Spring Cleaning – A History of Tradition

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Blog

The time of year has come for spring cleaning to makes its way back to the top of your to-do list. The term usually refers to a complete and thorough domestic clean that encompasses most, if not all, of your home – room after room. This might include areas that you would not normally get to regularly clean, such as the tops of bookshelves or underneath carpets. Dusting and wiping every unit and surface is commonplace when it comes to spring cleaning, so get ready for a busy day!


Different cultures have varying traditions when it comes to when their spring clean generally takes place, but it usually starts anywhere from the first day of March to the end of April. So where does this tradition get its roots? Human biology actually has a role to play here. Since we are less motivated and active during colder winter months, it makes sense that we are more productive during the warmer spring months. Human behaviour is completely reliant on the cycle of the seasons. Because there is a lack of sunlight during the darker winter months, our brain produces larger quantities of melatonin, a chemical that works to make us feel sleepier. The more time that is spent outside, the less of this hormone is produced; so when there is more sunlight around in the springtime, we are less sleepy, so have more time to get spring cleaning!


Iranian Festival of NowruzCommencing on the first day of spring (usually March 21st), Iranians still practise ‘shaking the house’ before Nowruz. A ritual cleaning up involves a complete polish and wipe down of the family home. This tradition accompanies post winter repairing and a change of clothes. Despite being known as a tradition in Iran, spring cleaning dates back to at least 3000 years B.C., having been observed in Ireland and Scotland as well.

Jewish tradition – Because the Jewish religion dictates that leavened food must be avoided throughout the Passover holiday, including even the tiniest of crumbs, many Jews carry out a comprehensive spring clean of the house. The smallest sign of leavened food in the house could be considered an insult to God so Jews will mop and wipe down every room to avoid this.

Northern parts of Europe and America – In the many northern regions of both America and Europe, spring cleaning had a practical application. The period between late winter and early spring was the most ideal time because it was cold enough to keep out insect infestation, but warm enough to let in fresh air.

China – The Chinese holiday of Ninyabaat encourages a complete clean out of misfortune and bad luck from the family home, alongside tossing rubbish to align with the common Chinese practise of Feng Shui. The Chinese perform an efficient wipe down and mop of the walls, ceilings and floors.

Lemon scent myth

Although there has been fantastic progression in technology and the kinds of products used for spring cleaning, many people still associate the scent of lemon with hygiene. Synthetic sprays have tried to take advantage of this myth by including lemon scented chemicals – but in truth, we have come to associate whatever smell companies put in these products with hygiene.

 Clean Shield are Gloucestershire based, commercial cleaners with over 30 years’ experience, aiming to give their clients peace of mind so that every aspect of their workplace cleaning is taken care of. Our expert cleaners will ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness are maintained at all times.

 A risk assessment can also be carried out – if required – for any aspect of the cleaning process, either for school cleaning or anywhere else, where necessary. All Clean Shield Professional staff are fully trained, receive regular health and safety updates and are CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) checked.

 If you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01452 260 922 or take a look at our website www.clean-shield.co.uk.


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