I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but spring cleaning for weeks now! I finish one room, start tackling another, and then turn around and see that my daughters have made a mess yet again. It’s never-ending.
You know what else is never-ending? My husband’s whining suffering in regards to his allergies. Because of this… and with allergies at an all time high this year, making sure I thoroughly clean all areas of my home – including bedding, shower doors and even stuffed animals that can harbor bacteria, mildew and dust mites – proves especially important.
To keep your house clean and help make it healthier in the process, Healthy Housekeeper Laura Dellutri, author of The Overworked Mom’s Stress Free Home Keeping, offers these tips:
- Start at the Top: Ceiling fans, tall mantles and bookshelves, and the tops of door frames tend to subscribe to the “out of sight, out of mind” motto. These areas often harbor dust, so it’s important to wipe them down regularly to help remove dust buildup. Start at the top and work your way down, collecting all of the dust and dirt that falls to the floor while you’re cleaning.
- Wipe Down Windows and Walls: Don’t clean windows the old fashioned way – newspaper can cause ink residue and paper towels leave lint behind. Your best bet is to use microfiber cleaning cloths and a professional window squeegee to get a streak-free, spotless shine. To prevent streaks on shower doors and walls, apply lemon oil to the door twice a month. This will help repel soap scum and shampoo, while also adding a nice shine.
- Think Horizontally: Dust mites are nearly everywhere. In fact, the American Lung Association estimates that roughly four out of five homes in the United States have detectable levels of dust mite allergen in at least one bed. Reduce dust mites by encasing your mattress and pillows, and wash your bedding in hot water about once a week. Also, since dust mites are microscopic, place strips of duct tape on the mattress case to prevent the dust mites from sneaking through.
- Clean the In-between: While cleaning what you can see, don’t forget to clean what you can’t see – the air you breathe. Use a high performance air filter in the home, such as the Filtrete 1” Ultimate Allergen Reduction filter from 3M, to help capture particles such as pollen, smoke, dust mite debris and pet dander from the air that passes through the filter. Be sure to change your filter at the start of every season, or every three months.
- Freeze the Fur: Stuffed animals can harbor dust mites so it’s important to pay special attention to them. Place stuffed animals in a large plastic bag and freeze them for four to five hours. Remove them from the freezer and plastic bag, and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove any leftover dust particles.
- Finish With Floors: To keep floors in tip-top shape, vacuum and clean them weekly. You can easily make your own floor cleaner by adding a few drops of mild liquid dish detergent to a gallon of water. Hot water can break down floor finishes after time so use water that is barely warm. Finally, don’t forget to clean the floor under large pieces of furniture, which may require you to temporarily move them elsewhere. Corners of rooms and the back of closets often are overlooked, so be sure to clean these areas as well.
If you’re looking to make your home healthier this Spring, you may be interested in the Clean Air Club, created by 3M, the makers of Filtrete Filters. You can register to receive seasonal e-newsletters featuring money-saving offers, filter change reminders, better home living tips and more by visiting www.Filtrete.com. You can also follow @Filtrete on Twitter.
For a downloadable mail-in rebate for $4 off the purchase of two Filtrete Air Filters with a 1000 Microparticle Performance Rating or greater, visit: http://bit.ly/cf9Sd6.