How to Cut Your Flu Risk in Half

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There are some important basic guidelines to follow to ensure you protect yourself during the flu season. Officials at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) are warning about the perils of the flu this year once again.

Already 21 children have died due to flu, which is more than last year at the same time. As the season progresses, more deaths will be attributed to the flu as is normally the case in years past.

Deaths due to the flu for adults are not required to be reported to the CDC, only children. Although it is clearly an indicator of the severity of the outbreak.

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How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

1>How to Get Rid of Dust Mites1>

1">Learning how to get rid of dust mites is important in order to help control allergic reactions in your home.

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1">Dust mites feed on organic materials such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. The mite’s gut contains potent digestive enzymes that persist in their feces and are major inducers of allergic reactions. The mite’s exoskeleton can also contribute to allergic reactions. Here is a natural remedy for the control of dust mites.

1">Researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt found certain essential oils to be effective at killing dust mites, the invisible-unless-under-a-microscope creatures that tend to live in bedding, carpets, furniture and drapes. If you want to keep your allergies at bay, eucalyptus and clove were proven to be the most effective oils for eliminating household dust mites.

1">Here are three tips on how to get rid of dust mites:

  • Add around 10 drops of an oil in with your laundry detergent when you wash your sheets in hot water.
  • Fill a spray bottle with 1 quart of water and 20 drops of an oil to spray on upholstery.
  • Put baking soda in a sifter and add in 10 drops of an essential oil to shake across carpeting. Then leave the mixture on the floor for 30 minutes and vacuum it up.

By learning how to get rid of dust mites, you can control and limit their impact in your home.


Cleaning Your Sneakers

1>Cleaning Your Sneakers1>

Getting your sneakers squeaky clean can be a challenge since cleaning your sneakers is not really the top of anyone’s to do list.  However, the state of your footwear says a lot about you so cleaning your sneakers should be an important part of your personal hygiene and appearance routine.


Sometimes you just need to take a break from wearing your cherished pair of sneakers and let air carry the smell out. If odors become extreme, here’s what you can try:

  • Remove the insoles of your shoes and shut them in a box containing baking soda. The strength of the odor determines how long the insoles need to be kept in there, but keep in mind that the longer they stay in there, the less odor they will have when you remove them. Set a time period yourself.
  • A quick easy trick is to remove insoles and let them dry out between uses, never wear the same shoes two days in a row (a great excuse to go buy some more shoes).  Letting them dry out between uses will help with the smell and help extend the life of the shoes.
  • There are many shoes sprays you can use as well, or fabric sprays like Lysol fabric mist.
  • Another quick tip is to stuff a dryer sheet into your shoes after use.

One product sneakerheads swear by is retaW&#4547.22 degrees Celsius">8217;s sneaker spray. Made in Japan, the stuff has masculine spicy mint.


Laces deserve to be as clean as the rest of your sneakers. Clean them well and you may have people complimenting you on your “new” shoes.

If machine washing (likely the fastest and easiest method), wash them in cold water with like colours, in a pillowcase or a fabric bag meant for delicates so the laces don’t get tangled up in the other clothes or under the washing machine agitator.

If hand washing, fill the sink up with warm water and let the laces soak for 30-45 seconds.

Put a bar of soap to those laces when you remove them from the water and rub it thoroughly over the laces, making sure you cover all the dirtiness. If you lack a soap bar (or if that method doesn’t work for getting the stubborn dirt to leave), you can scrub the laces with a small amount of dish soap. After scrubbing the laces, let them soak again in the water for 30-45 seconds. Squeeze the water out of the laces and strategically lay them out on a towel to dry for maximum results.

For really dirty white laces you can soak in a bleach and water solution, but bleach will weaken the fibers and if the laces are so far gone that only bleach will work then maybe new laces are the best option.

If white laces still require more cleaning, you can sprinkle baking soda on them, scrub them thoroughly and let them soak for another 30 seconds before drying.

When it comes to laces, it is best to not wring your laces if they are flat in shape (like laces on Converse – most running shoe laces are round in shape). In order to get flat laces free of excess water, pinch the lace with your index finger and thumb and drag down the length of the lace to push the water out of the fabric.

Cleaning the Body of your Sneakers

It is best to clean sneakers as soon as possible after getting them dirty. If you clean them right away, you will often be successful at getting rid of all the dirt using just a cloth and water. For tougher challenges have a couple of different brushes on hand, even a clean toothbrush works.

Start with a clean bowl of water. Apply the solution (either your store bought solution or a mixture of dishsoap and water) onto the bristles of a wet brush. Dip the brush in the water and start scrubbing until the cleaner start to foam up. Wipe it clean. You could use any old towel or T-shirt, but if you use a microfiber towel, you’ll definitely have better results. There are some high-end sneaker cleaners you can use. Jason Markk makes a premium sneakers cleaner.

