Spring has sprung and that means pretty flowers, baby animals – and spring cleaning. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get into it… You don’t know where to start? There’s too much to do? Why should we do it anyway? Fear no more. Welcome to this week’s Spring Cleaning Special
, where all your questions will be answered (well, lots of them anyway). Every day this week HomeHub will take you gently by the hand and guide you through a different spring cleaning task.
But where to start? We start, as always, at the beginning…
Everybody’s doing it
In days of yore (i.e. days gone by), winters were cold and the only way to keep warm was around a fire of wood or coal. No prizes for guessing that houses got pretty stinky, sooty and smoky. Come spring it was time to clear out the filth and get some fresh clean air into the house. As soon as it was warm and dry enough everyone in the family hauled everything out of the house including furniture and bedding. Then they got cracking on a huge job. (No labour-saving devices in those days.) Some would scrub the inside of the house from top to bottom, while others washed and aired the furniture, bedding and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.
It’s thought that spring cleaning originated in Iran as part of the Persian New Year on the first day of the northern spring. Iranians still continue "shaking the house" just before the New Year. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned. The Scots have a similar New Year tradition called Hogmanay on December 31. (Not spring, but you get the picture.)
There’s also the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning the home in anticipation of the spring-time memorial feast of Passover. Leavened foodstuff is strictly forbidden during Passover and there cannot even be crumbs of such food in the house. Not only did Jews “spring clean” the house to remove all forbidden food, they had a candlelit hunt for the crumbs the evening before Passover.
Greeks and other Orthodox people traditionally clean the house thoroughly immediately before or during the first week of Great Lent (slightly different timing to western Lent). It’s also referred to as Clean Week and often falls on April 1 (the start of the northern spring.)
Now we know why we do it, it’s time to work out how to do it. Check out HomeHub tomorrow where we’ll explore how to tackle two of the yuckiest cleaning tasks of the season: the oven and fridge.