11 House Cleaning Secrets

Soil control is an important part of keeping your home clean and healthy.
The Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification defines soil as any undesirable substance that is foreign to a surface. Practicing soil control means limiting the buildup of soil on surfaces. Limiting soil equals a clean and healthy home.

Here are 11 tips to help you practice soil control.

  1. Keep dirt outside by keeping all entry areas and garage floors swept and clean. Pressure wash walkways, porches and stairs leading to the entrances to your house. It takes 12 times more effort, time and money to remove soil from your home than it does to prevent it entering in the first place.
  1. Remove dirt before it enters the house with door mats. Again, the idea is to limit the amount of soil that enters from outside. Use water resistant door mats made of non-absorbent, mold resistant fibers outside every entrance to your home.
  1. Stop dirt at the door by adding another doormat just inside your home. This mat should be made of an absorbent material such as nylon, cotton or wool. Washable throw rugs work great, provided they don’t slide around or become a tripping hazard. Vacuum or wash the mat twice a week.
  1. Keep outdoor shoes out of the house. Take off your shoes at the door and wear indoor shoes, slippers or socks around the house. Don’t go barefoot all the time; the natural oils on your feet attach to the carpet and attract soil.
  1. Brush and groom your pets regularly – preferably outdoors.
  1. Change your furnace filter every 30 days when it is in use. Opt for a high efficiency allergen-trapping filter – it will be $15-20 well-spent.
  1. Keep your kitchen vent hood clean… and use it. These vents trap moisture, oils and odors that would otherwise end up in your carpet.
  1. Use a bathroom vent. Humidity in the bathroom can lead to mold growth. Let the fan run 10 minutes after you shower or bathe.
  1. Vacuum regularly.This is the most important step in carpet maintenance. 74-79% of the soil in typical household carpet can be removed by regular vacuuming.

If these dry soils are allowed to remain, some of them break down and oxidize, creating a perfect breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and unpleasant odors.

Grittier soils adhere to sticky or oily residues on carpet fibers, causing abrasion and permanent damage. Regular vacuuming reduces these effects so carpets last longer.

  1. Vacuum furniture. You should vacuum your upholstered furniture, drapery and blinds for the same reasons listed above. When you dust your furniture, do so gently, and slowly. It is best to do this with a duster attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Allow the dust to settle for an hour or so; then vacuum the carpet or floor.
  1. Have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned at least once a year, at a minimum. Homes with more people, pets and especially those with young children, should be cleaned more frequently.
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Carpet Cleaning in Winter? Really?

This is the time of the year when you may wonder if it makes sense to get your carpets cleaned. Great question! But first, let’s think about this logically… Does it make sense to clean your wood or tile floors in the winter? Does it make sense to clean your bed linens in winter? Of course. But for some reason, many people treat their carpet differently. It’s as if the carpet was somehow magically immune to soiling because the weather is cool. Of course, this is not true.

It’s what you can’t see that is the problem
It’s true that modern carpets do a great job of hiding soil. This may lead you to think you only need to clean your carpets once a year or when they “look” dirty. But according to the EPA, most households should clean carpets at least twice a year, maybe more depending on lifestyle and other factors.

This may surprise you until you think about all of the soils, allergens, oils,pollutants and contaminants that carpet traps.

In most homes, carpet is the largest filter, trapping soils, pollutants and pet and human dander(dead skin cells, which we shed by the millions every day and dust mites live for). So the fact is that, yes, winter is a great time of year to get your carpets cleaned for several reasons.

You’re worth it
One of the best reasons for cleaning in the winter is that you want your home to look great for visiting friends and relatives during the Holidays.Nothing makes your home feel clean and inviting quite like freshly cleaned carpets. And even if you don’t expect guests, you will be spending more time at home in the winter, so you want it to look nice for you,too.

Of course, there are far more important reasons to clean your carpet than appearance. In fact, if you wait until your carpets look dirty before you clean them, you have waited too long. Soil damages carpet,dramatically reducing its usable life. Can you imagine waiting until your clothes look dirty before laundering them? Of course not. That would be unhealthy and they would probably begin to smell before they looked dirty. Carpet is no different.

During the summer, pollen and other pollutants enter your home and become trapped in the carpets. In the fall, mold spores are more prevalent, again, becoming trapped in your carpet fibers. All of this just in time for you to close things up for the winter and spend more time inside… Not a pretty picture is it?

With clean carpet now,you and your family can breathe cleaner, healthier air all winter long. It’s bad enough that winter is the time when people suffer from cold and flu without adding poor indoor air quality to aggravate conditions such as asthma and allergies.

