As the weather warms up and the sun shines longer each day, many homeowners start their spring cleaning. If you’re clearing out debris and dusting some rarely seen corners this season, stay safe with these reminders:
1. Moving appliances and furniture
Get help if you want to clean under heavy appliances like your washer, dryer, or stove. Don’t risk straining your back by trying to move something too heavy for you. If you are moving furniture, remember to keep your back straight and lift with your legs.
2. Ladders and step stools
Whether you’re cleaning windows or the top of your kitchen cupboards, always use caution when on a ladder or stool. Don’t lean too far to one side — get down and move the ladder instead. A good rule of thumb is to keep your belly button inside the rungs of the ladder.
3. Beware of fumes
Ventilation is key whenever using cleaning products that create fumes. Bring in fresh air by opening a window or turning on the exhaust fan. It’s always best to use one cleaning product per job, and never combine ammonia and bleach — the chemical reaction will create potentially lethal toxic fumes. Gloves also are advisable to prevent skin irritation or chemical burns.
4. Paints and poisons
Put cleaning products away promptly to avoid unwanted interest from kids and pets. Clearly label household chemicals and poisons, and store them out of children’s reach. Dispose of anything that’s leaking or products you haven’t used in years by taking them to your community’s hazardous waste drop-off site.
5. Easy does it
Rushing through a job increases the opportunity for injury. Break your spring cleaning tasks into small, manageable chunks so you don’t feel compelled to overexert yourself or take unnecessary risks.