With more time spent indoors, winter is the perfect time to tackle projects around the house. From renovations you can complete in one weekend to cleaning tips for every room, Canadian Tire and Yahoo are bringing you everything you need for the season.
A winter wonderland one minute can turn into a muddy, salty mess the next — so it’s important to make sure that you’re adjusting your usual cleaning routine to account for winter conditions.
Between innocent hot chocolate spills from a family movie night, snowy boots tracking salt into the entryway and a slow collection of dog hair from indoor pet playdates, our winter chore list seems to get longer with every passing day.
To keep your mess-related stresses to a minimum this season, we've rounded up the best winter cleaning tips to keep your home and belongings in tip-top shape. Because you know what they say: the best (cleaning) defence is an (organized) offence.
Step 1: Keep salt to the sidewalk
Don't get us wrong; we're more than happy to have our sidewalks and streets kept safe and salty during the icy months, but we wouldn't mind doing without the salt stains that are inevitably left behind on our shoes, clothes, and carpets once we're dry and inside.
The same salt that protects us from slipping on our driveways mid-shovel can end up causing nasty stains to certain fabrics if it's left to dry. To prevent salt-caused damage, it's important to remove the salt from the affected materials as soon as possible.
To remove salt stains from leather boots and shoes, mix one tablespoon of vinegar, like Allen's Cleaning Vinegar, with one cup of water and wipe the solution onto the stained portion of the shoe. Once the shoe is dry, you can treat it with a conditioning product to protect and prolong the life of your boots.
For salt-stained car and home carpets, mix an equal ratio of distilled white vinegar and hot water and spray the solution onto the stain. Leave it to sit for a few minutes, and then using a paper towel, dab dry the spot.
For trickier salt stains, wipe away as much salt as possible with a dry microfibre cloth, like Frank's All-Purpose Cloths, and blot it with a mixture of one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent and one cup of water until the stain has transferred out of the carpet.
Step 2: Clean and degrease your oven
Between baking, family dinner and an increase of snowed-in comfort food, your oven likely sees more action in the winter months than any other time of the year. Therefore, amid bread baking afternoons hearty casseroles, it's important to remember that for ovens, with more use comes more responsibility.
Like anything in your home, your oven should be cleaned regularly. During heavy-use winter months, you should aim to clean and degrease your oven once every three months. Not only does a clean oven combat against smoky grease burn-off, but it can actually improve the taste of your cooking as it reduces competing food odours.
For a deep clean, a kitchen cleaner like Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner will wipe away tough, baked-on grease and spills while leaving a fresh lemon scent in its wake.
To make things easier for your next oven clean-up, you can get ahead of the mess with products like Handi-Foil Oven Liners. The eco-friendly aluminum foil liners help keep your oven clean by catching overflow grease and food drippings before they have a chance to get stuck.
When scrubbing and preparing your oven for use, remember to include a thorough cooktop clean on your to-do list. A cooktop cleanser like Ceramabryte Cooktop Cleaning Kit helps remove stubborn stains and burnt-on food deposits without scratching your appliance's surface.
Step 3: Banish fabric stains
Whether it's an overzealous pet returning home from its walk or a tasty treat taking an unfortunate face-down fall, carpet and fabric stains are almost an inevitable part of the winter. The Spot Shot Aerosol Stain Remover spray works on pet stains, coffee, wine and more and will leave your space stain-free.
For heavy-use fabrics that have seen better days, a stain-remover spray like Shout's Trigger Stain Remover can break-up and remove tough laundry stains that will leave your garments, towels, and table runners looking like new. From grease to spilled spaghetti sauce, Shout's stain remover spray is an absolute laundry essential.
With more time spent at home during the winter months, chances are you'll rediscover surface stains you had forgotten about in the sunnier, outdoor months. For that reason, a versatile cleaner like OxiClean's Stain Remover will become a necessity. The all-around cleaner can handle kitchen, upholstery and carpet stains and even works outdoors on gutters and unfinished decks to keep surfaces spotless.
Step 4: Eliminate dust build-up
It's no secret that indoor air quality can begin to suffer during the winter months as windows remain shut and fresh air circulation is often kept to a minimum. To avoid a potentially hazardous buildup of dust and other airborne contaminants, it's vital to keep your home as clean and dust-free as possible.
To start things off, tackle hard-to-reach places in your home like the tops of your cabinets and ceiling fans with a versatile tool like Swiffer's 360° Duster. Its handy design contains thousands of fibres to trap and lock-in dust particles that traditional feather dusters just spread around.
Experts recommend high-traffic carpeted areas in your home should be vacuumed twice a week, and if you have pets, this should become a daily chore. To keep dander, hair and dust at bay without the time commitment of conventional vacuuming, try Bissell's EV675 Robotic Vacuum. The remote-controlled, programmable device will do the hard work for you and cleans under and around household furniture without you needing to lift a finger. Or, for quick, targeted-vacuum jobs, Bissell's Pet Pro Hand Vacuum is a good alternative if your home has hardwood floors and you don't want to splurge on a full-size device.
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose vacuum that can do it all, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum is a great choice. This sleek, best-selling model features a powerful direct-drive cleaner head that removes ground-in dirt from carpets, and can also be converted into a handheld for quick clean ups and hard-to-reach places.
To get what's left of the dust, a multi-purpose cleaning spray or furniture polish like Pledge's Lemon Furniture Polish will gently remove dust, dirt, and smudges from furniture while protecting against ordinary wear-and-tear and stains.
Step 5: Deep clean your carpets
Regular carpet maintenance is great — but every few weeks, a deeper carpet clean will help really refresh your space, especially during months where dirt and snow are commonplace. The Bissell ProHeat 2X® Revolution™ Pet Pro Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner will make your carpet look brand new again — especially if you have a pet. Whether it's tracked-in mud, food spills, or even accidents, this vacuum handle it all thanks to its exclusive Pet Proclean-up system. The system includes CleanShot® pre-treater to remove spots and stains; the 2-in-1 Pet Upholstery Tool to remove pet hair, stains, and odours from upholstery.
The Bissell Deep Clean & Protect Formula, which is safe for use in all full-size deep-cleaning machines, has an advanced formula that deep cleans and resists dirt and stains and contains Scotchgard™ to help protect your carpet from future stains