Thursday, March 28, 2013
Tips For Allergy/Asthma Sufferers Allergies and Asthma Are Nothing to Sneeze At!" If you are one of the 17 million people who suffer from asthma, or one of the 42 million people that suffer from allergies, then you need to know the correct way to "clean healthy" in your home. I call it environmental control. Here are some easy things you can do: 1. Keep air ducts and vent work clean. Clean them at least 2x per year for severe sufferers. Replace furnace filters monthly. Purchase allergen filters, such as the brand 3M, that capture all the airborne particles. 2. Keep dust collectors (knick-knacks) off the shelves and out of your home, or buy a "curio cabinet "with glass doors and keep them inside the cabinet. 3. Keep windows and doors closed during high pollen seasons. Take a shower and change clothes if you have been outside on a high pollen day. 4. 85% of household dirt comes from the bottom of shoes. Take your shoes off at the door and keep this dirt out of your home. 5. Wear a face mask when cleaning, especially when stirring up dust. 6. Purchase a vacuum with a hi-filtration, Micro filtration or HEPA filtration filter. 7. Wash all bedding in hot water (130 degrees) weekly. Purchase protective covers for pillows and mattresses. This will help kill the dustmites in the bed. 8. Use HEPA air purifiers that can filter the entire living area of your home. 9. Keep the carpets clean and "carpet protected" by certified carpet cleaners. 10.Periodically treat carpets with Allersearch-xmite or similar dustmite removal chemical, vacuum up the feces and mite bodies with a hi-filtration filter vacuum. 11. Get rid of heavy drapes and curtains. Choose blinds or light weight curtains. There will be less area for dust to accumulate. 12. Keep humidity low by using a dehumidifier or by keeping the air conditioning set at a lower temperature. The humidity level in the home should stay below 50%. You can buy a humidity level reader at most Home Depot or Lowe's stores. 13. Put exhaust fans/vents in the bathrooms and on top of the stove. Vent them to the outside and clean them monthly. 14. Vent clothes dryers and attic vents to the outside. 15. Houseplants are dust collectors. Have as few as possible (if any). 16. Use microfiber cloths which capture dust particles as opposed to old rags and cloths. 17. Shampoo pets weekly with an allergen control shampoo. Do not let pets sleep in your bedroom. 18. Remove carpets and rugs from those bathrooms which tend to capture moisture and don't ventilate properly. 19. Dust weekly to decrease the dust and reduce the allergen level. 20. Use anti-allergen cleaning chemicals to kill dust mites in your bedroom, on carpets and on upholstered furniture. 21. Keep carpet protector on all your carpets as a routine maintenance practice. Look for a brand that is a non-irritant.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Tips And Tricks For Avoiding Pollen Allergens Pollen is the most difficult airborne allergen to avoid, but there are still a number of things that you can do to minimize your exposure to pollen. In your home: Avoid open windows, attic fans, or any other unfiltered openings for pollen to get into your home. Instead, run your central air or a filtered window unit for air circulation. If you're torn between your allergies and the desire to open your windows on a pretty day, you can use window screen filters to keep pollen out. Use high efficiency disposable or permanent furnace filters to help clean pollen out of the air. Ducts and vents can harbor airborne allergens - economical vent filters placed on some (but not all) room registers will catch larger particles in your ductwork. Guard your bedroom as an allergy-safe zone... using a True Hepa Air Cleaner will capture 99.97% of all airborne allergens as small as .3 microns. That means not only pollen but also dust allergen, mold and animal dander in your home are removed. Don't dry your clothes on an outside line where they can collect pollen. Instead dry them in a vented dryer. Outdoor pets are covered in pollen. Wipe them down when you let them indoors and bathe them frequently. You should also avoid letting them track pollen onto your bed. When working outdoors: Avoid yardwork like mowing the lawn or raking leaves, which stirs up even more allergens than are already airborne. If you cannot avoid yardwork, wear a pollen mask. Take a shower when you come inside to remove pollen from your hair and skin. Use a nasal irrigation system to remove pollen from your nasal passages and prevent the sniffles. Your clothes and shoes collect pollen when you go out. When you get home, leave your shoes by the door and change clothes as soon as possible. This cuts down the time you spend in contact with pollen and the amount of pollen that you bring into your home. When you're going out: Keep car windows and sunroofs closed and the air on recirculate when traveling in your car to prevent pollen from making its way in. If that's not enough, consider using a portable HEPA air purifier that runs off the cigarette lighter in your car. Keep in mind that pollen is at its worst on windy days, because the wind stirs even more pollen and it travels further. And, pollen is at its best after a prolonged rain, because the rain washes the pollen out of the air. Pollen counts are also higher in the morning, so try to wait until afternoon to do outside activities. When planning your next vacation, consider traveling to areas like beaches where there is less pollen.