A Clean Sweep

by Nancy Duffy

Though winter did not seem to wear out its welcome with such mild weather, Spring brings with it many things we love: opening day at the area ballparks, vacation planning, more having more daylight hours to spend outside. Spring encourages us to emerge from our cocoon-like existence and start fresh physically and mentally.

Open a new window, open a door

One of the first steps of spring cleaning is to make sure our living spaces reflect our lifestyles, that we are ready for the season of get togethers and barbeques.  Interestingly, it is important to begin with what you can’t see.

“Tops of doorways is where I start,” shares Dawn Wilson, owner of Dust to Dawn Cleaning Services in Hanover, “and ceiling fans.” Wilson turned to cleaning after an 18-year career designing stairways for the Taney Corporation in Maryland.

The company’s closure signaled the ending of a career about which she was passionate. She began to think about other occupations that could provide her so much satisfaction about her work day in and day out. It was time to think about the next chapter.

“As I was cleaning my house one day,” she recalls, “I realized how much I loved it.”

After securing the proper licensing and bonding, a business was born.

Details, details, details

“Vents need so much attention,” Wilson claims, “because they are used all year long.”  Through the winter, vents are pushing heat to the living space, and then almost immediately, they are switched over to the air conditioning.  They can easily become clogged with pet hair – and lots of it – as dogs have been inside during the colder months. “It is recommended to “get to those vents” and suck them clean because it makes for a much more efficient operating heating and cooling system.

Increased ground-in dirt and grime in carpets that came with snow and rain since the Fall join the pet hair and clogged vent woes.

Experts from Good Housekeeping to apartmenttherapy.com suggest rugs need a deep clean at least once a year. The mixtures used depend on the type of fabric used in your carpet. Braided rugs, shag, and natural fiber carpets like sisal or jute, require different, but manageable, care.

Whatever type of carpet, however, it is important to clean a small area first to see the impact of the cleaner being used.

“The type of product used in cleaning is very important,” concurs Wilson. When interviewing a client, she makes it a priority to discuss cleaning products preferred in the home.  “Some clients prefer non-biochemical products for environmental or health reasons, such as allergies,” and some prefer the old-fashioned “smell of Pine-Sol.”

All of this hard work and detail is not without its rewards.

A bright future

Clean makes us feel good. Not only does it tidy up our physical living space but also changes the way we might feel about that space.

For some, it is a game changer.

“One client,” reflects Wilson, “sent a text that simply said, ‘I love walking into my home. I am proud of my home.’

Messages like that one mean the world to Wilson who believes that “people’s work is what you can trust,” and feels proud that something she loves to do can change the way someone else feels about the space they live in every day.

“Everyone’s situation is different,” continues Wilson. “Some people are very busy with small children and busy lifestyles,” and some cannot do these tasks due to age or illness. She finds it rewarding to step in and do for others what they can’t do for themselves.

With a new season comes a new opportunity to dust away the cobwebs of winter, take a deep breath and exhale.

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Author: HM

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