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Archives: Crucial Health

Jan 18 2012

Common Biological Pollutants in Your Home

 

We’ve all seen the newscasts on household pollutants and bacteria that are meant to scare the living daylights out of us. They use black lights to reveal hidden deadly bacteria living on our pillowcases and faucets and it’s enough to make our skin crawl. I promise I’m not trying to make your skin crawl. But I am going to tell you about some pretty common biological pollutants that could be present in your home right now.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines biological pollutants as contaminants that are living or are produced by living things. Areas that provide food, moisture, or water are a breeding ground for biological pollutants. Unfortunatly, many biological pollutants can make you and your family sick by triggering allergic reactions. Some of the most common reactions are sneezing, itchy watery eyes, dizziness, shortness of breath, and digestive problems. Many of these pollutants can become airborne in your home and can be circulated through your homes central air system causing your family to be constantly exposed.

Some of the most common biological pollutants according to the EPA:

  • · Dust Mites
  • · Pet Dander (skin flakes)
  • · Mold
  • · Viruses
  • · Bacteria
  • · Droppings and pieces of rodents and pests

Did that last one make you cringe? I would have left it out, but I learned something new in my research that I feel compelled to share. (Sorry in advance!) According to the EPA the protein in the urine of rats and mice is a very potent allergen. Once the urine dries those pollutants become airborne and can be distributed throughout your home. As if mice and rats weren’t disturbing enough already!

So now that I’ve freaked you out again, let me tell you what you can do to prevent the presence of these biological pollutants in your home. The good news is, it’s pretty simple.

Keep your home clean: Good housekeeping goes a long way in reducing the amount of pollen, pet dander, and dust mites in your home. As pesky as these common pollutants may be, your vacuum is their worst enemy.

Maintain proper ventilation:  Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom can eliminate much of the moisture that builds up in your home everyday. While exhaust fans are ideal and fairly simple to install, opening a window is a decent alternative.

Control the relative humidity in your home: The EPA recommends a relative humidity of 30-50 percent in homes. Controlling the humidity in your home can reduce growth of many of these pollutants.

Don’t forget about your basement and attic: This is important. Just because you may not be spending a lot of time in these areas doesn’t mean that they can’t be making you sick. Bacteria and pollutants can easily make their way from these areas into your breathing space. (Do I have to remind you of that airborne mice urine?) So be sure to maintain proper ventilation in these places too. As a general rule, even the smallest amount of water in your basement can be dangerous.

Crucial Vacuum cares about your health, which is why we are always looking for ways to keep you informed of the things that could be making you sick in your home. If there is one place you should be able to breathe easy, it should be at home.

Jan 15 2012

Keeping Your Family Safe From Bathroom Germs, It’s Crucial!

If you’re anything like me, you worry about bathroom germs all the time. It’s safe to say that public bathrooms are one of the scariest places on Earth. But what about the bathroom in your own home, how safe is it? You want to keep your home safe and your family healthy but the truth is, your own bathroom could be just as scary as those public bathrooms.

Bathroom germs can hide pretty much anywhere in your bathroom from the expected to the unpredictable. Here are 4 places germs like to hang out in your bathroom:

Your toothbrush:

This is the grossest of the gross! Did you know that every time you flush your toilet germs and “particles” are released into the air? Eventually those particles will find a place to land and if your toothbrush is exposed on the counter they will find their way to it. Closing the lid to the toilet is a great start to reduce the amount of germs floating around your bathroom. Even if your toothbrush is safely hiding out in a drawer or cabinet, closing the lid before you flush is a good habit to pick up on. Do you really want to be breathing that stuff in?

Your toilet:

While it is obvious that the toilet bowl is not the cleanest place in your home, many people overlook the other areas of the toilet when it comes to cleaning. Your toilet’s handle, seat, and lid are a breeding ground for dangerous germs. Extra special attention should be given to these spots when cleaning your bathroom. And just like you learned in Kindergarten, you should ALWAYS wash your hands after using the bathroom and touching the toilet. Bathroom germs are nothing you want living on your hands, that’s just not healthy.

