25 Ways to Clean Your Indoor Air

13.  Vacuum Often.  Ideally, you should be vacuuming twice a week.  It is a great way to get rid of excess dust, dust mites, lead, mold, and pet dander.  Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA type filter, so that as you are cleaning you are not just spitting the dust back into the air.  Consider changing bags and or cleaning out filters outside.

14. Beware of Cleaners.  Household cleaners, even “green” cleaners often contain cancer causing chemicals (check out goodguide.com).  The best bet it to use TRULY nontoxic cleaners like baking soda, salt, lemon juice, essential oils and vinegar- check out this post 25 ways to clean with vinegar.

15.  Simplify. You don’t have to have harsh chemicals and antibacterial in the title to be able to clean something.  Opt for a nice HOT bucket of water and a bit of dish soap.   Scrub scrub!

16. Read Directions:  Ever wondered why that cleaner warns you to have proper ventilation?   Well, the answer is easy, you shouldn’t be breathing in those fumes!  Be sure to read and follow directions on any cleaning or other product you use in your home.

17. Overspray!  When using any type of cleaner don’t spray cleansers directly on the surface you’re scrubbing. Avoid the chemicals being misted directly into the air.  Try pouring the cleaner directly onto a rag or paper towel first and then wiping the surface.  YOu can also try pre-wet wipes.

18. Say NO to Dusting!  Dry dusting that is.  Don’t just  dust or mop with dry cloths, instead use a damp cloth.  This way you can avoid breathing in all the dust the particles that are lifted into the air while you clean.

18.  Launder! Don’t forget to launder your window coverings regularly.  When it comes to draperies, dust from open windows and just regular dust can settle often.  You should think of either laundering them according to the manufacturer directions OR at least vacuum them with the proper attachment.

19. Clean Sheets! Wash your bedding weekly.  (130 degrees F to kill dust Mites)

20.  Mattress: Vacuum you mattresses, couches and chairs quarterly at least.

Finishes:

21. VOC Free Paints– More and more paint lines have options for VOC low or free paints. (volatile organic compounds= bad) Wherever possible opt for these types of paint, the fewer fumy chemicals you bring into your home the better.   Especially since off-gassing can continue for a long time.

22.  Control Dust Mites!  Whenever possible, opt for hard surface flooring.  Be sure to vacuum and or launder throw rugs often!

Plants and Pets:

23.  Pet Dander! This is a tough one and SO personal, I know I couldn’t handle it, but try to prevent animal dander. Most doctors suggest that people allergic to animal dander not keep household pets with feathers or fur.  OUCH!  If you are having problems with pet allergies you need to clean the air, walls and moldings and it may take some time.    If you can have your pet live at a friend’s or family member’s house for 2 months and clean the house thoroughly to see if your symptoms improve.  When they return see how your body responds.  If you decide to keep the pet there are a few things you can do to help yourself.  Ban them from any bedrooms, and be sure to keep the doors closed.

24.  Plant it! There are several great plants that can help your air to be cleaned of toxins.  One caveat to adding plants is that you have to be SURE to control the water and not create a mold or mildew problem!!!  Also if you have children or pets, be sure to know what plants are poisonous before bringing them into your home.   Great air filtering plants include

  • Orchids: may seem like a hard to plant to care for, but they actually thrive on neglect.  Don’t kill them with kindness (too much water and sunlight).  They filter: xylene , a pollutant found in many glues and paints.  Orchids respire and give off oxygen at night – so they’re great for the bedroom!  And they just look so good in decor which is win/win!
  • Palms:  hardy, exotic looking  and easy to grow, palms filter formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide
  • Philodendrons need very little attention! They filter xylene, a toxin found in glues and leathers.
  • Aloe Vera – Aloe is mostly know for medical uses like relieving burns, but why not a two-fer!  Easy to keep alive, and sculptural looking!   Aloe filters formaldahyde!
  • 19 other great plants  a few other options, rubber plant, Janet Craig dracaena

Safety Warnings:

25.  Lethal Fumes: Beware of lethal fumes and be sure to have adequate alarms for these types of gases, carbon monoxide, radon and second hand smoke.  Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector and have a radon test preformed in your home, and please do not smoke indoors or allow friends to.

25 tips for cleaning you indoor air quality

 

Filtrete Brand Ambassador Badge (1)Filtrete  Healthy Home Remodel Contest 2

To help homeowners address indoor air  concerns, Filtrete Brand, known for its air and water filtration products, has partnered with Mike Holmes, renowned HGTV contractor, on the Filtrete Healthy Home Remodel Contest. One grand-­‐prize winner, selected by Mike Holmes, will  receive $30,000 worth of home inspections, repairs and renovations by a Holmes Group approved contractor. Four first-­‐prize winners will be awarded $5,000 cash  to put towards home repairs. To enter through June 30, 2013:

• Visit Facebook.com/Filtrete  You will be prompted to “like” Filtrete Brand to visit contest page

• Explain in 1,000 words or less why your home is deserving of a healthier home remodel

• Submit up to two photos supporting your  essay

• For more details, view the official rules Filtrete Filters social media properties and enewsletter:

• You can register to receive seasonal e-­‐newsletters featuring special offers, filter change reminders, better home living tips and more by  visiting our website, www.Filtrete.comThank you Filtrete for sponsoring this post!

<– See more great cleaning ideas on the previous page

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For more great cleaning ideas, check out these:

Fall Cleaning Ideas

Spring Cleaning With Kids

Home Sweet Home on a Budget: Spring Cleaning!

Seasonal Cleaning Checklist

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you! This is a great, comprehensive reference. 30 years ago, after 2 big allergy patch tests, the doctor gave me a similar to-do list, including all the foods I couldn’t eat. I lived on cheese sanwiches for about 2 years! The only item I couldn’t cope with was getting rid of my cat. I found that following all the other advice cleaned up my environment enough that the pet dander wasn’t a big threat anymore. My immune system wasn’t overloaded with all the other stuff in the air and food, and could easily deal with the cat. Getting rid of the cat would probably have induced other illnesses like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, low self-esteem, gambling, alcohol, and drug addiction. Just sayin’ what worked for me!

    1. Monica! I know I just LOVE having a little pet to love in my house. And my daughters ADORE her! I think life is sad without a pet. I am glad that working through everything else helped you enough to keep her! I am so glad to hear that this advice helped you, and I hope this advice can help some other people with similar allergies!… and I am SO sorry about the cheese sandwich thing, I think I would DIE, I love variety!

  2. I never thought of how taking off your shoes before entering your home would make the air quality better, but it definitely makes sense! Thanks for the tips.

  3. A great post Cassity! So informative but easy to apply. I don’t think a lot of people realise how poor the air quality in the homes can get. I think a lot of times problems such as damp don’t have very immediate or strong effects but over time they really can become life threatening. Would you cut off opening windows for fresh air entirely? I think it’s a good basic way to clear the air, especially for those who perhaps cannot afford to have specialist attention applied to their homes. Really interesting point about the plants though. It’s great knowing it’s there to improve air quality as well as to look pretty!