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How to Combat Dust Mites in Your Home

With spring right around the corner, you might be getting ready to start a deep cleaning of your home. This is an important step to get your year off on the right foot and ensure that your home is clean and healthy for the coming months. One of the most issues in homes is the dust mite, and they can be particularly sneaky about finding their way into your home and staying there despite your cleaning attempts. Let’s look at these pests and you can best combat them! What are dust mites? You might hear the phrase “dust mites” and just envision the creatures in question as nothing more than dust particles. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, dust mites are actually related to spiders! They’re microscopic arthropods, which means that you won’t see them with the naked eye, but they do have eight legs and a rounded body just like larger arachnids. Because they’re so tiny, however, it can be especially difficult to locate them and ensure that you ride your home of them for good. How do dust mites get inside? How can you stop dust mites from entering your home? Well, you might not like the answer. The truth is that dust mites thrive inside your house. That means that they’re born there and have entire colonies set up. Unlike something that might crawl underneath your door every now and then, in other words, dust mites are pretty much always present in homes. They’re quick to multiply and difficult to kill, too, so your efforts are best spent keeping their presence to an absolute minimum....

Clean Up Your Cleaning Products With These Greener Options

  Keeping a clean house is a priority for most people. Uncluttered homes improve our mood, lower risk of injury, and give us an overall feeling of greater productivity. We are more likely to invite friends and family into our homes, and maintaining a clean house also keeps us on our toes, providing a bit of at-home exercise on a daily or weekly basis. Then, there are the more pertinent reasons to maintain a clean house. By eliminating dust and other irritants in the air, we reduce allergies. Regularly cleaning surfaces kill germs that can cause a host of illnesses. Mold growth is prevented by keeping our bathrooms and appliances clean. Plus, cleanliness keeps the pests away. Spring will be here before you know it. In preparing to usher in a sunnier, warmer season, many people find themselves energized and ready to get their houses in order. Previously, we shared some tips you can employ as you prepare to undertake the seemingly monumental task of spring cleaning. One area to pay special attention to when cleaning your home is your carpet. Dirt, dander and other particles collect quickly, so vacuuming frequently is important. It also helps to spot clean spills and accidents that wind up on the floor as they happen. Steam cleaning the carpet is also a good way to get your carpets in healthy shape, assuming you have checked to make sure the cleaner being sprayed by the machine is eco-friendly. Not to mention, a good shampoo can really refresh the look of the whole room. One definite solution to really get the grit out is to...

5 Steps to Removing Toxic Chemicals from Your Home

Toxic Chemicals in Your Home?! No one wants to live in a toxic cesspool. News flash: Your house is a toxic cesspool. Well, at least more than you realize. We bring harmful chemicals—like formaldehyde, asbestos, flame retardants and BPA—into our homes every day in the form of paper products, cleaning products, paint and stuff on the bottom of our shoes. Allergens and dust can also infiltrate our personal air space through our vents or grow in warm places like couches or mattresses. It is impossible to eliminate every bad chemical, but we can do a lot if we try. Here are five ways to eliminate toxins from your home: Take Off Your Shoes We track in so much toxic stuff from outside on the bottom of our shoes—pesticides, herbicides, lead, dust and bacteria like E.Coli. When Mom yells at you to get your shoes off the couch, she’s not overreacting. It’s gross! The low-tech solution? Take off your shoes before you come into the house. Leaving shoes outside is a way of life in places like Japan, China, South Korea and the Muslim world. Buy some house slippers for everyone and cordially asked everyone to remove their shoes before they breach your threshold. Replace the carpet Carpets are decorative pollutant traps. Everything gets stuck up in there—dust mites, pet dander, allergens left behind by cockroaches, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. Replacing the carpet can give you a fresh start. I more affordable option would be to have the carpets professionally cleaned by a reputabled carpet cleaning company.  If you opt to have them replaced you’ll want them...

