Note: Although it is mid-summer, overall pollen counts remain at moderate levels in much of east central Pennsylvania, according to Accuweather.com. The following helpful tips from Cleanhaus may help you breathe easier if pollen is affecting you or your loved ones.
1. Change your air filter, change your air filter, change your air filter.
If your house seems to gather dust at an astonishing rate, check your air filter. Your current filter is likely not doing the job it could be doing on a maintenance schedule if you’re not changing it at regular intervals. If you have pets, smoke or frequently leave your windows/doors open, your air filter should be changed once a month. Maintaining the cleanliness of your HVAC filter is the fastest, easiest step you can take to reduce sinus and allergy triggers in your home.
Pro tip: To ensure you never forget to change your filters, sign up for your HVAC filter size (with micro filtration) to be delivered with “Subscribe and Save” from Amazon on a delivery schedule that gives you the most comfort (1x a month or 4x a year).
2. Don’t wash your dishes with a moldy rag.
If you like to re-use a rag to wipe down counters and/or wash dishes, and frequently hang this rag over the top of the faucet or between the double sink, it rarely has the chance to fully dry out in between uses. It becomes a mold incubator. As a proverbial mold canary, I can smell and spot one of these rags from across the room, but many people are either not sensitive to this smell, don’t recognize it or have become blind to it. Change out your dishrag with a new one daily, or disinfect it every day.
Pro tip: Keep an old pickle jar (or any container with a wide mouth and secure lid) under your sink, partially filled with water and a small amount of bleach, so that it’s easily accessible to dip the rag in and immediately wash back out without having to take a single additional step away from the sink.
3. Sleep on freshly cleaned bed linens weekly.
One set of sheets per bed is no excuse to sleep in a den of bacteria, viruses, cosmetics, sweat, exfoliated skin cells, pet dander, dust mites, fungi and so on… Every time you roll over in a set of dirty sheets you are exposing yourself to a deluge of objectionable creepy crawlies. If the circumstance is that you have one set of sheets, put them in the wash before leaving for work, dry them during dinner and replace them at bedtime.
Pro tip: Hire Cleanhaus to do this for you. Changing bed linens alone is the chore I resent the most. Four hands. Changing linens properly and without frustration really, truly requires four hands, not two…but I digress…
4. Vacuum regularly with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration; not only carpeted floors, but wood and tile, too.
If you have taken the time to mop, but did not vacuum the area first, you are wetting and pushing around a lot of dirt/pet hair that should have been removed prior to mopping. Looped-end mops are heavy and hard to rinse when exchanging dirty water for clean. They also drag too much water and cleaning solution around your floor, so it takes forever to dry.
Pro tip: Ditch the looped-end string mops and replace them with lightweight microfiber pads. Buy additional microfiber pads. If your microfiber pad gets dirty before the floor is clean, throw the dirty one in the wash and replace it with your backup.
5. Make sure your bathroom exhaust fans are up to the task of removing moisture.
If moisture is not adequately removed after a shower, you should consider a more powerful exhaust fan. Wet environments encourage mold and mildew growth, which in turn irritates many people’s allergies.
Pro tip: Replace your current fan with a more robust, humidity-sensing fan that self-adjusts its motor to current humidity levels. Most home improvement stores carry these now, or pick one up during your weekly Costco trip. Saw one there just last week!
This article is sponsored by Cleanhaus of Saucon Valley, which is family-owned by Amy and Braden Adams. Learn more about Cleanhaus and what makes them a different kind of cleaning company by reading their recent Q&A with Saucon Source, on their website (which includes an easy-to-use estimator tool), and on Facebook and Instagram.