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Archives: Crucial Living

Jan 25 2012

Crucial Reader’s Cleaning Tips

At Crucial Vacuum, we know that a healthy family starts with a clean home. Last week, we shared some expert cleaning tips to help you keep your home clean and safe. And while expert advice is great, sometimes tips from people just like us can be even better.

So we reached out to you, our readers, and asked for some of your favorite cleaning tips and tricks. We must say, you guys didn’t disappoint. Here is what you said:

Get creative with how you use your cleaning supplies.  One of our genius readers has found that a dry mop works wonders for those hard to reach corners and places you can’t reach with a rag. She was amazed by how well dust and cobwebs clung to the mop. Also she says she realized a long time ago that if you just get into the habit of dusting and vacuuming every couple of days it really isn’t so bad and won’t take as long if you don’t let it build up. She likes that vacuuming is even a little bit of a workout!

Choose safe products and let the little ones help. One reader uses a spray bottle filled with a watered-down mixture of an environmentally (child) safe cleaner. Her young daughter loves to go to town spraying it on the table, sink, back of her chair, etc. to help her clean. She love it because her daughter ASKS to help clean. And, she doesn’t have to worry about her child’s safety.

Start ‘em young! One our readers has young girls who just love to put the laundry soap in the washer. So she tell them they can IF they help with the rest of the laundry. And we love this one; Her girls think its awesome to get into their bikinis and take a bucket of water/soap and soak the kitchen floor with it. Then slide on their knees pretending like they are penguins..In the end, her floor is clean and they had a blast. (We bet all these little ones will be great housekeepers!)

Be prepared for messy kids! Another mom says, if u have kids a magic eraser is a must! She says they take off everything, especially crayon markings off of walls and wooden furniture, without damaging it. Sounds like she knows from experience! That same readers adds that baby wipes are awesome for cleaning! We agree, baby wipes are great for everything!

Stay one step ahead of your dirty refrigerator. We love this. One of our readers uses press and seal wrap in all of her refregirator drawers. This makes it quick and easy, just pull, wipe, and add new.

And last but certainly not least…

Stay stocked up. One of our readers said he stays on top of cleaning by making sure that he never runs out of cleaning supplies. He makes sure to always have a backup broom, extra sprays, soaps, and solutions, and replacement bags and filters for his vacuum. (Hey, we couldn’t agree with that last part more!) This way, there is no excuse for not getting the job done.

Jan 20 2012

A Few of Our Favorite Expert Cleaning Tips

It is safe to say that for most of us, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Whether you work 40 hours outside the home, stay home with your kids, or whatever combination of the two, chances are cleaning your house requires time that you just don’t have. Crucial Vacuum knows your time is valuable and limited. We also know how essential a clean home is the health and safety of your family. So when we found this article by Heidi Cho, 30 Quick and Easy Cleaning Tips, featuring great timesaving advice from cleaning experts, we decided to share our favorites tips from the article with you. You’re welcome!

For the kitchen-

Work clockwise around the room. Because the stovetop is likely the dirtiest and greasiest place in the kitchen it makes sense to save it for last. But we actually like this tip for any room in the house. It will keep you from running from one side of the room to the other without getting anything accomplished. And saving the worst part for last is nice because once you’re done, you’re done!

Keep your sponges bacteria free. A wet sponge can be a lovely place for bacteria to thrive. But wringing yours out and popping it in the microwave on high for 60 seconds is a great way to stop those harmful bacteria in their tracks.

For the bathroom-

Rid your shower curtain liner of mold and mildew. The plastic liner on your shower curtain can be tough to keep clean. But by placing it in the washer with some towels, which will work as scrubbers, yours can be good as new in no time. We really love this idea. Mold is nothing to mess around with.

For the entire house:

Clean top to bottom. This ensures that any dust, crumbs, or whatever else gets knocked off of your surfaces will be picked up when you get to the floor.

And the vacuum tip-

Vacuum from one corner to the other corner. Cho suggests that you start in the corner furthest from the entrance to the room and work in slow, forward and backward, overlapping motions. This will leave you with perfect vacuum lines free of footprints, which we all just love.

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

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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.