Spring cleaning checklist for a healthy home

(NC) Welcome the season with this handy checklist for making sure your home is in top shape.

Ventilate your home. Take advantage of warmer temperatures to make sure you have enough fresh air coming in. Open your windows when using products that may release chemicals into the air, including cleaning products, paints or varnishes. Remember to follow the manufacturer's directions for safe use. Reduce moisture, odours and pollutants by installing exhaust fans in bathrooms and above the stove. Remember to turn them on when showering and cooking.

Use cleaning products safely. Remember that even the basic cleaning products you use around your home and garage can be dangerous if handled or disposed of incorrectly — in fact, household chemical products are among the top products responsible for injuries and deaths in children under five. These products include cleaning liquids and powders, polishes, drain cleaners, paint thinner, and windshield washer fluids. Stay safe by using, storing and disposing of household chemicals carefully. Learn the meaning of the hazard symbols and follow all cautionary statements and directions on the label.

Check for mould. Inspect your home for visible signs of mould or areas with too much moisture. Look for stains or discolouration on floors, walls, window panes and frames, fabrics and carpets. Notice if you smell a musty “earthy” odour. If you discover mould, and the contaminated surface is small, clean the mould by following the tips on Canada.ca/health. You can prevent mould by fixing any moisture problems right away and controlling humidity levels in your home. Water collecting on window sills and in basements is evidence of a moisture problem. If you rent, speak to your landlord about any mould or moisture problems. Information on landlord and tenant issues as well as rights and responsibilities is available from your provincial or territorial government.

Keep your floors clean. The soil outside your home can contain substances you don't want inside, so keep harmful materials out by taking off your shoes at the door. Vacuum up dust and dirt often to reduce your family's exposure to health hazards like lead, mould and dust mites.

Dispose of hazardous chemicals safely. Avoid hazardous waste, whenever possible. Start by buying only the amount of chemicals you need for the job. Check with your city or town for instructions on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste properly. Never burn household chemical containers, or pour the contents down the drain or toilet, or reuse empty containers for storing other materials.

For information and tips, visit Canada.ca/health.

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