How a Clean and Welcoming Home Office Sets You Up for Success

  With traditional small businesses, one of the biggest costs is your office or retail location. Thankfully, online tools make starting a home-based business a great alternative these days. Even when your clientele needs to visit, having a home office keeps your costs down and allows you to show off what makes you unique. Being home-based requires careful planning to make sure your office creates the right impression and is the productive space you need to succeed. Getting Started  The reality of running a home-based business is that you can’t simply wait for clients to find you, which means that developing a solid marketing strategy is key early on. If you already have an idea of the business you want to start, do a little market research next to see how similar businesses fare in your area. Market research will also help you become familiar with your customer base and the best way to reach them. Every business sector has its own unique requirements, and some ideas will require a more thorough business plan than others. In general, though, Money Crashers recommends skipping the traditional business plan template and instead, after you conduct market research, focus most of your planning energy on developing a marketing strategy. Old-fashioned word-of-mouth is often the best place to start. Get in touch with people who are already on your contact list and get out in your community to meet new people. To truly branch out, you want to think about creating a solid web presence. It’s important to start marketing in spaces where your clientele spends a lot of time, such as Instagram....

4 Ways to Save Your Children from Dangerous In-Home Air Quality

While we like to think of home as a place of coziness and warmth, the air in your house could harbor allergens, pollutants and tiny organisms such as mold or mites.  Those pesky little critters can lead to a number of health issues in your kids.  Here is how to identify areas of potential trouble, and what you can do about them. Why does air quality matter?  While you may picture your home as a refuge from pollens, pollutants and other airborne debris, your house actually can be a danger zone when it comes to air quality.  As Washington Post explains, the air in your home can be a haven for dander, mites, pollens, bacteria, molds, and “volatile organic compounds, creating a hostile environment for the sensitive.”  Even if nobody in your family appears to suffer with allergies, subjecting everyone’s immune systems to those tiny irritants can leave bodies at higher risk for trouble. According to Merck Manual, hygiene is the first defense against common pulmonary illnesses in children, such as colds and influenza.  Hygiene is more than just washing hands.  Poor air quality can contribute to trouble, even causing symptoms of asthma in children.  Watch for signs of a sore throat, runny nose or wheezing, and see a physician if your child is experiencing any symptoms.  In the meantime, take the following steps to prevent illnesses by improving your home’s air quality. Remove sources.  Eliminating tiny contaminants in your home can be a boon to air quality.  Those mites, bacteria, pollens and all their ugly little friends can be hiding in your carpeting, window coverings, stuffed toys and upholstery. ...

What’s Hiding In Your Carpet?

So What’s Hiding In Your Carpet? Dirt and Soil The average U.S. home can accumulate up to 40 pounds of dust per year. Dirt and soil are easily tracked in from outside and make their way into your carpet. Vacuuming regularly can eliminate as much as 85% of dirt and soil found in carpet. Pet Hair, Dander and Skin Flakes The average person sheds 1.5 million skin flakes per day. Microscopic insects (such as fleas, ticks or mites) feed on skin flakes or dander. Regular vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dead skin cells and pet hair that have fallen into your carpet. Bugs Your carpet also harbors a number of species of bed bugs, fleas and dust mites. Mites can cause allergies through their molted skin, waste and through the mites themselves. Mildew, Mold and Other Bacteria Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there! Pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus can hide in carpet fibers and cause illness. Mold or mildew can also thrive in a warm, wet environment. Keeping carpet dry will help prevent the formation of mold or mildew. Odors Toxic substances from cigarette smoke can make their way into carpet fibers. Pet urine and spilled food or drink can also cause odors to form in your carpet if not cleaned immediately and properly. Food and Drinks Spilled food or drink may not only leave stains but also may serve as a food source for bacteria and organisms. To prevent permanent stains or odors from forming, the key is to act quickly! Absorb any spilled liquids by blotting. Then...