According to Dr. Lisa Ackerley, aka The Hygiene Doctor, an Autumn Clean can 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.

If you’re specifically looking for more detailed tips on how to clean window blinds, then check this article too:

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.

Concentrate on the kitchen

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:

Use disinfectant wipes or a disinfectant like Zoflora and clean every nook and cranny on your work top, cupboards, toaster, kettle … everywhere

Heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria.

Soak sponges in a quart of warm water with half a teaspoon of concentrated bleach.

Change tea towels a few times a week.

Switch on to healthy handles

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.

Deep clean the dishwasher and washing machine

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.

Fresh feet

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.

Radiate a healthy glow

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.