Spring cleaning tips for healthy homes

  • By Alan J. Heavens The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Monday, May 5, 2014 1:05pm
  • Life

Spring has been here for more than a month, and I’m just getting to seasonal cleaning suggestions.

From Robin Wilson, described as a healthy-space designer and “ambassador” for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, come the following tips:

In the bathroom, get rid of your vinyl shower curtain, because it holds mold more easily and off-gases.

Use a nylon curtain instead. Use nontoxic cleansers and always lower the toilet seat when flushing to ensure that spraying particles do not land near or on your towels, toothbrushes or soaps.

For bedding, wash pillowcases once a week, pillow protectors at least once a month and replace pillows every three years.

Cover your mattress with a hypoallergenic cover, wash it every two months, and make sure it is nontoxic, without formaldehyde-based fire retardants.

Paint a room: Use non-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints in your home, which won’t off-gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor, and stir up asthma or allergies. You can’t even tell the difference in how they look on the wall.

Check for mold in dishwashers, under the fridge in the water pan, and in sink and bath drains. Change water dispenser and ice maker filters.

Wash or freeze your children’s stuffed animals to kill dust mites.

Now, from Benjamin Moore Paints, here are ways to make your house more springlike:

Hang a mirror with a stylish frame: The mirror can fill the wall with a decorative accent while reflecting light and opening up the space.

Declutter: Get rid of items that are weighing a space down. Collect the things that are lying around the house. Keep half of everything and invite your friends and family over for a treasure hunt through the rest.

Get a robot: If you want some help around the house but don’t feel like hiring a human, Ecovacs Robotics has a three-robot line of products to help you out.

They are the Winbot (windows), the Deebot (floors), and the Famibot, which is controlled by a smartphone app and cleans the air. Check out www.ecovacs.com for details.

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