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Tag Archive | "spring cleaning"

Seven steps to allergy relief with spring cleaning


DIG-Seven-steps(BPT) – Longing for allergy relief? To stop the endless cycle of sniffles, sneezes and wheezes, it’s time to ready your vacuum and rubber gloves. Spring cleaning helps eliminate allergens so you can relax, breathe easy and enjoy the season.

“People who suffer from allergies may not realize there’s a direct connection between cleaning your home and reducing allergy symptoms,” says allergist Bryan Martin, DO, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI.) “The more you can rid your home of dust mites, mold, cockroaches and pet dander, the easier you’ll breathe.”

ACAAI recommends seven spring cleaning steps to remove allergens in the home and avoid accidentally letting more in.

Step 1: To sleep, perchance to dream—and  breathe.

Start in the bedroom where you spend eight to 10 hours a day. Dust mites can flourish during cold, dreary months, so wash your sheets and comforter regularly. Most mites die by drowning, but if you want to use hot water (which will kill slightly more mites) don’t use water that’s over 120 F because it can scald.

Remember to also wash decorative pillows. Finish by adding allergy-proof casings to the mattress, box spring and pillows. Keep pets out of the bedroom as their dander can cause symptoms to flare.

Step 2: Gaze out, but don’t open.

Window treatments are a magnet for dust and allergens. Pull them down and dry clean, or vacuum each thoroughly. Don’t forget to vacuum blinds and windowsills as well. Tempted to open the windows to let the spring breeze in? Don’t. Unwanted pollen can enter your home and spread everywhere.

Step 3: When the dust settles, wipe it off.

Suit up to win the war on dust by wearing protective gloves and a face mask so you don’t breathe in microscopic mold spores. Next, ditch cotton cloths and feather dusters that kick up allergens, and instead use microfiber cleaning cloths which trap and remove triggers. Wipe down all surfaces including picture frames, knickknacks, plant saucers and ceiling fans.

Step 4: Nature abhors a vacuum. You shouldn’t.

Move all furniture, and vacuum the dust and dander that collects underneath. Use a cyclonic vacuum, which spins dust and dirt away from the floor, or a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Additionally, clean vents and return registers to limit dust recirculating. Consider shampooing carpets to remove deeply embedded allergens.

Step 5: Scrub-a-dub the mold.

In bathrooms, basements and tiled spaces, scrub any visible mold and mildew from surfaces with bleach, or borax mixed with water, then dry completely. The key to reducing mold is moisture control, so use bathroom fans and clean any standing water immediately. You can also help ward off mold by keeping home humidity below 50 percent.

Step 6: Change is good—for filters.

Keep the air that circulates through your home’s ventilation system clean by using filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Change the filter at the change of every season, or every three months. (Set a calendar reminder to remember). Additionally, change filters in HEPA appliances. This helps eliminate allergens, and prohibits mold growth.

Step 7: Get out! And about.

Check your home’s exterior for any concerns that may have emerged due to cold weather. Chipped paint, roof damage or cracked siding can lead to mold problems. Make repairs as necessary.

These seven spring cleaning steps may take a few weekends to complete, but they’ll help reduce allergens all season long. For more information, or to find an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

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Five essential spring home improvement projects


SPR-Five-essential-home-improvement-projects

(BPT) – The arrival of spring means new beginnings and a fresh chance to tackle those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off for the last several months. Get your home ready for summer and make it more beautiful, efficient and functional than ever with these five seasonal projects.

