May 11th, 2016 9:33 AM by Korene Clopine-Seaman
Leaving the Clutter
All of the spring cleaning tips and advice are useless if you don’t declutter
“We tend to not clean well around clutter,” says Ogden. “You’re not going to
reach the dust there.”
Make sure toys are put away, books are back on the bookshelf, and paperwork is
filed before you begin the cleaning process. Otherwise, you’re leaving room for
dust and pollen to hide — making spring cleaning all for naught.
Treating It Like a Chore
If you dread spring cleaning, this should make you feel better: a Harvard study
found those who treated cleaning as beneficial exercise saw a decrease in
weight, body mass index, blood pressure, and more. That’s what we call a
trifecta: living in a clean home, breathing allergy-free air, and feeling
Do Not Throw Open the Window
Top of Form
Not Looking Up
You’ve worked up a sweat and everything’s starting to sparkle, but then you
realize your ceiling fan is coated in dust. Uh, oh. Once you start wiping the
fan, dust will scatter on what you’ve already cleaned. That’s why you should
always look up to see what needs dusting before you start cleaning at eye
level. Tackle hard-to-reach places like the tops of bookshelves, crown molding,
and window ledges.
Ignoring That Weird-Looking Vacuum Attachment
Don’t let your carpet hog the vacuum. The crevice tool, Norde says, “is not
used nearly enough.” Use it between your wall and refrigerator to get out the
accumulated dust that’s otherwise unreachable, and run it around the edge of
your baseboards to clean where standard upright vacuums can’t reach.
Skipping the Mattress
Think of how much time you spend in your bed. Yet, you probably clean the top
of your fridge more often than your mattress. Your mattress harbors millions of
dust mites, which cause various respiratory conditions including sneezing, a
runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes (not to mention just being plain
“[Dust mites’] food is human skin scales, so the bed is just heaven for them,”
She recommends using a vapor steam cleaner to root out the itchy devils, then
wrapping it in an anti-allergen mattress protector.
At the very least, sprinkle your mattress with baking soda and let it sit for
awhile. Then (using the attachment mentioned above) vacuum it up.
Relying on Harsh Cleaners
There’s a reason many commercial cleaners have the words “danger,” “hazard,” or
“caution,” on their labels. Something in the ingredients is toxic in one form
or another, and most all could aggravate allergies and asthma. So, “don’t go
crazy with cleaners you don’t need,” says Ogden. Moldy bathrooms may scream for
bleach, but most surfaces do not. Ogden recommends making your own solution of
water and vinegar (use a fifty-fifty ratio), which will keep most surfaces
clean and germ-free.
Using Chemical Air Fresheners
You want your home to smell fresh, so it’s tempting to reach for that
mountain-rain-spring-fresh-scent in a can. But aerosol air fresheners contain
high levels of toxic pollutants like phthalates, which can affect hormone
levels, cause reproductive abnormalities, and increase allergies and asthma.
Yikes. Try homemade (and less-expensive) alternatives, such as potpourri, or
essential oils and water in a spray bottle.