Don’t wait to Start your Spring Cleaning

We recently shared information on Spring cleaning.  Now I know that many of you are in areas where there is still snow on the ground and a chill in the air.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t start your Spring cleaning.  With a little careful planning, you can get a jump on those Spring chores before the tulips are in bloom.start Spring Cleaning Now

First, consult a reliable source for accurate weather in your area.  That could be your local TV station or one of the many weather websites (weatherunderground, accuweather, etc) and find a day that will be sunny and dry.  I did an entire Spring cleaning in a bedroom in our rental cabin yesterday; and the temperatures never climbed out of the 40’s.  However the air was dry and the skies were clear.

Spring Cleaning  The Dust Mite Covers

First, take all the washable bedding off of the bed.  This includes all of your zippered covers for your mattress, box spring, pillows, duvets, and featherbeds.  Get them in the wash with some De-Mite laundry additive and your favorite detergent.

Spring Cleaning with Steam!

For your feather beds, comforters and other items that you cannot wash or do not like to wash you can use a combination of steam and sunlight to get rid of allergens and freshen these items up.  The high temperature of the steam and the power of the ultraviolet light will reduce the allergens that you can’t wash away.  A Vapamore steamer is perfect for this chore.  use steam for spring cleaning

I set up two areas for steaming:  one inside where I could hang the items to easily steam both sides and a second outside where they could hang in the sun to dry.  I used the fabric/upholstery attachment on the steamer to steam both sides of my Downlight comforter and featherbed topper.  The same attachment worked great on pillows and my two comforters that are not washable.  After each item was steamed, it went outside to hang in the sun to dry.  In addition, I gave each a light mist of ADMS antiallergen spray.  I couldn’t hang the pillows, but I able to set them in chairs!

Spring Cleaning the Floors

After everything was steamed and hanging outside, it was time to tackle the contents of the room.  I vacuumed the floor to get up any loose dust then sprinkled down X-Mite Powder to freshen the carpet and neutralize allergens. The contents of the room (furniture, wall hangings, knick knacks, etc) were vacuumed with the round dusting brush attached to my Miele vacuum and then wiped down.  Hard surfaces, such as baseboards, painted walls, and furniture were steamed with the Vapamore before wiping down.

By the time I had this chore complete, the washable bedding was dry as were the steamed items that had been hanging or sitting out in the sunlight. The zippered covers went back on the mattress, comforter, featherbed, and pillows.  Fresh sheets on the bed and then it was time to vacuum up the X-Mite powder and the room was complete.

Spring cleaning on a less than Spring like day.  It can be done!

Till next time
Cheryl

 

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Start Spring Gardening Not Sneezing

Just because you suffer from seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot enjoy spring gardening and have a beautiful garden and yard. With some careful planning now, you can enjoy a spring and summer full of color without itchy, watery eyes and a runny or stuffy nose.

Gardening with AllergiesgardeningSeasonal allergies start in the spring with certain varieties of trees and continues on through the summer with grasses. The one thing that the allergy-causing plants have in common is that their pollen is spread through the air. If you keep this in mind, you can plan a spring and summer garden that is full of color but not air-borne pollen.

One way to bring color to your yard without pollen is to select plants that have multi-colored leaves. There are many varieties of coleus that sport colors ranging from pinks, to yellows, to reds along with splashes of green and white. Scarlett, Pastel, Pineapple and Coral Sunrise coleus are beautiful mixed with common impatiens.

Weigela will make a shrub with flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds. Because weigela relies on bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to spread its pollen, it is perfect for the low pollen garden. In general, any plant that attracts bees or butterflies will not cause a problem with your allergies.

This also means you can have hibiscus shrubs, buddleia, hydrangeas and roses in the yard and create an Eden for the pollinators without adding to your pollen problems. All of these plants rely on bees and butterflies to move pollen from one plant to another. 

All of your garden vegetables will be pollen allergy friendly. This includes the brassicas (cabbages, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) the nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes) and cucurbits (squashes, cucumbers, and melons). These plants all self-pollinate or utilize bees and other insects for pollination. This means that they do not produce air-borne pollen and makes them allergy friendly in the garden.

If you want a plant that not only looks god but taste good, try Opal basil. The leaves are a beautiful purple and a delight to the eye. It is slightly fragrant so it pleases the nose. The leaves are yummy in salads and Italian dishes. The plant does not produce wind-blown pollen. You are safe planting any member of the mint family. This includes the mints, the basils, the oreganos and marjorams. When these plants do go to flower, they produce waxy pollen that attracts bees. They do not produce air-borne pollen.

If you want to plant trees avoid elm and birch trees. Plant apple, pear, peach and dogwood trees for less air-borne pollen. If you want more succulent-type plants, use sedums such as golden sedum or dragon’s blood sedum. Hen and Chicks is a succulent with an interesting shape and color and will not produce pollen.

If you have mold allergies, be sure to wear a mask when turning over the soil or moving mulch, as spores might be disturbed.

With a little careful planning, have seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot have a colorful garden.

Till next time

Cheryl

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Do You Need a New Mattress if You Have Allergies?

One of the greatest customer service challenges we face regularly is making sure that a new dust mite proof zippered cover arrives on the same day as a customer’s new mattress.  Everyone wants the guys delivering the mattress to put the new dust mite mattress cover on their new mattress.  Great idea and we are always happy to accommodate.  But it did get me thinking, “Why are so many people with dust mite allergies buying a new mattress?”  After doing a little research, it turns out that there is some misunderstanding going around about mattresses, pillows, and dust mites.
 
It is true that a sizable amount of an old mattress’s weight is due to the collection of dead skin particles, dust mites (living and dead), and dust mite feces.  However, if you get a new mattress, within 6 months you will have already started a new collection of these particles.  I am sure that the mattress salesmen of the world would like you to buy a new mattress every 6 months, but that really isn’t practical now is it?
 
The truth is whether you have allergies or not, you should follow the advice of Consumer Reports and only replace a mattress when it no longer provides the comfort or support you need to get a good night’s rest.  If you have dust mite allergies, the most important thing you can do for your mattress is encase it in a zippered mattress dust mite proof encasing.  This is true of a mattress that is 10 years old and it is true of a mattress that is 10 days old.
 
Don’t fall for claims made by manufacturers of latex, foam, and wool mattresses that their products do not need a dust mite mattress cover.  It is true that the lanolin in wool repels dust mites, but it is also true that the very same wool will capture and hold all the allergens to which it is exposed.  Latex and memory foam are dense, but not so dense that they don’t harbor mites and other allergens.
 
Also, every so often you really should clean your mattress (yes, even if you have a cover on it). Your mattress influences your health beyond just comfort and support.
 
If you’re not familiar with the ways on how to clean and maintain your mattress, then you’ll love this infographic from ASleepyWolf.Com.  It is an informative guide on mattress care!
 
Mattress Care 101: The Ultimate Guide For An Ageing Mattress 2019
(Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf. ” I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they needed to experience better sleep and maintain their health.” Please check out her website ASleepyWolf.com to learn more about improving your sleep.)
 
I slept on an old soft-sided waterbed for many years. You might think that dust mites can’t live in a waterbed.  Wrong! The padded foam that encapsulates the water cells is a perfect place to capture dust mite allergens.  So even though I could not put a zippered dust mite cover on my bed, I had a fitted style cover.
 
The people that sell pillows would like you to buy new pillows every 2 years.  I sell pillows and I would love to sell you new pillows all the time as well.  However, I will be honest and tell you that you should buy a new pillow when your old one is no longer comfortable.  If you have dust mite allergies, just make sure you have a dust mite proof cover on the pillow.
 

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