  1. Keep, donate or trash. Your first step is to declutter the home. Separate items into three categories: keep, donate or trash. Here’s a tip: if you haven’t used something in the last year, chances are you can get rid of it. Items such as unwanted electronics, housewares and gently used clothing can be donated to charity. For everything else, check with your local recycling program before putting anything in the garbage.
  2. Get serious about spring cleaning. Give your home a fresh start by wiping down windows, countertops, electronics, appliances, doorknobs, furniture, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Also, be sure to mop floors and vacuum carpet. Never cleaned windows before? Find out how with our free guide.
  3. Bring your deck back to life. We think winter is hard on us, but just imagine how hard it is on our decks, which weather the bitter cold temperatures, snow and ice all season long. Take a close look at your deck and check for warped, loose or splintered boards. Sweep away anything that may have fallen between the cracks, make any needed repairs, scrub or power wash, and restain if necessary.
  4. Do a color refresh. Whether you’re adding a fresh coat of paint to your interior or exterior walls, or completely changing the colors of your home, spring is the perfect time to renew your home’s look. One 2016 color trend: bold entry doors like those from Pella. And pick out your new, colorful front door.
  5. Bloom where you are planted. Whether you are a homeowner, renter or sublessee, celebrate the end of winter by creating spaces for bright flowers and making the most of your garden. Apartment dwellers, bring the outdoors in with hanging baskets, potted plants or herbs.

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“Spring Cleaning in Seven Days” program


North Kent Community Services (NKCS) wants to make your spring cleaning easy by providing you a schedule of what to clean (and what to donate). For seven days, starting on Monday, April 11, NKCS will post on its website (nkcs.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/NorthKentCommunityServices) an easy project to help you tackle your spring cleaning. Some examples are:

Day 1: While you’re getting dressed this morning, take 10-15 minutes to pull out the items you haven’t worn in the last six months. Torn, ripped or stained? No problem! NKCS will take clean clothing in any condition.

Day 6: Going out to enjoy the warm weather? Spend a few minutes organizing your golf clubs, fishing poles, tennis rackets, and skateboards. Did you find something that the kids (or you) aren’t using? Bring it to NKCS; the donation area is attended seven days a week.

Get the kids involved! Cleaning should be a fun, family activity. Turn up some music, open the windows, and celebrate that spring is finally here. Don’t forget to check the NKCS website and Facebook page daily.

 

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Top 10 most often forgotten spring cleaning steps


SPR-Top-10-most-forgotten-spring-cleaning-steps

(BPT) – Spring is a great time to clear out the old, bring in the new and welcome a fresh start. From coast to coast, consumers are eager to usher in new home decor and air out spring attire; however, the areas of one’s home that are the hardest hit during the winter months – floors and carpets – are often overlooked.

If you’re thinking of skipping your carpet cleaning for a vacuum session, think again. According to the homecare experts at BISSELL, vacuums, even the best ones, simply can’t reach the deeply imbedded dirt within your carpet’s fibers. The carpet cleaning process is engineered to reach the dirt and allergens vacuums leave behind. Incidentally, although carpet cleaning does so much more than vacuuming, the actual process itself is about as easy as vacuuming.

“Deep cleaning is a must for washing the winter out during spring cleaning. After cleaning their carpets, people are often amazed by what they’ve pulled out of their carpets and how different their carpets look – it can be a very eye-opening, yet satisfying experience,” says Eric Hansen, chief chemist at BISSELL.

Get out the serious cleaning supplies, stretch your scrubbing muscles and tackle those hard-to-reach places you ignore most of the year so you can be the envy of all your houseguests. Be sure to review the top 10 spring cleaning steps that often fall to the wayside:

1. Safety first: Don’t forget to change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; and inspect all light fixtures for damaged wires or faulty connections. Remove and wash light fixtures if necessary.

2. Wash the washing machine: Run an empty load, one cycle filled with 4 cups of bleach, the other with 4 cups of distilled white vinegar.

3. Dust refrigerator coils: Want to lower your energy bill and extend the life of your fridge? Always unplug your refrigerator before dusting the refrigerator’s coils.

4. Clean out your cabinets: Wipe down the inside and outside of medicine and linen cabinets. Throw away expired products, including medicine, makeup and hair products. Update your first aid kit.

5. Deep clean carpets and rugs: Vacuum, spot treat and deep clean your carpets and rugs. Liquid solutions such as the BISSELL Professional Deep Cleaning with Febreze Formula contains Scotchgard protection that can be used with any BISSELL deep cleaner. It works by placing a barrier on the surface of carpet fibers to not only deep clean and freshen, but also protect against future stains.

