Spring Cleaning – Living Areas

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Spring Cleaning

Have you started your Spring Cleaning yet?  Because we don’t have four seasons in South Florida only the calendar says it is Spring. We are about halfway through the dry season.  But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do that annual deep clean.

History of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning comes from a time when we relied more on wood, oil and coal burning sources for heat.  By the end of winter, after a home had been closed up for months in an effort to keep it warm the air was stuffy and most surfaces had accumulated ash and soot.  Warmer days meant a time to open the windows and doors and scrub away soot, ash, and dust.

You might not have a house full of ash and soot, but if you haven’t done a deep cleaning in awhile, there is no time like the present!  Don’t let the thought of a good Spring clean stop you before you get started.  While the idea is to clean every surface, that doesn’t mean you have to tackle the whole house at once.

For example, when I start a big cleaning job I break it down into rooms and tell myself I only need to do a few rooms at a time.  I generally start with the formal living and dining room and toss in a hallway or half-bath because these rooms are not filled with loads of “stuff” and I can finish them with minimal effort and get a feeling of accomplishment.

Develop a Spring Cleaning Strategy

It helps to have a plan of attack and assemble your cleaning supplies in advance.  I started last weekend and was able to accomplish quite a bit in just a few hours.  I always start at the top and work to the bottom.  This means first knocking down any cobwebs in those corners where the walls and ceilings meet before I clean the walls. Yes, that is right…I clean my walls at least once a year if not more often.

Because I have a Miele vacuum cleaner with an adjustable wand I have no problem reaching up the length of the wall to the 10′ ceiling.  I just put the smooth floor brush on the wand, fully extend it then start at the top and vacuum down.  If you have washable curtains of slip covers, this is a great time to get them in the wash.  I washed mine last week with a little De-Mite laundry additive to get rid of any dust mites that might have collected there.

Next tackle the woodwork. If you have crown molding, start there then work down to any chair rail and lastly baseboards.  Give all the furniture a good dusting and if knickknacks are washable, take them to the kitchen sink and give them a good washing.  Otherwise, dust with a damp cloth.  This is a great time to treat your upholstered furniture with a denaturing agent like ADMS Dust Mite Spray. After you vacuum the cushions and give them a flip, just spray lightly.

Finally clean the floors.  I used my Vapamore steam cleaner to clean my tile floors.  It does such a fantastic job of cleaning and brings out the natural shine in the tile.  I do confess that I covet the new Primo model.  I have the old style MR100 and I have to keep a towel handy to purge and it doesn’t have the nifty retractable cord.  I would say that when mine is ready for replacement I will get the Primo, but unfortunately I know that my steam cleaner is like my Miele vacuum cleaner and is so well made it won’t need replacing for many years to come.  If you have sealed wood or laminate floors, you can steam clean them as well.

If you have carpet, vacuum thoroughly, including the little cracks by the baseboard and then treat with X-Mite Powder or ADMS Dust Mite Spray.  If you use the X-Mite Powder, be sure to sweep it in thoroughly and then go on to cleaning the next room.  X-Mite needs to sit on the carpet for 3 hours to work properly.  If you are using the ADMS Spray, just lightly spray after you vacuum and call the room done.

You might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about the windows.  That is because I don’t try to Spring Clean inside and outside at the same time.  I used to clean windows when I cleaned a room, but I found that gathering the extra supplies and running in and out just seemed to make the process last longer.  Now I clean all the windows in one fell swoop.  That is usually after I have the majority of the home deep cleaned or I can sweet talk my dear husband into doing it for me.

I also find it helps to set a time limit.  For example, I will tell myself I am going to deep clean “insert name of room/rooms” and I am going to have it done in “x hours”.

Otherwise I will make myself crazy and a 2 to 3 hour project will consume 6 or 7 hours.

If you have Spring cleaning tips, I’d love to hear them….just post your comments.
Til Next Time!

