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Cleaning for the Holidays (Part II)

Remove Dust from Wall and Baseboard

Removing dust from your wall and baseboard is important when adding Christmas decorations and lights around your home. A good option is to fill a bucket with water with a little bit of dish soap and wipe the walls and baseboard. For hard to reach areas on the walls, the easiest method is to get a microfiber cloth with an extension and use as if you were wiping the floors with a mope.

Tidy up Your Staircase

Looping your staircase with Christmas garland is a nice holiday touch to the season. Before you can start ornamenting the staircase, start vacuuming from the top of the step all the way to the bottom. For non-carpet stairs, you will need to mope after vacuuming. To remove dust, you can either use a dust broom or microfiber cloth.

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Part II Answers to Common Bedbugs Question

How do I know if I have bedbugs?

Bedbugs are not easy to spot since they are very small and hide away in plain sight. You can look for signs of droppings that look like tiny black dots or red smears around the bed frame, headboard, mattress, pillows and around the bed. Surprisingly, bedbugs can attach to clothing so it’s best to check your closet as well. The biggest giveaway of bedbugs is feeling itchy around your body which leads to the second question.

Do bedbugs bite?

The answer is yes. Bedbugs are active at night and usually bite people while they are asleep because the bugs feed on blood as their only source of nutrition. For many people, a bite can inflict a burning sensation and then develops red bumps, known as papules or wheals (rash). It is important to keep the bites clean and not to scratch because it can lead to secondary infection. Individuals with weak immune systems, children and elderly may develop secondary infection that can cause further swelling and bleeding. Most bites heal within one to two weeks of appearing or longer.

How do I get rid of bedbugs?

The best way to get rid of bedbugs is to call in the professionals. Pest control companies do a good job of inspecting and treating them. The progress of the treatment may be intensive and you may be asked to throw away furniture and mattress from your home. The disadvantage of calling in a professional is initially the cost but it may be the safest and may actually save you more money.

 

Source:

Bed Bugs. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/bedbugs-infestation#1

When Bed Bugs Bite. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/bed-bug-bites#locating-bedbugs

Bed Bug Extermination Cost: Inspection and Treatment Costs. (2018). Retrieved from https://pestkilled.com/bed-bug-extermination-costs/

Bed Bug Bites. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.orkin.com/other/bed-bugs/bedbug-bites/

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.terminix.com/blog/bug-facts/how-long-do-bed-bug-bites-last/

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Part I: Answers to Common Bedbugs Question

What are bedbugs?

Bedbugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animal while they sleep. These little critters are nocturnally active and they can release unpleasant odors when disturbed. Even though bedbugs do not carry diseases, they can cause itchiness and allergic reactions to humans. The damage that bedbugs inflict is largely psychological since getting rid of them is difficult. Besides, who wants bedbugs on their mattress.

What do bedbugs look like?

Most bedbugs are the size of an apple seed or small as a head of a pin. When fed, they are round and reddish otherwise flattened and brown. Looking for bedbugs itself is difficult, but you can look for trails of fecal spots to detect bedbug’s infestation.

Is there a chance that I can bring bedbugs home?

The answer is yes. A good example is traveling far away from home or sleeping at a friend’s house across the street can seem harmless but your designated sleeping area might be bug-infested.  We tend to leave dirty laundry around the room and pack our dirty clothes into our luggage for convenience. According to The Scientific Reports, there is twice as many bugs that get attracted to dirty clothes as to clean ones. Bedbugs can easily climb onto your clothes and stow away in your laundry and luggage where it gets the chance to live in your home. It can be the other way around where your guests are visiting and may be carrying bedbugs in their luggage that can hop onto your bed.  