A quick method to clean shoes soles is to use a Magic eraser. Use a microfiber cloth and water to rinse any film after using the magic eraser. This is a great quick way to do a cleaning of the hard soles of any sneakers.

Be Sure to Brush

What it really comes down to is the bristle. If you have a shoe with a cotton mesh upper, the mesh is going to pill up when you use a stiffer bristle, so have a couple of different softer and harder brushes on hand.

The brush definitely plays a huge part. It is recommended that you have both standard and hog bristle brushes because sometimes you need that extra stiffness of the bristle to really get in there and clean.

What To Do with Suede

Suede protector is recommended for suede shoes. Before applying suede protector, be sure the shoes are clean and dry. Letting the shoes air dry for at least 24 hours is best. Then you’re good for about eight to ten months, depending on shoe usage. For materials like leather and suede, try a spray from a trusted source, like New Balance. However, all shoes stores will have good leather and suede protectors for shoes.

If your suede shoes get dirty in spite of suede protector, use a soft bristle brush to gently agitate the dirt off the shoe. Be sure the shoe and dirt are completely dry before doing this so you don’t spread the dirt around on the shoe instead of having it fall off.

The Ideal On-the-Go Solution

Always carry wet wipes in your car. Wet wipes are a very quick easy way to touch up stains as they happen.  If you drop something on your shoe at lunch, pull out a handy wet wipe and presto, shoe is clean and you don’t have to worry about the stain drying and setting making it harder to remove later.


If you own them, you need to be cleaning your sneakers. They will look better and last longer if taken care of.


How to Clean a Retainer

1>How to Clean a Retainer1>

Since a retainer goes in your mouth, it is really important to know how to clean a retainer.

2>Methods for How to Clean a Retainer2>

The easiest way to for how to clean a retaineris with a toothbrush and toothpaste. A good time to clean your retainer is when you are brushing your teeth since you already have your toothbrush and toothpaste handy. Put a dab of toothpaste on the toothbrush and scrub all over the retainer. Rinse with clean water.

Another method for how to clean a retainer is with organic castille soap. This has been recommended by dentists. Use a squirt or two of organice castille soap in a small dish of water then soak the retainer. The main ingredients in castille soap are olive oil and coconut oil which do a great job of cleaning the retainer without using any chemicals.

Some orthodontists have a very simply recommendation for how to clean a retainer: soak the retainer in water and one denture cleaning tablet. Use two tablets if the retainer has buildup on it. Soak for 15 minutes then rinse.

Words of caution about how to clean a retainer: do not put the retainer in boiling water as this can damage the retainer, do not soak the retainer in mouthwash that has alcohol in it as this can dry out the retainer and cause it to crack. It is not recommended to use baking soda to clean a retainer because baking soda changes the pH of your mouth and a retainer has the potential to absorb and this puts your gums at risk of exposure.

Be sure to also clean your retainer case before putting your clean retainer away. Simply use warm soapy water to scrub all surfaces of the retainer case. Rinse with clean water and dry.

Dentists recommend that you never let your retainer dry out because tartar and biofilm can start bonding to the retainer. Keep your retainer in your mouth or in distilled water in your retainer case.

Knowing how to clean a retainer is an important part of having one.



How to Clean an Electric Toothbrush

1>How to Clean an Electric Toothbrush1>

There are two parts to consider when it comes to how to clean an electric toothbrush: the toothbrush head and the electric handle. Keeping both parts clean is important, particularly after you have had a cold or the flu. Some electric toothbrushes do not have a removable toothbrush head (this is a one piece toothbrush) and some do (this is a two piece toothbrush).

2>How to clean an electric toothbrush head2>

After each time you brush your teeth, be sure to rinse the toothbrush head thoroughly, getting rid of excess toothpaste or food bits from your mouth. Once a month or so, soak your toothbrush head in a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) for a hour or so. Rinse thoroughly. Wipe the base of the toothbrush head with a clean white cloth dipped in the bleach solution (do this before soaking the toothbrush head). When the toothbrush bristles start to splay open, it is time for a new toothbrush if you have the one piece electric toothbrush or new toothbrush head if you have the two piece kind.

2>How to clean an electric toothbrush handle2>

Because the handle is an electrical appliance, it should not be submerged in liquid. Using a bleach and water mixture, dampen a small area of a clean white cloth. Wipe all over the handle. Dip a cotton swab in the bleach and water mixture and wipe out the area where the toothbrush head attaches to the handle (for a two piece toothbrush).

By using your electric toothbrush properly and taking care of it, including learning how to clean an electric toothbrush, you can be sure to get the longest life out of it.