Most hard-winter folks know the routine of preparing their home’s exterior for cold months, but did you know that your interior needs some pre-winter TLC, too? Do you know what all should be on your living room’s fall cleaning checklist to make it a cozy and healthy environment? If not, here’s a comprehensive living room fall cleaning guide that’ll help you get everything covered thoroughly and expediently.
Why Add Your Living Room To Your Fall Maintenance List?
Living in a harsh winter state, such as Vancouver, Washington, means that common living spaces get tremendous use during winter months. Living rooms become gathering places for almost every family and social activity as the weather gets too cold to spend much time outdoors.
Before sealing up your home to keep the cold out during the winter months and focusing on seasonal Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations, it’s important to give your living room a deep cleaning to help ensure the increased number of hours being spent come winter are comfortable and healthy for your family and guests.
Everything You Need To Know: Fall Living Room Cleaning Checklist And Tips
Fall maintenance can be a tedious and daunting process without a plan. So, we’ve created a checklist and tip list to help you get the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible. Ready to get started?
Tip #1 : Start high and finish low. As you go through the checklist, you’ll notice that each area is listed in an order from higher points, such as ceiling fans, to lower points in the home, such as floors.
Cleaning will unsettle a lot of dirt and dust that will fall downward and resettle. Cleaning from top to bottom allows you to capture the stray debris as it resettles from each task.
1. Heating Vents And Fireplaces
If your heating vents are in the ceiling, you’ll want to start there. While these vents keep your home nice and warm, improperly cleaned vents circulate dander, dust, and other air pollutants throughout your home. This can wreak havoc on your sinuses and allergies and be particularly unhealthy for those with asthma and other chronic respiratory issues. The same is true for improperly cleaned fireplaces and soot.
Cleaning Your HVAC Vents
- Turn heat off and, if possible, flip the breaker switch off for safety.
- Think safety first of you need to use a step ladder or other equipment to reach vents.
- Make sure they’re secure and in good working order.
- Fill one basin with a solution of dish-washing liquid and warm water and one basin with clean warm water.
- Use a screwdriver to unscrew the vent plates and place them in the dishwater basin.
- Once you’ve collected all the vents, use a soft brush or cloth to remove all debris.
- Set them aside to dry.
- Use a hand-held vacuum wand to thoroughly vacuum the inside of each vent as far as your reach will allow.
- Use a microfiber towel to completely dry each vent cover if necessary before re-securing them.
Cleaning Your Fireplace
Leave heavy-duty cleaning to the professionals to prevent a nightmarish mess and possible injury, but you can DIY seasonally clean some areas of a completely cooled fireplace.
- Spread a drop cloth or old towel or sheet across the base of the fireplace to protect your floor. You can also use such coverings to protect nearby furniture and valuables.
Be sure to roll up nearby rugs.
- Use an ash vac or shop vac with a HEPA filter to suck up ash and debris from inside and around the brick of the fireplace. Again, make sure that there’s been no recent fires leaving behind even the slightest hint of warmth.
- Take your vacuum outside to dump the debris into a garbage bag.
- To spot clean sooty areas on unpainted outer brick, make a paste with about 4 tablespoons of cream of tarter and a couple tablespoons of water. Apply the paste to affected areas, leave for 10 minutes, and then wipe away with a damp rag.
- Use a thin solution of one part baking soda, one part dish soap, and one part water to clean the inside of the fireplace. Dip a scrub brush in the solution and scrub in circles, allow solution to sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean with warm water and rags.
- Use the same baking soda solution and method to clean your fireplace’s glass components. Wipe away streaks with a microfiber towel.
- Carefully roll up your drop cloth and discard or shake it out outdoors.
- Use your household vacuum to remove any stray soot so that it’s not tracked around your home as you move on through your living room fall cleaning checklist.
2. Ceiling Fans, Light Fixtures, And Lamps
Ceiling fans are actually an easy clean, or at least easy compared to the fireplace, right? Again, think safety first if it requires climbing. Ready, set, and clean.
You’re dealing with electricity here. So always flip the switch off and cut the power to the fan at the breaker box before starting.
- Use a microfiber duster or cloth to capture lose dust.
- If necessary for stuck-on, dust-stained blades, use a solution of dish soap and water to mist blades, allow to sit for five minutes, and wipe away with a clean cloth. Make sure you completely dry the blades.
Tip #2: Switch the direction of the blades to spin clockwise, which will help heat circulate better during wintertime.
Globes And Fixtures
- If you’ll need to take crystals off a chandelier or multiple globes off a pendent light, then take pictures from multiple angles to make reassembly easier.
- Ensure the bulbs are completely cooled.
- Set a thick blanket on the floor beneath the work zone in case any breakable element drops.
- If working with multiple pieces, you’ll also want a container to place those pieces and their hardware into as you remove them.
- A solution of equal parts vinegar and water works best in a spray bottle, and plastic gloves can help avoid fingerprint smudges during cleaning. Throughly dry with a microfiber towel.
- Before returning globes and crystals to their home, use a microfiber dust wand or cloth to remove dust from the metal part of the fixture.
- Remove and clean cold bulbs with a damp rag, or you can go ahead and replace older bulbs at this time. Make sure bulbs are completely dry before returning if you choose to clean them.