And some good news: Carpets tend to dry faster in the winter because the humidity is lower and most of us are using our furnaces. Warm,dry air is great for drying carpets!

Clean the winter blues away.
Remember that in winter, days are shorter. Darkness comes earlier and lasts longer. A clean, fresh, healthy carpet is a great way to help fight off the winter doldrums. A clean, neat home just makes you feel better. A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner is usually busiest during the Holidays; everyone wants a clean house for family and guests.

Call now to book your cleaning before the big rush!

Trivia question:
The U.S. EPA recommends having carpets cleaned:
a.only in winter to avoid mold
b.once every 18-24 months
c.about twice a year for most families
d.when guests start wiping their feet before leaving

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Food Spills on Carpet: A Few Do’s and Don’ts

You vacuum twice a week, like clockwork. You ask everyone to take their shoes off at the door, leave your muddy shoes on the garage stoop, and toss your throw rugs in the washer every weekend. You do your level best to keep dirt outside where it belongs and pollutants inside your home to a minimum.

But no family is perfect.

Despite your best efforts at keeping spaghetti in the kitchen and dirt in the garden, no matter how careful you are, sooner or later it will happen. Someone will spill food or drink onto your carpet. You may see it the second it happens, or you may not spot it until it has dried and set. Either way, you will panic. You will fear that your beautiful carpet is ruined forever.

And you will wonder what to do.

What you need to know is that whether a simple spill comes out or becomes a permanent stain depends just as much on what you don’t do as what you do. Here are a few recommendations to help increase your chances of a successful stain treating outcome:

DO NOT rub or scrub the carpet with a towel or brush. This will distort the face yarns and cause permanent damage to the surface, which will only amplify the look of any stain.

DO pick up any chunks and then remove the excess liquid by gently blotting or scraping up as much of the spill as you can. If it is a liquid, such as coffee, wine or soda, use a white towel and blot up as much of the spill as possible. Keep blotting until your towel stops absorbing liquid.

DO NOT spread the spot. When scraping up thick spills, such as spaghetti sauce, work gently from the outside edges of the spot toward the middle. Scrape up as much as possible before using any spot cleaners.

DO call a reputable professional cleaning company as soon as possible. Experienced carpet cleaners will have a specialty spotter for just about any type of spill. In addition, they will have the equipment to promptly remove the stain and flush it with fresh water. Prompt professional attention is your best chance to remove spills with-out damaging the color or texture of your carpet.

DO NOT use cleaning agents from the grocery store. Most often, these products are low quality and ineffective. But even high quality products still need to be used carefully. A cleaning product must be carefully chosen for the type of spot and the kind of fabric that your carpet is made from. If you try to use the wrong product, or use it incorrectly, you may make the spill more difficult or even impossible for even the most experienced professional to remove.

While nobody can guarantee that every spot and stain will come out, by following these tips you will make cleaning up spots and spills much easier. You will be more likely to remove the stain completely, leaving your carpet looking good and helping your carpet to look good for years to come.

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Want to get tough dirt out?

Let us CHAT it out…

In order to be really good at a job, a person must first understand the fundamentals of that profession. That’s why A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner puts so much emphasis on training. Did you know that carpet cleaning is a profession based on scientific principles of chemistry and physics? It’s true. The ability to effectively clean anything—not just carpet—requires an understanding of the four basic principles of soil suspension; chemical action, heat, agitation and time. We remember these fundamentals by the acronym CHAT.

The first of the fundamentals is chemical action. Water is used in cleaning because of how it reacts with many soils. In fact, water does the majority of the work in cleaning. However, water alone is not very effective on oily or greasy soils. We need specialty cleaning agents to dissolve some of the more difficult soils like food, grease and petroleum oils found in things like makeup, shoe polish and ink. These soils would be difficult or impossible to remove with plain water.

It’s amazing how little of these cleaning agents we need to get great results. When we dilute our products, we are actually using about 99.9% water! If you find this hard to believe, consider how much bubble bath you need to make a whole tub full of suds. It’s not much is it? Similarly, we use just enough cleaning solution to break down soils and no more. This assures that we leave no unwanted residue.

Many uneducated cleaners subscribe to the “more is better” mentality, so they overuse cheap, harsh deter-gents and leave a residue. This is one reason why carpets get dirty quickly after untrained carpet cleaners do the job.