6. Sanitize children’s and pets’ toys: Toys can carry harmful bacteria on their surfaces. After cleaning toys with warm water and a mild detergent, sanitize plastic toys by soaking them in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Donate or discard toys where needed.

7. Breathe easy: Clean your air vents and change your furnace filters if necessary.

8. Let in more light: Cleaning blinds can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Mix equal parts of warm water and distilled white vinegar in a bowl. Slip a sock on your hand and dip the sock into the water and vinegar mixture. Wipe down each individual slat and rinse sock after every few slats.

9. Dust from high to low: Dust the ceiling, corners of walls, ceiling fan and light fixtures. Use a lint roller to easily clean dust off your lampshade.

10. Wash your windows: After the direct sunlight has subsided, remove your window’s screens and dust with a soft-bristle brush. Spray on your favorite window cleaning solution and wipe down with a lint-free cloth.

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Spring (time) cleaning


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.orghttp://craigtowens.com

 

 

 

Now that it appears that—let’s cross our fingers—Spring has finally sprung, many people will be throwing open the windows, airing out the house, and cleaning up some things that have accumulated over the long, icy winter. Ah, yes, the annual rites of spring cleaning!

One place that lots of things accumulate is our schedule. Between sports schedules, church activities, music lessons, grocery store trips, making meals, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, and so many other things, our schedules are packed chockfull.

In our relationships love is typically spelled “t-i-m-e.” So if you don’t have enough t-i-m-e to express your love, perhaps some spring cleaning is needed.

A few things to remember:

(1) Time is finite. You cannot call a time-out, you cannot bank up some time for another day, you cannot slow down the clock. Once you commit to something, that time is gone forever.

(2) It’s okay to say “No.” A friend of mine recently shared this thought: Whenever you say “Yes” to anything, there is less of you and your time for something else. So make sure your “Yes” is worth the “less.” If the “less” is t-i-m-e with your loved ones, please say a guilt-free “No, thank you.”

(3) Make your “Yes” mean yes. If you do decide to commit to something, then honor your commitment. Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). And wise King Solomon warned, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

(4) Time is your servant, not the other way around. Make your time work for you; don’t be a slave to the clock. A good indication that you’re the slave and not the master is that feeling like you are always running late for everything. Cut out some non-essentials like TV time or countless Facebook hours so you can make t-i-m-e for what’s really important.

Happy Spring (time) Cleaning!

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Simple tricks to refresh your home


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) Staying indoors so much during the winter months can create clutter and mess around the house. But you don’t have to wait until spring to give your house a good spring cleaning, and you don’t have to do an extreme makeover. You can wake up and spruce up a tired-looking home with a few simple cleaning and organizing routines.

Here are some tips and tricks for making your home spring-clean right now, one room at a time.

 

Living Room

• Window blinds collect dust and dust mites all winter. To clean plastic blinds, add Greased Lightning to tub water. Remove blinds and let them soak in the tub. Clean them with a well-bristled brush, then let them dry and rehang them.

• Remove fabric window coverings and clean as needed. Use a feather duster around window frames to remove cobwebs and dust.

• Freshen up carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them, letting it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuuming.

• Carefully wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades, which provide a perfect, level surface for dust to collect.

 

Kitchen

• Clean out the refrigerator and freezer, making sure to get rid of all expired products and old leftovers. Remove shelving and drawers and wipe them down using mild soapy water.

• Tackle your oven, inside and out. If your oven is self-cleaning, set it in the self-cleaning mode. Consult your manual for an estimated cleaning time. Also, make your stovetop and hood shine like new with a quick wipe from a sponge sprayed with Greased Lightning. If your oven is not a self-cleaning appliance, use the cleaning solution to wipe away baked on grease and grime. Remember to make sure the oven is cool before applying the solution.

• Don’t forget to clean your dishwasher, too. Remove trapped food particles from the bottom and around any moving parts. Pour a cup of vinegar into the empty dishwasher and run it to clean the inside.

• Wipe down the outside of your cabinets, especially around the stove area.

• Vacuum and mop the floors, and launder any area rugs.