Your bathtub and shower:

Black mold is one of the most common problems in the bathroom, and one of the most dangerous. Black mold grows and lives in the nooks and crannies of your bathtub and shower. The moisture, dirt, and bacteria that your shower is subjected to daily make it the perfect place for mold to grow. Black mold, when touched or breathed in by you and your loved ones, can make you seriously ill. It can spread to your walls and other surfaces of your home. Keeping your bathtub clean and dry is a great start for preventing mold.

Everywhere else:

I already mentioned the germs and bacteria that are released when the toilet is flushed, and the mold that lives in the shower. That bacteria and mold can live pretty much anywhere in your bathroom, including in the air. If your bathroom isn’t properly ventilated your health is especially at risk because bacteria thrive in moisture. If you don’t have a fan or ceiling vent in your bathroom, consider using an air purifier. As for the floor and other surfaces, scrub regularly and consider steam cleaning to help kill even more bathroom germs.

I hope I didn’t freak you out too terribly, but bathroom germs are nothing to mess around with. Crucial Vacuum cares about the health of you and your family. Helping other breathe easy, feel better, and stay healthy is just what we do.

Jan 11 2012

4 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

At Crucial Vacuum we talk a lot about indoor air quality, which should serve as a sign as to how crazy important it is to us. Like I’ve said before, your home should be your safe place. You shouldn’t have to worry about silent and invisible dangers that could be making you and your family sick. But if your home has poor indoor air quality, it could be doing just that.

Indoor air pollutants can be hazardous to your health. Babies and children can develop respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma, which will affect them for the rest of their lives if they are breathing in harmful pollutants on a regular basis. Poor indoor air quality can have just as much of an impact on the health of the elderly as well. Your home could be making the people that you love the most sick.

So now that I have your attention, are you wondering what you can do to maintain good indoor air quality in your home? I’m so glad you asked!

Vacuum Maintenance

One of the simplest ways to keep your home clean and your breathing air free of dirt, dust, and allergens is to vacuum regularly. But if you aren’t taking care of your vacuum you are only wasting your time. A quick check of your vacuums bag, roller bar, belt, and filter every couple of uses goes a long way. Just make sure everything is working the way it should be and that your bag and filter don’t need cleaned.

Change Your Vacuum’s Bag

If your vacuum’s bag is full it may not only fail to pick up, it will also more than likely stir up all the harmful pollutants in the air. This will cause your indoor air quality to be even worse than when you started. So take my advice, be sure to change your bag before it’s full. If you are going to vacuum with a full bag, you may as well not vacuum at all. Stock up on vacuum bags, they fill up fast.

Replace or wash your vacuum’s filter.

The filter on your vacuum is a wonderful thing. It traps all those harmful pollutants that your vacuum would otherwise toss back into the air. It is one of your very best allies in the war against allergies. But if you don’t take care of your filter, it can’t take care of your air quality. Make sure that your filter is clean. Replace or wash your vacuum’s filter regularly to ensure that it can work to it’s full potential.

Consider an air purifier.

Air purifiers purify and clean the air you breathe. They are great for filtering common allergens like mildew, dirt, and dust and reduce odors. If vacuuming doesn’t seem to be doing enough to help improve the air quality in your home, these could be a huge help. Crucial Vacuum offers a wide variety of air purifiers from the small and portable to the large installed systems.

Jan 7 2012

Beware of Bedbugs!

If you pay any attention to the news whatsoever you’ve probably heard something about the disgustingly scary phenomenon of bedbugs. You would think these creatures are a new breed of bug the way the news has been going on about them in recent years. While I am sure they have always been around, I still get freaked out every time I see an undercover story on bedbugs in hotels.