The second principle of soil suspension is heat. Heat helps cleaning agents work better and faster. Applying a heated cleaning solution makes cleaning more efficient, so we use less detergent. Heat also helps liquefy oily, greasy and sticky soils, suspending them into the cleaning solution for effective removal.

Agitation is the third principle of soil suspension. It makes cleaning more efficient by helping distribute cleaning agents for better penetration. By agitating the cleaning solution into your carpet, we suspend soils and lift matted carpet yarns for better cleaning.

Time is the fourth principle of cleaning and soils suspension. This is one area where many carpet cleaners drop the ball. In order for a cleaning agent to work well, it needs “dwell time”to penetrate into the carpet yarns and break down stubborn soils. When untrained cleaners rush this process, cleaning results suffer. We make sure we allow the product to work so soils are completely dissolved for removal.

All of this is why after A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner visits, you can expect fluffy, fresh-smelling carpets that stay cleaner longer. Once the carpets are completely cleaned, we can apply a carpet protector to help prevent stains and maintain that fresh, clean look even longer.

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How to enjoy better air quality at home

Fall is a glorious time of year. The weather is getting a bit cooler and the days a bit shorter. If you are like most Americans, your family is spending more time indoors as the outdoor activities of summer wind down. That’s why right now is a great time to think about your indoor air quality.

Air pollution is a major concern in the U.S., especially near heavily populated areas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air is often 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. How can this be? And can you do anything to help?

The amount of air pollution in your home is affected by several factors and there are many sources of pollution. Some of these sources come from outside your home. Other sources come from inside. Some you can control; others you can’t.

Outdoor pollutants and allergens enter your home by infiltration and ventilation, directly affecting the air in your home. Pollutants like car exhaust, pollen, smoke, insecticides, fertilizers and mold spores hitch a ride into your home on air currents, your clothing, shoes, hair and pets.

When these pollutants settle on surfaces outside, wind, rain and sunshine combine to neutralize, sweep and wash them away. Unfortunately, this is not the case inside your home. These same pollutants tend to accumulate inside your house on floors, furnishings, surfaces and in the air.

Because we live, eat, sleep, play and often work in our homes, we generate a significant amount of allergens and pollutants from inside our homes too. Did you know that you shed around a million dead skin cells every day? These dead cells are a food source for dust mites as well as other microbial life forms. Dust mite feces and dead dust mites are potent allergens and every home has millions of them. House pets also contribute to indoor air quality issues.

Then there are the sticky and oily residues from cooking gases that eventually settle on surfaces. Certain types of furniture, plastics and textiles also release gases that can affect indoor air quality. If you have a furnace that burns fuel such as gas, oil, or wood, by-products of combustion add to the problem.

After all of this, you may wonder if it is safe to stay in your home. Don’t be alarmed. There is a lot you can do to improve indoor air quality. Invest in high quality air filters for your HVAC (heat, ventilation, air-conditioning) system. These filters are rated based on their efficiency at trapping tiny particles. The rating is called MERV. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter.

Professional duct cleaning helps to remove contaminants that accumulate on the inner surfaces of your HVAC system.

Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with HEPA filtration. HEPA filters trap the smallest particles including dust mite feces, dead skin, pollen and mold spores. Other vacuum cleaners simply spew these tiny particles back into the air, making matters worse.

Use bathroom exhaust fans and range hoods to remove excessive humidity and cooking gases that can con-tribute to indoor air pollution. High humidity encourages bacteria and mold growth.

Cleaning carpets, upholstery, and area rugs returns them to a healthful condition and improves indoor air quality by removing pollutants and allergens that bond to these surfaces.

Cleaning your carpets, rugs and upholstery right now makes perfect sense. You are going to be spending more time indoors. You and your family deserve a clean, healthy home. If you have guests visiting for the holidays, your home will look, smell and feel fresh and clean.

Call A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner today to schedule your fall cleaning. You and your family will breathe easier.

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Deodorization…

How the pros do it
“What’s that smell?”We have all had the experience of walking into a room or building only tobe greeted by an unpleasant odor. They may range from mildly annoying to downright putrid. Besides being embarrassing, malodors are also a cause real for concern. Unpleasant odors are sometimes an indication of a potentially infectious, hazardous or unsanitary condition. Bad odors can also cause psychological or emotional stress and even physical discomfort.

