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  • Quarterly Household Cleaning Hacks You Can’t Afford to Skip

    Overlooking these important tasks can undermine your hard work and healthy habits.

    When it comes to weekly chores, nobody runs a tighter ship than you. But if these seasonal to-dos consistently fall off your radar, you could be working against yourself.

    Stay ahead of the game year-round by syncing up a few deep-cleaning tasks with your 3-month air filter changing routine. You’ll get a fresh start to every season, complete with some well-earned peace of mind.

    • 1. Change your Filtrete™ Filter at least every three months to help with cleaner indoor air quality.

      Think of it as an oil change for your home: Kick off each quarter with an air filter that’s ready for the demands of real life.

      Filtrete Healthy Living Air Filters capture the usual airborne suspects: dust mite debris, lint, bacteria, viruses and other allergens that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

    • 2. Take control of the kitchen sink.

      When it comes to germ magnets, the kitchen sink is worse than the toilet. Here’s how to keep the gross-out factor in check:

      • Start with sponge hygiene: Dirty sponges harbor bacteria. Wash sponges every few days in the dishwasher, and replace entirely every few weeks.
      • Disinfect your disposal: Pour a bleach solution (no more than 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon water) into your garbage disposal to kill lurking germ colonies.
    • 3. Steam clean tough-to-wrangle textiles.

      Dust Management 101 dictates that bed linens get a serious weekly washing in hot water (at least 130°F) and that furniture and floors are vacuumed every other day.

      What about items you can’t easily load into the washing machine: comforters, curtains, rugs, upholstery and carpets? Quarterly steam cleaning offers a safe, environmentally friendly way to dissolve dirt and grime, remove germs and bacteria, and kill dust mites and bed bugs.

    • 4. Stage a fearless, full-scale refrigerator audit.

      Refrigerators are breeding grounds for creepy critters like salmonella, campylobacter and norovirus. Open containers, leaky packages and spills can also attract cockroaches, whose droppings often trigger allergic reactions. Ready to reclaim this valuable real estate?

      • Remove all items and toss anything past its prime.
      • Wash and disinfect all refrigerator surfaces (inside and out).
      • Store remaining edibles in airtight, spill-proof containers.
    • 5. Give excess clutter its marching orders.

      Household clutter isn’t just an organizational bummer—it can also be a health hazard. From piles of unopened mail to books and toys, the natural fibers in paper and wood can trap moisture that leads to mold growth. Sprinkle a little dust on top, and you’ve got yourself one powerful allergen cocktail.

      Along with weekly dusting (use a microfiber cloth to attract rather than scatter particles), take time at the beginning of each season to go through the entire house and recycle or donate unnecessary items. For extra sensitive sinuses, box up the keepers in plastic bins.