You awake from hibernation and the winter-long Netflix fest realising you have an urge to sweep away the dust and dirt that’s accumulated. Do the longer days and better temperatures inspire you to blitz your house? If so, you’re certainly not alone in this strange desire to clean your house. Spring cleaning has become almost ritualised in the West. You are in fact participating in an age-old tradition that’s rooted in religious and cultural traditions. It’s also closely connected to our biology. Read on to find out why.
When did spring cleaning begin?
Just imagine what cleaning was like before the advent of all the tech we have now – no vacuums and certainly nothing like our large industrial floor cleaners!
One 1864 US housewife wrote in her diary:
“Swept and dusted the sitting-room & kitchen 350 times. Filled lamps 362 times. Swept and dusted the chamber & stairs 40 times.”
Apparently the biggest annual clean took place in spring due to the layer of soot and grime in every room after the winter. The kerosene or whale oil lamps of the time left a real mess. Proper cleaning could only be done with the windows open when the weather warmed up.
Under Jewish custom, spring cleaning is linked to Passover in March or April, which marks the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt.
In Christian custom, the Catholics clean the church altar the day before Good Friday while members of the Greek Orthodox church clean their house for a week leading up to Lent.
In Iran, the holiday Nowruz at Persian New Year, coincides with the first day of spring. The 13-day celebration traditionally involves cleaning (or “shaking the house”), buying new clothes, and spending time with family and friends. These traditions are thought to cleanse the home of misfortune to get ready for the visitors.
A biological explanation for why we clean in the springtime has to do with melatonin production. During the winter our bodies are exposed to less sunlight, which decreases melatonin production, increasing sleepiness. The longer days of Spring mean that our bodies see more sun, melatonin production increases and so does our energy. It’s possible then that cleaning is just one way we choose to spend our newfound energy.
Best cleaning products
There are thousands of cleaning products available and choosing the right ones can be difficult. Don’t worry! If you’re tackling your spring clean or preparing to reopen your business, then we’d love to help.
We’ve used our 30 years+ of experience in the industry to select the very best and most innovative cleaning products to make your life easier – and definitely less hard work than your ancestors had it!