Spraying deodorants and perfumes simply masks odors temporarily. Odor masking is not effective for long-term deodorizing success. Effectively eliminating odors requires an understanding of the principles of deodorization. The type of odor neutralizer and application process must be chosen based on the source of the odor, type of materials affected and the degree of odor penetration. To avoid a recurrence of the malodor, we use the following procedures:

Step 1: Find and remove the source. Odor is an effect. Since every effect has a cause, our first challenge is to find and remove the cause. If the odor comes from a dead animal, you must find the carcass and remove it. If the odor is from a pet accident, we must first locate the deposit and remove it from the carpet and other surfaces before we can treat the offending odor. The same applies to odors from smoke, cooking, mold and mildew, etc.

Step 2: Clean the affected area to remove any remaining odor-causing residue. Actually, cleaning is just a continuation of source removal. Start cleaning in the source area and work outward until all residues are removed. Residues can be sticky or oily residues, crystallized materials or dust and soot. The type of residue and the material you are cleaning determines the cleaning method. For instance, removing soot from a brick wall requires different cleaning agents, tools and techniques than removing soot from silk drapes. Depending on the odor, source removal and meticulous cleaning may be all that is required. If not, we move onto the next step.

Step 3: Recreate the conditions of penetration. This is where specialized equipment is often required. For example, if the odor is from smoke, it may have penetrated into wood, fabrics, drywall and many other porous and semi-porous materials. Any deodorizing products we use must penetrate the materials in the same manner as the smoke odor penetrated in order to neutralize the odors. If odors have migrated into areas that are inaccessible, it may be necessary to specialized fogging equipment, electronic oxidation, or dry vapor equipment. Generally, odors caused by liquids such as urine or spoiled milk that saturate porous materials must be saturated with a suitable odor counteractant. In most cases, properly applying steps 1 through 3 will achieve the desired results. If there is still an odor, we proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Seal the affected material. Sometimes odors penetrate into materials to the degree that it is impossible or impractical to remove them completely. In these situations it is necessary to apply a topical sealant to encapsulate the odor causing molecules and prevent them from evaporating into the air. If the molecules can’t reach your nose, you won’t be able to smell them. The type of sealer we choose depends on the type of mate-rial, the nature of the odor source and the degree of penetration into the material. If you have tough odor problems and need assistance, please call A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner, and we will be happy to help.

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Carpet Beetles

What are the facts?

Carpet beetles deserve to rank near the top of your list of uninvited guests. These oval-shaped flying insects can ruin your carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and clothing as well as cause irritating dermatitis in children and sensitive adults. These are unwelcome guests you really want to“show the door”as quickly as possible.

Life Cycle of a Carpet Beetle
The four life-stages of carpet beetles are egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. Female carpet beetles lay up to a hundred eggs, which hatch into larvae in approximately 35 days. This stage is the most damaging because larvae feed on carpets and clothing. The larval stage lasts 6 to18 months, during which these voracious insects do the most damage. The final part of the larval stage is metamorphosis, after which the adult beetle emerges. Adult carpet beetles can live up to a year.

Identifying Carpet Beetles
The larvae are very small, so it can be difficult to spot them. Larvae look like tiny, hairy worms and prefer dark, undisturbed areas such as under furniture, rugs and in closets. Adult black carpet beetles are black with brown-colored legs, and their length in inches ranges from 1/8 to 3/16. As larvae, these pests shed skin and fecal pellets, each of which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Carpet beetles do not bite people or animals. The irritation caused by contact with carpet beetle larvae can be confused with bites from bed bugs or fleas. Property damage from carpet beetles is very similar to moth damage. Small, irregular-shaped holes in clothes and rugs are a tell tale sign of either a carpet beetle or moth problem. If it is a moth problem, you will usually see moths in the area. Adult carpet beetles prefer to live outdoors and graze on pollen.

Fighting back
Maintaining cleanliness may not be enough to avoid an infestation from carpet beetles. Since these pests can enter on food packages, luggage and on shoes, they are difficult to avoid—especially if you have a pet, as larvae feed on animal fur and dander. Along with vacuuming, professional carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning are essential. Detergent and hot water kill the larvae, so this is an important means of limiting carpet beetle populations indoors. Other recommended measures to reduce the likelihood of a carpet beetle problem are:

• Effective sanitation including routine vacuuming and housekeeping of pantry shelves and pet feeding and sleeping areas helps reduce the breeding sites and food sources;
• Storing items like wool clothing, leather and fur coats in sealed garment bags;
• Checking flowers, patio plants, and any second-hand items carefully before bringing indoors;
• Dry cleaning and using a clothes dryer on high heat to kill carpet beetle larvae in clothing and drapes;
• Ensuring that air ducts are clean and attics and crawl spaces are free of animal nests or carcasses.