- Once completely reassembled, turn power back on.
Tip #3: Cleaning globes and chandlers can be done without removing each element, but it means more time balancing on a ladder and greater risk to your safety. Whether using the disassemble or leave in place method, both work best as a two-man job so that supplies and elements can be passed back and forth without you climbing up and down multiple times.
Lampshades come in an array of fabrics, plastics, and parchments. Which type you have dictates how it’s cleaned. You’ll always want to consult the manufacturer’s instructions first, but here’s a quick how to guide to give you a general direction for each type.
- For spot cleaning any type of lampshade and for all paper-based and glue-based lamp • shades, use a dry microfiber cloth and/or handheld vacuum attachment to remove dust.
- For deep cleaning fabric and plastic lampshades, you’ll spot clean the lampshade first.
- Unplug the lamp and allow the bulb to cool before removing the shade.
- Fill a tub with warm water and a tablespoon of laundry or dish detergent.
- Submerge the lampshade in the solution and gently clean it with a microfiber cloth before rinsing the soap away and setting it aside to dry. For quicker drying, use a hairdryer on low heat for fiber shades and just a dry towel for plastic ones.
- Before reattaching your completely dry lampshade, take a microfiber cloth to wipe dust away from the base of the lamp and its bulb. Again, this may be the ideal time to go ahead and replace an old bulb.
Tip #4: When working with paper-based lampshades, always wear gloves to prevent the natural oils on your hands from staining the lampshade.
3. Walls, Crown Molding, Shelving, and Wall Adornments
While it can be hard to see on dark-paint walls and printed wallpaper, dust accumulates quickly on unattended walls. Shelving and wall adornments are also heavy dust collectors. Here’s how to get your walls and wall features cleaned up for the winter months:
- Take a handled microfiber duster, such as you’d use on the floor, and go from top to bottom of each wall. Go from one corner to the other against crown molding.
- If you see any wall stains, use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe. Most painted walls and wallpapering can’t take harsh abrasives at all and moisture for very long without damage; quickly work in very small sections and dry as you go.
- Remove all shelving items, wiping each with a microfiber cloth. Wipe down the shelving and then replace the items.
- Wipe down all wall adornments with a dry microfiber cloth.
- Use a vinegar and and water solution to wipe down mirrored and glass surfaces.
4. Upholstery And Blinds
Upholstered surfaces and blinds are another big dust collector. Give them a gentle pat in sunlight and you’re likely to see the tiny particles floating in abundance through the air. It’s these particles that are responsible for many indoor allergies, which can cause sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and sinus drainage. The last thing you want is to be trapped in an enclosed house for the winter with these allergens in abundance.
- Remove curtains and drapes for washing according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Some may have to be professionally dry cleaned.
- Wipe down each side of each blade and component of every blind with microfiber cloth. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum attachment.
- If you see any stains, use a water and vinegar solution on a damp microfiber cloth and dry each blade as you go.
- Use a handheld wand to vacuum stationary upholstery, such as chairs and sofas. Be sure to remove those cushions and pillows if possible to vacuum the base of the structures, too.
- Shake and pat out any pillows outside before vacuuming them.
5. Area Rugs, Carpet, Hard Flooring, And Baseboards
You’ve made it to the floor, meaning the living room fall cleaning checklist has almost been completed. Giving flooring that deep cleaning now is so important because you’ve unsettled all the dust above and now it’s landed where you can complete the removal process. Plus, if you have pets, you likely already know how heat and pet odors don’t go so well together in enclosed spaces. Remember, once winter gets here, opening windows and taking rugs outside will likely be a no-go. So, now is the time to get things finished up.
- Use a microfiber duster to go around baseboard in the same manner as the crown molding cleaning
- Don’t forget to remove those stains with a vinegar and water solution.
Area Rugs And Carpet
- For area rugs and their mats, you can roll them up and bring them outside for a good shake before you start.
- Sprinkle them with baking soda to help neutralize odors and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- Depending on the fabric (jute, wool, synthetic, etc) and manufacturer recommendations, you may have to purchase special cleaning materials or consult a professional rug cleaner to deep clean rugs with liquids. If you choose to DIY deep cleaning of rugs, be sure to spot test the solution on your rug first.
Clean your carpeting according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for pile, fabric, and textures.
Clean your hard flooring according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for tile, wood, laminate, etc.
Tip # 5: Because there are so many different types, textures, fabrics, special considerations, and other facets of flooring, there can be a lot of doubt and inability to adequately DIY clean flooring. It’s always best to call in the professionals if there’s even the slightest doubt that a DIY cleaning process could ruin your valuable flooring.
Do You Need Professional Help With Your Living Room Fall Cleaning Checklist?
Your home’s cleanliness is a major component to your health and comfort at all times, but this is especially true in winter months where fresh airflow is limited and rooms are congested with people congregating.
Whether you need a fall deep cleaning, routine cleaning services, or specialty services for hard to manage areas like flooring and lighting, ProCare Cleaning in Vancouver, Washington can help you get the job done. Family owned and operated, ProCare Cleaning only uses high-quality, safe, and environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies and has the expertise in service to get your home cleaned right and timely.