If you’re like me, you want to do as much as you can to protect yourself and your family from bedbugs. Did you know there are proven sprays and powder formulas that can kill bedbugs and get rid of them once and for all? Well there are, and Crucial Vacuum has them!

While I know there isn’t much I can do about the presence of bedbugs in hotels, you better believe I can try. While my husband likes to pull up the sheets and inspect every mattress in every hotel we stay in, I just prefer to kill bedbugs and get it over with. The least I can do is keep my luggage protected so that I’m not bringing them home in my suitcase. Doesn’t the thought just make you cringe?

But even more importantly there is no way I am letting those nasty things live in my house. The last thing I need is bedbugs living in my mattress feasting on me and my precious baby when we sleep. I don’t want to have to worry about whether or not there are bedbugs in my baby’s closet or mine.

Hotels aren’t the only place bedbugs can be picked up. Did you know that they often live in clothes and products in stores? This past shopping season I heard a major retailer had a bedbug outbreak and was recommending putting any items purchased from them into the dryer for an hour. Gross! That wasn’t enough for me. I wasn’t taking any chances with my baby’s new clothes so I used my bedbug killer on them first, and then washed them. Take that, bedbugs!

If you travel often, or shop, I seriously recommend having some bedbug killer on hand, unless of course, you don’t mind sharing your bed. But I can assure you there are none of the bloodsucking bed hogs in my house, that’s for sure!

Jan 3 2012

Are You Steam Cleaning Yet?

Recently, my husband decided that we needed a steam cleaner. I resisted at first. Why did we need to spend all that money on something when a mop and a rag did just fine? But all the hype and infomercials must have gotten to him and he persisted. Eventually I caved, but I was convinced that I would be selling an unused steam cleaner at my next garage sale.

It isn’t often that I admit when I am wrong, but I have to give it to my husband on this one. I love that steam cleaner. As a mother to a baby and a long sufferer of allergies, I don’t know how I ever lived without my steam cleaner.

I know that steam cleaning has become the “hot” new thing to do lately. But if you are like me and are just catching on, or if you haven’t bought into the hype yet, let me break it down for you. Steam cleaners simply use water to produce super hot steam vapor, which works to remove dirt and stains from multiple surfaces throughout your house. The hot vapor is able to penetrate the porous surface of your floors and other surfaces to weaken the bond between the dirt and your surfaces.  The vapor is hot enough to destroy germs, dust, bacteria, mold, viruses and all the other gross things that you don’t want living in your home.

I specifically remember talking my husbands ear off about how we would never use our steam cleaner once the newness wore off. We brought it home and tried it out and were pretty impressed by what it could do. It left our kitchen floors squeaky clean. But I was convinced that it would never be used again.

And again, I was wrong. I am constantly finding new uses for my steam cleaner. Just the other day, I used it to clean the walls of my shower. I couldn’t believe how easily the soap scum and water spots came off with steam. I could have scrubbed until my arms fell off and never got my shower that clean.

I use my steam cleaner for everything from the typical jobs like floors and counters to steaming our baby’s new car seat before we put him inside. When we got new carpet, we steamed it before we let the baby crawl on it. When we bought a new mattress, we steamed it in case of bedbugs. I can’t believe how many times my trusty steam cleaner has been put to good use.

I don’t even bother buying harsh chemicals to use on my floors and counters anymore. Before being a mom I didn’t mind using chemicals to clean but now it makes me feel good to know that it’s safe when my little guy gets the urge to lick the kitchen floor.

Not to mention, the benefits that the steam cleaner has had on our allergies are remarkable. Dirt, dust, and all the other nasty things that clog up our sinuses stick to the rag on the steam cleaner like glue. It is very satisfying to know those particles aren’t floating around my house.

So I will say it one more time… I was wrong. Steam cleaning is where it’s at. Haven’t joined the rest of us in the wonderful world of steam cleaning yet? Lucky for you, Crucial Vacuum offers one of the best steam cleaners on the market along with an extensive line of steam cleaning products. Trust me, you don’t know what you’re missing.