According to Dr. Lisa Ackerley, aka The Hygiene Doctor, an Autumn Cleancan be an essential way to achieve a healthier winter.
As we crank the heating up, fabrics in the home can be a haven for germs and bacteria, mould and mites (unseen to the human eye) – that thrive in our warm winter cocoons – and this can cause havoc with our winter wellbeing.
We also think the happiness that Instagram cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch (Sophie Hinchcliffe) exudes, with her regular updates on How To Hinch Yourself Happy may well help to banish the winter blues too!
So, while a Spring Clean is about making homes sparkle in the summer sun – an Autumn clean can not only be essential for avoiding dreaded winter flu bugs and colds, it might be just what you need to have your happiest Halloween yet.
We’ve shared lots of great cleaning advice in previous posts here on our blog.
Why not take a quick reminder on our tips for cleaning windows blinds, rugs, wallpaper and bedding in our “Ultimate How To Cleaning Guide:
If you’re specifically looking for more detailed tips on how to clean window blinds, then check this article too:
And if you’re not already one of the 2.8m people that now follow @mrshinchhome then why not hop over to Instagram and give her a follow. A Google search “Mrs Hinch” will also bring up lots of great tips that the media have shared regarding the cleaning products she uses and how she keeps her house smelling super fresh.
But for those short of time, here are our five essential Autumn Clean tips. These focus on the most important areas of the home that may impact on winter wellbeing.
While most people assume the bathroom would be the worst place for household nasties to reside, the kitchen is the first place that should be subjected to an Autumn Clean. Recent research showed that 75 per cent of dish sponges and cloths contained bacterias.
For your Autumn Clean, swap up your daily cleaning materials for a super powered clean:
A weekly clean can often overlook things like light switches and handles that are exposed to daily hand contact. Go through the whole house and wipe down handles and light switches with a disinfectant wipe or cloth that has soaked in a gentle disinfectant and been rung out.
A common assumption is that, because the dishwasher and washing machine are designed to wash clothes and ‘clean’ during every use, they are clean. Wrong! They can harbor germs if not given a specialist clean – and making this part of your Autumn cleanse is a great time to do this. Pop out to the supermarket for a dishwasher cleaner and washing machine cleaning kit, pop on a cycle and job done.
For many vacuuming carpets and rugs, and mopping floors, is carried out regularly. But there are some hot spots that will need extra love and lather, bathroom mats and front/back door mats in particular. For bathroom mats Mrs Hinch suggests mixing a capful of fabric conditioner with washing gel and wiping them over. Using a disinfectant spray is another great tip for an Autumn clean on these often neglected items.
A problem cited in winter homes when it comes to passing on germs is the lack of ventilation and warm moist air (often because of indoor washing and drying on radiators). This is an ideal environment for bugs and germs to flourish.
More ventilation can help to freshen stale air and lessen the likelihood of coming into contact with the tiny drops of mucus that are sneezed or coughed into the air when people are ill. And when was the last time you wiped down a radiator? Give these hard working winter wonders a gentle clean with an anti-bacterial cleaning wipe or fluid to help to keep rooms nice and fresh.
So that’s it. Just a few simple steps that might help to increase chances of a healthy winter home and keep seasonal bugs at bay.
Our latest blog post is an image gallery of the Apollo team’s favourite cosy home looks for 2019, and top tips for creating a cosy home.
When the seasons change, try swapping your curtains for heavier fabrics in deeper colours as a cosy autumn update. Double dressing windows with both curtains and blinds is a statement look we’re seeing more and more of – not only is it an extra layer of insulation at windows, it also adds a decadent, luxe feel to a room. Choose lined curtains for added heat retention on cold winter nights.
Dark and Comforting Colours Schemes
It’s all too easy to play safe with neutral colour schemes, but don’t be afraid of the dark! A richer, deeper colour palette – think forest green, deep crimson, midnight blue – can add sophisticated drama to décor schemes and help to create that all important feeling of being cosy and cocooned. We absolutely love the new bedding collection from King of Decadence Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – perfect for cosy winter bedroom sanctuaries.
Candle, Lights, Action
When the days get shorter and darker (we know it’s coming), layer up lighting around your home with warm watt bulbs, lamps in different colours and styles and a host of candles. Choose lighting that is not only practical, but also creates a cosy, welcoming ambience. Muster a cluster of pendant lights to localise light where it’s needed, backlight a mirror as the focal point of a room instead of a picture and place an angled floor lamp in your favourite reading corner. We love stringing fairy lights across the mantlepiece and grouping lanterns and tea-lights together for evocative seasonal atmosphere.
Warmth at Windows
Another of our top tips for keeping the heat in at windows is to invest in heat retaining window blinds. With between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through windows, our insulated Duette® blinds are a great way to keep homes snug and fuel costs down. They look stunning in the bedroom and living room and are also a great choice for conservatories – the one room in the house notorious for being too cold during the winter months.
A Hygge Home
The Danish concept of Hygge – cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being – shows no sign of waning in popularity and it’s easy to see why. After all, Denmark is reputedly one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s all about creating a cosy relaxing environment and indulging in whatever makes you happy. For us this translates to snuggling up on the sofa with hot chocolate, a furry throw and our favourite box set!
Fireside and family time
There’s nothing like a blazing fire and family time to warm up a cold winter evening. We suggest investing in a log burning stove – cleaner and more energy efficient than an open fire – but giving off the same cosy warmth. They’re a great way to bring the comfort of a real flickering fire into your home even if you’re short on space. There are some fantastic new products on the market as an alternative to installing a fixed log burner. Portable indoor electric log burners can be brought into a room in the colder months and will add warmth at the touch of a button.
A Treat for Feet
There’s nothing nicer as you leave your nice warm bed on a cold winter’s morning, than sinking your toes into a sheepskin or faux fur rug – your feet will seriously thank you for it! We’re loving the latest trend for using furry rugs as an alternative to traditional throws – simply drape over sofas or armchairs to make a style statement or lay over hard dining chairs for a rustic look. A sumptuous rug in a rich, warm colour can knit your design scheme together, provide instant super cosy warmth and never goes out of style.
The Game of Throws
Throws and blankets feature highly on our winter wish list – we love nothing more than swathing ourselves in cosy layers for lazy afternoons on the sofa, movie nights and snuggles. Throws are also a great way of enhancing your home decor aesthetic – layer up different styles to add colour and texture-rich diversity to your living room or bedroom. Our new favourite is the chunky knit throw which, unlike the traditional woven blanket, stretches in every way for the ultimate in cosy. A word of warning though – you may not want to venture outdoors again.
Strange as it may seem, winter whites can actually brighten up your home. There are myriad shades of white – think ivory, cream, egg shell, oyster – which all complement each other and present unlimited options to personalise with different patterns, textures and accents within the same colour palette.
We hope you feel inspired by our cosy home gallery. Why not browse our website for more interiors inspiration: https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/