How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

dust mite allergies
Dust mite allergies

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

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.

dust mites
How to get rid of dust mites

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.

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.

    essential oils
    How to get rid of dust mites using essential oils

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

Cleaning up the Clutter

Cleaning up the Clutter

cleaning up the clutter
Cleaning up the Clutter

When trying to keep your home neat and tidy, cleaning up the clutter is the first thing to do. Better yet, don’t let clutter accumulate in the first place! The best way to reduce or avoid clutter altogether is to handle each thing only once. Instead of dropping dirty clothes on the floor only to have to pick it up later and put it in the laundry hamper, put them directly into the laundry basket. Put things away the first time. It takes you less time to do it right the first time than having to come back and put clutter away later.

If you find putting stuff away in the first place is too tough for you, you may want to have a designated clutter area – perhaps a bin in a closet or a specific place on the kitchen counter. Be sure to periodically put away the things at your clutter spot. Once you are in the habit of putting your clutter in your designated place, you may find it easier to gradually start putting things away instead of in the clutter spot.

In many cases, once you start eliminating clutter, you will find it easier to keep your house clean, as a sense of pride in a clean home can be encouraging for everyone in the home.

Have fun cleaning up the clutter!

How to Clean an Iron

Here’s how to clean an iron:

How to Clean an Iron
How to Clean an Iron

Keeping your iron clean is important so you don’t transfer dirt or gunk from the hot iron to the material you are ironing. To keep your iron in good working condition, you should read the manufacturer’s manual that came with your iron.

Be sure to start with a cool iron. Trying to clean a warm or hot iron is not only dangerous, but your cleaning efforts would be ineffective on the hot surface.

If the surface of the iron plate is oily, use a clean cloth dampened with ammonia or window cleaner then use another clean cloth dampened with water to wipe off the iron plate. A clean cloth dampened with vinegar can also be used instead of window cleaner.

If the iron plate has wax-like dirt on it, you can turn the iron into a hot settling and use a scrunched up newspaper to wipe the iron plate. Let the iron cool then wipe it with a clean cloth dampened with water.

To clean in the holes on the iron plate, use a cotton swab dampened with ammonia or window cleaner then wipe holes again with cotton swabs dampened with water. Do not use any sharp objects to scrape or clean the holes in the iron plate. The surface may get scratched.

To clean the water reservoir in your iron, fill it with one part vinegar and one part water. Turn on the iron to get it hot. Let it steam for a few minutes, and use the spray feature. Turn the iron off and let it cool. Empty any remaining liquid from the reservoir. Add water to the reservoir and turn the iron back on. Let it steam for a few minutes and use the spray feature. Turn off the iron and let it cool. Empty the reservoir. You can repeat the water steps if you want to be completely sure there is no vinegar left in your iron.

To clean the rest of your iron, use a clean cloth dampened with ammonia, window cleaner, general purpose cleaner or vinegar. Wipe all surfaces.

And that’s how to clean an iron!

Problem Stains to Avoid…

Here are the top 5  stains that you want avoid, prevention here is key.  Spilling and resulting stains can or will damage as well stain surfaces.

1. Bleach (includes automatic dishwasher liquid)

2. Acids (tile or toilet bowl cleaners, urine or vomit are acidic as well)

3. Hair dyes (dyes…)

4. Alkaline based cleaners (like drain cleaner, or oven cleaner)

5. Kool Aid or other fruity drinks or teas (if its red or pink look out)

Use prevention as the best cleaning technique spills any of these items will present extreme to impossible stain busting challenges.

Carpet cleaning general tips

Really the number one best remedy is to act very quickly.  This is the best way to treat any stain. In fact this weekend I was painting my daughters room when I carelessly rolled the paint roller onto the carpet, not just a little drop of paint either.  I left at least a 3 by 2 inch blotch of paint on the carpet.  So immediately I grab several terry towels and cleaning cloths and a cup of water (thankfully the paint was water based).  I blot up with the dry terry cleaning towel, and then apply water to the stain and blot using a dry towel until the stain was completely removed.  This took several applications of a little water and blotting action with the dry towels.  Leaving this stain for any amount of time would have left the carpet with a permanent purple stain.  However the quick action left no evidence of my carelessness.