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Five Steps to Cleaning Your Garage! When the nice weather breaks I always start my Spring Cleaning in the Garage before I clean the house. Most people start their Spring Cleaning inside the home. There is a method to my madness, dirty garages blow dust and dirt into a freshly spring cleaned home! Step #1 Empty your garage This is a laborious task, but do it! Take everything and I mean EVERYTHING out of your garage and put it in the driveway. Anything that you have not used in the last 2 years is time to give away. I usually put a "FREE STUFF" sign (or have a garage sale) on my corner and everything walks away! This year at the house wares show I found great garage organizers that are affordable. Most of these you can buy online at Sears! (Click picture to visit Sears Online) Step #2 Dumpster or Trash can? If you think I am kidding – think again! We all know someone who needs a dumpster pulled up to their home! If you have shelving in your garage this is best place to start off your cleaning adventure. Organize your shelving in a user friendly manner. You still need car doors to open and the ability to lug your groceries in without bumping into everything. Begin by sorting through everything on your shelves and categorize them into piles: kids stuff, toys, tools, miscellaneous, etc. Don't try to organize things on the shelf! This will only cause confusion and it will take more time. After you have removed items from the shelves, decide what to toss BEFORE putting it back on the shelf. When determining whether or not to keep something ask yourself these three simple questions: 1. Do I need this? 2. When is the last time I used it? (If more than 2 years, chances are you can live without it!) 3. Is it taking up space I don't have? Step #3 Start at the Top High dust, mid dust, then low dust. This is a systematic approach to dusting that will expedite the whole process (learn more about this tip and other great tips in Speed Cleaning 101) You may have a lot of dust, cobwebs, and dirt build up on your shelves so DO NOT start with anything wet. Making mud is not progressive! I recommend dusting all of your shelves with a Swiffer extension handle duster. Get the dust off first! Have a vacuum close by to suck up the dust and dirt and by all means wear a mask! You really don't want to breathe all those allergens. Once you've got all the dirt and debris up, you are going to want to wipe down all the surfaces. I suggest using paper towels first with water only for really neglected shelving. Then use wipes or an all purpose cleaner to wash all of the shelves. For any wood or porous shelving use a damp to wet cloth with a small amount of dish soap. Step #4 Move Things on the Floor I always start this step by moving any big appliance that sits on the floor out of my garage. Get them completely out of your way. This will make for a faster and more efficient clean. Wipe ANYTHING and EVERYTHING down. From refrigerators to tool boxes, there should be no dust or dirt on any of it. This is not as time consuming as it sounds. Just give everything a quick wipe down while it's in your driveway. You don't want to bring dirty things back into your clean garage, do you?! Then sweep, vacuum and clean your garage floor. My husband uses a leaf blower to get the dust out. I think he just likes using the power tools to do the job. He feels like RAMBO and TIM ALLEN at the same time. Step #5 Preventive Cleaning works best. Once the garage is clean, try to make a habit of giving it a quick vacuum and wipe down every few months. You will find your house will stay cleaner, and you won't have the big mess every Spring! Find more tips like this at www.lauradellutri.com
1. Get Organized -Use tools that will save you time.
2. Start at the top and work your way down.
3. Turn on some great music, enlist helpers, and make a chore list
4. Use extension dusters for the high surfaces.
5. Use vacuums that get behind and underneath your furniture. This will save wear and tear on your body!
6. Don't do windows the old fashioned way--newspaper leaves ink residue, paper towels leave lint behind--the best bet, microfiber cleaning cloths for small areas and a professional window squeegee for windows. That is the best way to get a streak free shine.
7. For hard floor surfaces, a Swiffer Wet Jet cleans better than a traditional mop and bucket. Just place a clean pad on the mop head and mop the floor. Say good-bye to bacteria ridden string mops forever!
8. Use lemon oil on all those porous wood surfaces that have suffered through the winter's dry heat. Not only will the lemon oil treat the wood and restore the moisture and shine to it, but it will cover most scratches from the pets or kids in the house that have "knicked up" your oak baseboards.
9. Tired of dusting so much? Maybe it's time to have your duct work cleaned. That will not only improve your indoor air quality, but it will help eliminate the dust that has settled in the vents and duct work.
10. 85% of the dirt that comes into your home comes from the bottom of shoes! No wonder those carpets always look so bad after the winter months! Call an ICCRC Certified Cleaner to come and thoroughly clean your carpets, and be sure to reapply carpet protector on the all carpeting. (Normal foot traffic and carpet cleaning removes the carpet protector from the fibers over time.)