Keep cold and flu out of your home with this expert-approved winter cleaning checklist

Try and beat cold and flu season with these 5 cleaning tips

woman poorly in bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Temperatures have fully dropped this week, meaning winter is well and truly here. Whilst it's nice to stay inside all warm and cosy, it's important to remember that these conditions can also carry in dirt and unwanted germs. This means peak cold and flu season is also upon us, making this time of year extremely important to keep living spaces clean and bacteria free.

With this in mind, I spoke to cleaning expert and Product Development Scientist at Astonish, Olivia Young,  who shared her winter cleaning checklist to keeping your home cosy but clean during the colder winter months. 

Before you find out more, read these 6 tips on how to sleep better with a cold!

1. Focus on your windows

With energy costs rising, constantly having the heating on to stay warm might not be the best option, but keeping your windows clean might be. Grime and residue can block the transfer of sunlight into the home, which is what helps naturally warm our rooms. Cleaner, maintained windows ensure that the sun can beam through and also help to protect the window seal against damage and cracks, reducing unwanted draughts. 

All you need is washing up liquid and warm water, a brilliant combo that will prove effective at cleaning the glass. Another top tip is when wiping with a cloth or towel, make sure to work in a ‘S-shape’ when cleaning, to avoids leaving any smears or smudges on your shiny windows. 

2. Dust those radiators

Cleaning radiators should always be on your winter cleaning checklist. Dirty, dusty radiators make them less effective, something that you definitely don’t want during winter. By giving them a much-needed scrub, you can heat your home more efficiently, giving you the chance to turn them off earlier in the day to reduce your energy bill in the long run.

Firstly, make sure your radiator is off and then use the handheld attachment of your cordless vacuum cleaner to remove as much dust as you can. This probably won’t reach every nook and cranny, so grab a dust cloth to get to those harder to reach areas. To finish off, grab a warm, wet sponge and simply wipe to remove any final bits of dust, then let it dry naturally before turning your radiators back on.

3. Tackle mould straight away

Mould is a common problem many people face during winter. It occurs primarily from condensation that builds up on your windows when you’ve got your radiators on, especially if there's not much chance for the air to circulate. If left untreated, mould can cause respiratory problems, which right in the heart of flu season is the last thing you need. 

The key to tackle mould is to act fast whilst also coming into contact with it as little as possible.  The best way to remove it is by using a spray that will both remove the stain and prevent a dreaded return. Simply spray, leave for a few minutes, and then wipe clean. Without the need for scrubbing, it allows you to remove mould stains without spending too much time up close to the area that can be harmful if you linger for too long. 

4. Spruce up your bed

Sickness bugs are also a regular problem during the colder season as we tend to spend more times indoors, allowing viruses to spread easily from person to person. For those needing to snuggle up in a warm bed when battling a bug, make sure it’s clean and fresh as this will help you to help fight germs and promote rest and recovery.

Winter is also a really good time to give your mattress a deep clean, so follow our guide on how to clean a mattress to find out more. Whilst you're at it, why don't you do the same with your pillows and mattress topper as well?

5. Create a germ-free home

The majority of us will feel a bit under the weather during the winter period, and it can be pretty tricky to avoid. However, one way to keep germs at bay is by regularly cleaning throughout your home, especially on key surfaces that multiple people use everyday. 

This can really make a huge difference during winter as regularly wiping down and cleaning surfaces will remove bacteria and germs that linger, helping you to limit the spread of cold and flu viruses in your home. Where possible, try to ventilate rooms too. We know it’s cold, but this will help air to circulate, bringing fresh air in to your home and sending germ ridden air away!

Interested in more? Check out the 4 essential winter household checks I'm carrying out!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest Home news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.