch potato through no fault of your own. All those nights in have most likely taken their toll on your sofa, so have a hunt around for the cleaning directions on the label. The same applies to washing couch throws and cushion covers.

Alternatively, think about investing in a new sofa, and opting for a Smart fabric with anti-spill, stain repellent properties, to put your mind at ease when you crack open a bottle of red wine.

Patricia Gibbons from the design team at Sofa.com says sales of their ‘Smart’ fabrics have grown by 29 per cent this year, and this includes their Smart Velvets and Smart Cottons, which have crept into their list of bestselling fabrics.”

6. Clean your home office

If you’re working from home, keyboards are notorious for being a hotspot for bacteria and spreading germs – so it’s important to get into the habit of wiping down your laptop regularly. Make sure you use a disinfectant wipe that kills at least 99.9 per cent of germs and bacteria and wash your hands regularly to avoid cross-contamination.

7. Clean the table lamps

We all love ambient lighting, but it’s easy to overlook the dust gathering on lampshades and at the top of the base. Roll a sticky lint roller across the shade to lift the dust (these are also great for removing any pet hair from soft furnishings) and polish the base with a soft cloth.

What winter cleaning routine do you have? Does it differ from the summer?

– With PA

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