Pesticides may be necessary to eliminate an existing infestation. Choose a pesticide designed for carpet beetles and follow label directions. Eliminating a heavy infestation is best left to a professional pest control specialist.

If you suspect that you have a carpet beetle problem or want to avoid one, call A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner so that we can clean your carpet, upholstery and drapery. That is a logical first step to eliminating these destructive invaders.

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Helping Water Clean Better

Water is a great cleaner. But just like you, sometimes it needs a little help…

H2O is an amazing liquid. It is useful for manufacturing, transportation, firefighting, energy production, cooking, agriculture, recreation and of course, drinking. Water also has some unique qualities that make it an excellent cleaner.

Water is a polar molecule, meaning it has both positively and negatively charged sides. Without going into too much chemistry here, this means that water can attract to and surround a great variety of substances. Think about everything that water can dissolve or dilute and you begin to understand why water is referred to as the “universal solvent.”

But water can’t dissolve everything. Dirt and grime usually adhere to skin, clothing, and other surfaces by com-bining with body oils, cooking fats, lubricating greases, and similar substances. Because these substances don’t mix with water, washing with water can’t remove them or the bonded soil. Sometimes it needs a little help. Here are some ways that we can help water clean better.

Emulsification – Detergent and soap molecules have a dual nature. One end of the molecule called the head, attracts to water; the other end, the tail, attracts to oily soils. The tails attach to the soil; the heads remain in the water. This action breaks the oil and soils into tiny soap-enclosed droplets called micelles, which disperse throughout the solution.

The micelles repel each other because of their charged surfaces, so the oils can’t join together once separated. This process of separating and suspending oils in a water-based solution is called emulsification. With the oil no longer bonding the dirt to the soiled surface, the soap-enclosed oils and soils can easily be rinsed away.

Water softeners – Hard water contains minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium dissolved from rock and soil as water passes through earth. Hard water is a problem because it reduces the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. Detergents react with calcium and magnesium so it takes more detergent to get the job done. The hard water reaction with soaps is what creates the sticky residue called soap scum.

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium, increasing the effectiveness of cleaners. Soft water cleans better, rinses better and allows you to use less soap or detergent.

Temperature – Heat reduces the surface tension of water, making it easier to penetrate and dissolve soils. Heat increases the effectiveness of soaps and detergents, so they work more efficiently. Hot water also helps melt and dissolve greases, oils and waxes. All of this means that using hot water makes cleaning easier and allows you to use less detergent.

pH – One way to help water clean better is by adjusting its pH. Pure water has a neutral pH, neither acidic nor alkaline. By adding cleaning agents, we can change the pH of water. Since most common soils are acidic, most detergents are alkaline.

When an alkaline detergent contacts an acidic soil, the soil is neutralized. In most cases, this results in more efficient cleaning, easier rinsing and less scrubbing.

Saponification – Saponification is a process that changes natural fats and oils into soap. Many years ago, people made their own soap by combining animal or vegetable fats with lye, a strong alkali. Similarly, using an alkaline detergent has a similar effect on fats and food oils, basically turning them into soap, which can then be rinsed away with water.

Of course, there is more to cleaning than what we have discussed here. For best results, you need the right tools, techniques, training and experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a chemist or engineer to keep your house clean and healthy. Following manufacturer instructions on appliances and cleaning products generally yields good results.

When it comes to professional carpet and textile cleaning, you can be confident that your educated and experienced A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner technicians will use the right cleaning agents, equipment and techniques to produce fantastic results with “plain old” water!

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Total Carpet Care

What you need to know to get the most out of your investment

There is nothing like new carpet. It smells new, feels soft and fluffy, looks beautiful and makes a perfect statement about your style and taste. Compared to other floor coverings, carpet is relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Still, your carpet represents a sizeable investment in your home or business.

In order to get the most out of your carpet, you need a total carpet care program. A total carpet care program is a “retailer-to-recycling” approach to carpet care. To be effective, the program should include proper selection, professional installation, daily soil control, interim maintenance, scheduled restorative cleaning and the application of an appropriate carpet protector. The following tips can help you develop a simple carpet care program.

Carpet selection and professional installation–It may be“too late” for the carpet you already have, but carpet selection is an important part of making sure your carpets perform as expected. Some fibers are more resilient than others. Certain colors look cleaner longer because they hide soils better. Pile height, face weight or density and carpet construction all play a factor in how well your carpet will hold up.In a future issue, we will do an entire article on carpet selection and proper installation. For now, let’s focus on the carpet you already have.