Here are some other general carpet cleaning tips:

Blot or scrape up if the spill is thicker than a regular liquid (cat vomit etc.), remove as much as you can this first.

Never scrub or rub a spill, you will end up spreading and pushing the stain deeper.

Apply water or stain remover from the outside in on the stain and blot up…

If you use a stain remover test a small spot first in an unseen area to be sure its safe on your carpet.  However if you act right away most stains can be cleaning with water and a small amount of dish detergent mixed in, then rinse with plain water.

Pet hair driving you crazy?

I recently received an email asking how to control out of control pet hair…

Here are some ideas to help reduce the amount of hair in the house.  Unfortunately they all involve extra work.  I love my pets but hate all the extra hair in the house.  The first step is to groom or brush the pet outdoors, a simple but effective way yo reduce pet hair.  Cover pillows and mattresses with dustmite covers, which are also resistant to hairs getting stuck to them.  Use a HEPA filter in your living areas (family room etc) and use a vacuum with HEPA or a high level of filtration, cheap vacuums don’t pick up the finer particles of dust and or hair as well.

When dusting use a slightly damp cloth to more effectively remove the hairs. Also a big help is the removal of carpets and installation of hard floors.  Its far easier to see the hair, although you will end up vacuuming more (seems like I have to vacuum almost everyday or every other day).  But you will have a cleaner and more dust and hair free home.

How to wash your hands…properly

According to the Canadian Pediatric Society here are the four steps to proper hand-washing.  I should also add  that you wash for about 15-20 seconds, about the same time as it takes to sing  the Happy Birthday song.

Four steps to proper hand washing

  • Wet your hands under running water.
  • Scrub your hands well with soap.
  • Rinse your hands under running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel.

When water and soap are not available, use premoistened hand wipes or alcohol-based hand rinses. Keep hand rinses out of the reach of children because they may be harmful if swallowed.

Sharpie marker out of Ethan Allen upholstered couch…

Here is the answer to a  question I received recently…
Step one…no sharpies near the fancy couch!
Sharpie marks on the Ethan Allen ouch that’s not good, sharpie and markers are rarely cleaned using a water based cleaner like spot cleaners etc.  They are normally cleaned using some kind of solvent, however solvents are harsh and will remove all colors including the stain and or damage many fabrics.
The best solvent for this application (for cleaning fabrics etc) is likely a  dry cleaning solvent (which can be purchased at any janitorial supply store).  Even so you will want to test an inconspicuous spot first and always tamp or blot the stains with a white cleaning towel no scrubbing allowed. the idea is you want to transfer the stain onto the absorbent cleaning towel with the help of your cleaning agent.
However if the couch is expensive you are likely better off getting a professional carpet/upholstery cleaner.  Be sure that they are iicrc certified (www.iicrc.org)  they will have a multiple options and lots experience with spot cleaning all types of couches etc.

Keeping Resin or outdoor furniture looking new longer…

The cleaning of outdoor furniture is always an issue, being outdoors they get more exposure to dirty and effects of the sun, rain and cold.  The clean up of outdoor furniture is  common question we receive.  Here is a idea to make the clean up easier and have your furniture looking newer longer. Apply a good quality car wax and wax them like you would wax your car (paste wax is better).

Dusty garage? or drywall dust in your home….

If you have a super dusty or dirty garage floor or you have done some drywall repairs in your house the drywall dust can get everywhere.  The one product you need to help knock down the dust is sweeping compound. You spread on the floor and then sweep the sweeping compound attracts the fine dust or drywall powder and prevents it from going airborne.  The truth is unless you have a high filtration vacuum it is likely better to use sweeping compound.  Sweeping compound can be purchased at hardware stores or any janitorial supply store.  The more common type is oil based sweeping compound but you can also buy wax based sweeping compound, its the perfect solution for super dusty floors.


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