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Over 60 and Having a Hard Time Breathing – May be Asthma

They say 60 is the new 40’s.

Ok, so why do many people over the age of 60 have a harder time catching their breath. One thought is they may have undiagnosed asthma.  In many cases it goes undiagnosed and untreated with older patients.

Senior with asthma

When we ran our service company we did work for a lot of retired and elderly people. During the conversation many would tell me that they just didn’t have the pep in their step as they did a year or two ago. They felt tired all the time, had a hard time breathing after a short walk and that cough would just not go away.  I would ask what the doctor told them and in most cases they said they had not gotten with them about. They thought is was just part of getting old.

One of the things I noticed is many of the ones that said they were tired all the time is that the house looked like they did not spend as much time housecleaning.  When people don’t feel good the last thing they want to do is dust and vacuum. The problem is, if they are suffering from allergies or asthma then having an allergen filled home will only make matters worse.

Dirty carpeting, dusty furniture, un-encased mattresses and high humidity are all things that increase the level of unhealthy allergens and can lead to allergy and asthma attacks.

In other homes that had a cleaning service, they used so much bleach and air fresheners it was hard to stay in the house. Using the wrong or too much of a cleaning product can cause some very serious problems for people. We have customers that have ended up in the hospital because the cleaning company used too much bleach in the shower.

Bottom line is you need to talk to your doctor. If you are having a hard time breathing, coughing or wheezing tell them you would like to be evaluated for asthma. They may have to give you a referral but it’s worth it to find out what is going on.

After all don’t you want to feel like you were 40 again.

Wishing you the best of health

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Can Allergies Cause Chest Pains?

Do you have pain in the chest this Valentine’s Day?  That feeling might not be a broken heart.  Chest pain is a symptom of allergies and allergy-related conditions.  Pain in the center of the chest that feels like squeezing along with pain in the arms, back, neck or jaw can be heart attack.  That’s when you need to call 911.  But if you have a persistent tightness in the larger chest area, it may be a condition related to allergies.

Allergy Induced Asthma

Asthma Cigarettes – Seriously?

Uncontrolled allergies can lead to asthma.  Asthma inflames your airways, makes them narrow,  and fills them with mucous.  This makes breathing difficult.  You may hear a wheezing noise as you breathe.  You may also cough.

During an asthma attack, your chest may feel tight.  Some people describe it as a feeling of something pressing down on the chest.

The repeated coughing and gasping for air associated with asthma can cause damage to the scalene muscles.  These muscles are located on the side of the neck and attach the neck vertebrae to the 1st and 2nd ribs. Scalene muscle damage causes pain in the upper chest that may or may not radiate down the arm.

Medication and allergy avoidance control asthma.  Talk to your doctor and if you have asthma, know how to prepare for an asthma attack.

Allergy Medication Side Effects

Thatpills for allergies pill you swallowed to relieve your allergy symptoms can cause chest pain.  If you take allergy medications that include the decongestant pseudoephedrine you know how well it works.

What you might not know is that tightness in the chest is one of the many side effects of pseudoephedrine.

Talk to your doctor about alternative medications that do not contain this ingredient if you are sensitive.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

People that are sensitive to dust and other inhaled allergens can experience Hypersensitivity pneumonitis if they do not control their exposure.  This can be caused by living or working in dusty areas and has even been associated with molds coming from the HVAC system.  The primary symptom is tightness and pain in the chest.  It is caused by repeatedly inhaling allergens and can cause serious scarring of the lungs.  Reversible if caught early; if not can lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Control Your Allergies!

If you have allergies, asthma, scalene muscle damage or hypersensitivity pneumonitis you know it isn’t a pain in the neck, it’s a pain in the chest and it can be serious.  Talk to your doctor and then talk to The Allergy Store about controlling your exposure to allergens.

Frequent washing, using allergen proof bedding, and allergen reducing products in your home can all reduce your exposure to allergens.  We can’t mend a broken heart, but we can control allergens.  We’d love to help you!

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

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