Soil control: Prevent soils from getting on the carpet by using walk-off mats and keeping walkways and hard floors clean. If you remove your shoes when entering and wear clean house shoes, you will stop much of the soil from ever entering the home.

The most damaging soils are dry, gritty particulate soils that abrade and dull the surfaces of carpet fibers. This leads to an overall loss of luster in the high traffic areas. Regular use of a well-maintained vacuum cleaner is the single most important part of a total carpet care program. Remember to change vacuum cleaner bags when they are about half full.

Prompt attention to spots and spills is also highly important. Spots can eventually become permanent stains if allowed to age and oxidize on the carpet. It is best to attend to food and drink spills immediately. We will cover simple spot and spill removal techniques in a future article.

Interim maintenance: Some areas simply require more attention than others. The main entry of the home and the high traffic areas in the family room or just outside the kitchen tend to collect the great-est amount of soils. In most cases, it makes sense to clean these traffic areas between regularly scheduled cleanings. Maintenance cleaning usually goes quickly, dries fast and involves little or no furniture moving, so it is far less disruptive to your daily routine.

Scheduled professional cleaning: There comes a time when your carpet requires deep, restorative cleaning. This should be done before soil becomes visibly noticeable. By the time you see soil buildup, damage is already being done to the fibers. How often you need professional deep cleaning depends on several contributing factors including the number of occupants, presence of pets, vacuuming frequency, lifestyle and other considerations.

Protector application: Virtually every carpet manufactured in America comes with a factory–applied protector. Over time, this protector wears off and your carpet loses its ability to resist common household spots, spills and stains. It is important that this protective finish be reapplied after every professional cleaning. Your carpets will stay beautiful and last years longer.

Call A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner for more information on making your carpet last longer or to schedule your next carpet cleaning. We are happy to help.

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Causes and Cures for Household Dust

While you are unlikely to run around your house in an apron happily swiping at dust with a quaint feather dust-er, you probably do have to worry about dust removal. In fact, Americans spend over $10 billion a year on dust removal products. Add in vacuum cleaners, air filters, furnace filters and so forth and it is easy to see that household dust is big business.

But have you ever wondered what is in household dust? Is it just a nuisance or are there health concerns? When it comes to your home looking good and being clean dust is serious business.

The Dangers of Dust
Household dust contains all sorts of things from the outside atmosphere including dust from volcanic eruptions, forest fires, disintegrating meteors, silica, mica, clay and other minerals from wind erosion. Other constituents of dust come from inside the house including human and animal hairs, paper fiber, dead skin, deteriorating paint particles, ash and soot from fireplaces, candles, stoves and furnaces; sugars, starches, salt, crumbs and other food particles.

Some particles are of concern to humans, especially allergy sufferers: pollen, air pollution, pet dander, mold spores, dead insects, dust mites and their waste. There is growing concern about residues from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used both inside and outside our homes. Even roadway dust from automobile tires, brake linings and exhaust becomes household dust, and may contain carcinogens. There’s also dust from construction, demolition and deterioration of buildings.

The list goes on and on. In fact, you might just say that almost everything you look at is turning to dust. Need-less to say, there is no way to make your home completely dust-free. But preventing the buildup of dust will make your home a healthier place to live. The good news is that dust control doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just a matter of changing the way you do a few things.

Following these easy tips will improve your air quality significantly:

  • While it is nice to let the fresh air in, keep windows and doors closed when pollen is high or it is windy outside.
  • Brush pets outdoors away from the house and use a damp pet wipe to remove remaining dander be-fore allowing them back into the house.
  • When cleaning around the house, do your dusting with an electrostatic cloth, duster or damp wipe so you are picking up and removing dust, not just pushing it around.
  • When dusting, work from high to low areas and work your way out of the room. Wait about an hour to allow the particles to settle before vacuuming.
  • Vacuuming is a great way to remove dust. However, it is important that you use a vacuum cleaner that has an efficient filter system. A vacuum with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration improves air quality while you vacuum.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum your furniture too.
  • Install a high efficiency filter on your HVAC system and replace it monthly. For added protection, there are air purifiers designed to be attached to your duct system. Generally, these units require profession-al installation by a licensed contractor but they can be worth the cost if you have allergy sufferers in the home.
  • When dust becomes bonded to carpet and upholstery fibers by sticky or oily residues it’s time for professional cleaning. Call A Cleaner Carpet Cleaner every 6 to 12 months to keep dust from building up deep in your carpet fibers or your favorite chair.
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