 

Bedrooms

• Launder bed linens — including dust ruffles, bedspreads and pillow shams.

• Move furniture around so you can vacuum underneath and get rid of any dust bunnies that might have accumulated. While you’re at it, try a new furniture arrangement to freshen up the look of the room.

• Now’s a great time to clean out clothes closets. Empty closets to vacuum and dust inside. Then, before putting clothes back, sort through them and get rid of those items that no longer fit or that you don’t wear anymore. You can donate them to a local charity.

• Clean blinds, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Wipe smudges off of light switch covers and door frames, too.

 

Bathroom

• Wipe down and disinfect all fixtures. Remember lighting fixtures, too. Carefully remove glass fixtures and clean with warm, soapy water. Let them dry thoroughly before reattaching.

• Sort through products and discard or recycle old bottles and containers. Get rid of excess clutter in your bathroom cabinets. Remove items from the medicine cabinet and wipe down all surfaces.

• You can use Greased Lightning to remove grease, grime, mildew stains and soap scum from your bathroom surfaces, including tubs, sinks, toilets, counters and baseboards.

 

To get additional tips to spruce up your home, as well as coupons from Greased Lightning, Like them on Facebook, or visit www.glcleans.com.

 

 

Fresh Ideas for Cleaning

 

Furniture Moving Trick

When you need to move heavy pieces of furniture across uncarpeted floors, fold two clean towels, put one under each end of the furniture piece, then slide it across the floor.

 

Clean Lampshades

Use an adhesive lint roller to get the dust off of fabric lampshades.

 

Use Smart Cleaners

You don’t need a separate cleaning product for every room in the house. The pros use a few good, general cleaners to tackle multiple types of messes. Learn more about the Greased Lightning family of products at www.glcleans.com.

 

Keep Your Tools Handy

Get a plastic tote tray to carry with you from room to room. Load it with your cleaners, rags, rubber gloves, dusters and a couple of extra trash bags. You’ll be surprised at how much faster the cleaning goes when everything is right where you need it.

 

 

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Spring cleaning:


Getting your home ready for the season

(ARA) – A great clean looks as good as it feels, and with warmer weather right around the corner, there’s nothing better than the feeling that your home is free of dirt, dust and grime. When you’re a busy mom, keeping your house clean can seem like a never-ending battle. Arm yourself with the right mindset and a few simple tips to conquer your cleaning challenges.
Jessica Denay, author of “The Hot Mom Handbook” series has partnered with Swiffer to offer these tips to help keep your home clean while also balancing work and family:
* Don’t try to do everything at once. Divide chores into daily, weekly, monthly and even seasonal tasks. Do the dishes daily, and try to throw out old food in your fridge as part of your weekly tasks. With spring upon us, dust build-up will be your nemesis. By dedicating certain days this spring to seasonal chores like dusting ceiling fans or sweeping out the fireplace, you can help better manage the upkeep of your home and do deep cleans less often.
* Know when to call it a day. It’s easier to keep your home clean and keep a positive mindset if you set aside a few minutes each day to clean. If you have an overwhelming task list, attack each task in order of importance and get to the last ones on your list as time allows. Don’t let cleaning consume a whole day or weekend.
* Don’t waste time. Efficiency makes a huge difference. “Always clean from the top and work your way down, otherwise you’ll be cleaning in circles,” says Denay. It helps to focus on one area of the house at a time. Keeping all your cleaning supplies in a caddy can also prevent extra trips to retrieve items you might have forgotten or couldn’t carry. Find shortcuts. Use products that can work on multiple messes.
* Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s completely possible to maintain the appearance of a clean home even if the most out-of-the-way places aren’t cleaned regularly. Perception is reality and even if that area behind your fridge is a little dusty, nobody will notice. Concentrate on the open areas of your home that see a lot of traffic. If these areas are clean, your home will feel spotless and comfortable.
Following these tips will allow you to balance chores amongst free time. With just a little daily attention, you can make cleaning seem like less of a chore and more like a refreshing activity. “Having a sparkling clean home gives me peace of mind and the actual cleaning process makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself and my family,” says Denay.

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