Upgrade your living experience as those crisp nights and fall colors arrive. If that proverbial “spring cleaning” is a top priority, a fall cleaning should be a close second. A little effort now makes the winter months less daunting and the holidays all the more welcoming. Come that first cold snap, you’ll be ready to relax under a cozy blanket as you sip some hot apple cider or other warm drink.

Read on to learn about the various ways you can prepare your apartment for the transition to winter and eliminate dust, microbes, and allergens from your home.

The Importance of a Deep Clean

Before we go into the eight must-do fall cleaning tasks, let’s discuss why seasonal deep cleaning is so important. Although HVAC filtration and regular cleaning can take care of unwelcome invaders like dust mites, fungi, mold spores, and bacteria, it doesn’t take care of all allergens and microbes. University of Colorado researchers analyzed the dust in 1,200 U.S. residences. They found an average of 9,000 kinds of microbes! That’s enough to make you want to grab a mop and vacuum without delay.

1. Wash and Wipe Down Surfaces

It is true that “deep clean” means different things to different people. However, the process often includes wiping down walls, doors, and baseboards. Be sure to also focus on that finger grime that builds up on doorknobs, light switches, and the areas around them.

2. Clean Window Coverings

Window coverings also need attention, including curtains, drapes, and blinds.  Attend to the tops of the curtain rods as well. Use the delicate cycle for washable fabrics and dry clean others that are more fragile. Over time, blinds tend to accumulate dust and even grime. You can wipe down metal and vinyl blinds with a water/vinegar mix. Consider soaking greasy blinds in your bathtub. Just add a little dish or laundry soap to the water. Wipe the slats down and then rinse in the shower.

3. Attend to the Mattress and Bedding

Strip your bedding and then wash it in hot water. Use a handheld steam cleaner to further rid your bedroom of nasty microbes—if you don’t have a handheld steam cleaner, The Spruce lists their pick of the seven top handheld steam cleaners of 2022. To further reduce these unwanted allergens, encase your mattress in a dust mite cover.  Thoroughly vacuum both sides of your mattress and box spring. Flip your mattress if its design allows for it and make your bed with cold-weather linens and a cozy comforter.A man wearing cleaning gloves sprays a cleaner onto his countertop and wipes it off. A quote reads: "If that proverbial “spring cleaning” is a top priority, a fall cleaning should be a close second. A little effort now makes the winter months less daunting and the holidays all the more welcoming."

4. Spruce Up the Kitchen

Stove grease has a way of infiltrating those little nooks and crannies in the kitchen. You’ll want to include organizers like knife blocks, pot racks, and utensil holders in your fall cleaning. Wipe down the walls using water containing a good degreasing detergent.

Rid the refrigerator and freezer of any out-of-date items. Clear out those old spices and seasonings languishing in the kitchen cupboards. Vacuum those dirty refrigerator coils that make the compressor work harder. This increases energy consumption while decreasing the compressor’s service life. Clean and disinfect the waste basket. After it dries out, minimize odors by sprinkling a little baking soda in it.

5. Make the Bathroom Sparkle

Considering its size, the bathroom gets more than its share of use. Use effective bathroom cleaners to dissolve soap scum and lime deposits that have a way of accumulating in the tub, shower, and sink. Rid the shower curtain of telltale mold or mildew with mild detergent and bleach. An old toothbrush can be a great tool for cleaning the grout between tiles—just apply a paste consisting of two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide and scrub away. A 50/50 mix of water and vinegar will clean the toilet brush holder.

6. Clean and Reverse Ceiling Fans

Slip an old pillowcase over individual fan blades. Remove it in a way that leaves the dust inside. When you’re cleaning ceiling fans, be sure to reverse the blade direction. This will drive warm air down to increase personal comfort. While you’re cleaning those higher places, don’t forget the tops of doors and door frames, which also accumulate dust.

7. Check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Replace nine-volt batteries once a year to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide dectors are in good working order. Be sure to also replace the batteries if your detectors signal a weak battery by beeping. Long-lasting lithium batteries can reliably provide protection for the entire life of the smoke detector—a good 10 years, on average. If a smoke detector is hard-wired into your unit’s electrical system, there’s still a backup battery that you should test at least once a year.

8. Take on Pet Dander and Hair

To reduce pet hair in your home, use an electrostatic or microfiber dry mop on hardwood floors. If you already have a de-shedding tool for your pet, you can repurpose it on the carpet to gather pet hair for a quick clean-up. On furniture, try a dampened rubber glove to gather pet hair. Concentrate on your furry friend’s favorite napping sites. Going forward, maintain a regular pet grooming schedule to keep your home looking good.

Luxury Apartment Living

Some of today’s luxury apartment homes include in-unit washers and dryers, making fall cleaning a breeze. Senita at Cave Creek in Phoenix is one example. Units come equipped with full-size washers and dryers. The same is true at the new Moda at the Hill in The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis. In McKinney, TX, Bell Tower Flats in Adriatica Village offers in-unit, full-size washers and dryers.

Are you a dog owner living in a community with a dog spa? Regular visits will help keep pet hair at a minimum in your home. In Chicago’s River North neighborhood, Hubbard 221 offers a pet spa and dog run. At Eleven Thirty, in Chicago’s South Loop, residents enjoy access to a fully-equipped dog spa and 24-hour dog deck. McKinney’s Bell Tower Flats also offers a pet wash facility.

About Draper and Kramer

Draper and Kramer is a full-service, family-owned and operated real estate firm founded in 1893. You’ll find Draper and Kramer’s luxury apartment communities from Illinois to Missouri and from Texas to Arizona—visit our website to browse our entire selection today.

A close-up of an upright vacuum on an area rug, A woman's legs are seen behind it.

University of Colorado researchers analyzed the dust in 1,200 U.S. residences. They found an average of 9,000 kinds of microbes! That’s enough to make you want to grab a mop and vacuum without delay.

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