 

Sources:

Shultz, David. Bed bugs love your stinky laundry. Here’s how to keep them away. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/bed-bugs-love-your-stinky-laundry-here-s-how-keep-them-away/

Wong, Kate. Bed Bug Confidential: An Expert Explains How to Defend against the Dreaded Pests. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bed-bug-expert-explains-defend-yourself/

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2 Ways to Use Lemon on Your Kitchen

Lemons are a great way to add flavor into cooking such as a marinade for chicken or fish to tenderize the protein. Lemons are also used for drinks such as the classic ice lemonade and the lemon drop cocktail. Many of us do not know that lemons are an excellent cleaning agent, especially in the kitchen. The acidity of the lemon can help break down difficult stains and eliminate odors. These are the 2 ways to use lemon on your kitchen.

#1: Microwave

The microwave is a convenient tool to warm up food. Unfortunately, some food containing fish, garlic and other smelly dishes can leave a stinky odor in the microwave. Instead of cleaning your microwave with soap and water which can still leave odors behind, why not try a cup of water with lemon. First, you take a cup of water and squeeze one lemon into the cup and drop the lemon rinds in it. Then, microwave the cup with lemon for 3 minutes or until you see it start to boil. Do not touch your microwave for 5 minutes to help loosen up the food particles so it can easily be cleaned off. Lastly, open the microwave door to remove the cup and start wiping the insides. This not only will clean your microwave but also leave a pleasant smell.

#2: Cutting Board

How many times have we thoroughly cleaned our chopping boards?  The conventional way of cleaning it is by using soap and water. However, this old school way of cleaning  still leaves an unpleasant smell and stain. The smell can be due to weeks of chopping onion, garlic and other stinky ingredients. One way to clean your chopping board is by scrubbing it with salt then squeezing half a lemon on to the board evenly. The salt helps to limit bacterial growth and the lemon removes stains and odor.  Let the board sit for 5 minutes and then rinse it with water. This can be done once a week or when you start smelling a slight odor coming from your cutting board.

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The Most Contaminated Item in Your Home You Should Be Aware Of

Germs and viruses are the last guests we want to invite to our home. Many people believe that the most contaminated items in their home is in their bathroom but that’s a common misconception. According to the National Sanitation Foundation International, the areas in which food is prepared contains more bacteria and fecal contamination than any other places in the home. The bacteria identified were Salmonella and E-coli which is known to cause people to get really sick and in extreme cases, it can be fatal. Here is the most contaminated items in your home you should be aware of:

Sponges and Rags

According to research from NSF International, high microbial concentrations was found in the dish sponges and rags. The high amount of bacteria on sponges and rags is due to our failure to disinfect it after each use. Typically to clean a spill, we get our sponges or rags and wipe it down until it dries out or out of sight. Then we rinse the dirty rags or sponges with water. This is enough for us to think that it is ready for the next wipe but the bacteria from the last spill is still thriving on sponges and rags. This creates a spread of bacteria around the surfaces of our homes. To reduce bacteria and keep our sponges and rags clean, we should disinfect our sponges and rags after each use. There are two different ways to clean sponges and rags separately.

The first way to disinfect sponges is to mix 1/2 cup of bleach in 3 litres of water and let it soak for 5 minutes. Afterwards, we can rinse the sponge under water and let it air dry. The second method is to microwave the sponge that has been saturated with water for 1-2 minutes.

Disinfecting rags is similar to sponges but it takes a little longer. The best way is to put the rags in the laundry machine and when it’s time to dry, put the dryer on high heat option. Another method is to boil the rags for 15 minutes and air dry after.

Lastly, remember to throw away sponges and rags that are worn out after 2-3 weeks.

 

Source:

Germiest Items in the Home. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/studies-surveys-infographics/germ-studies/germiest-items-home

 

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3 Reasons Why You Should Wash Your Bed Sheets Every 2 Weeks

The bed is a wonderful place that can get ugly really fast. People spend a large chunk of their day getting 8 hours of sleep and forget that there are a few reasons why you should clean your bed sheets every 2 weeks.

Item #1: Sweat

It is natural for the human body to sweat while sleeping in the middle of the night and a buildup of sweat can leave a nasty stain and an unpleasant smell on your bed. If you find that there is excessive sweating, a good solution would be to set an optimal temperature on your thermostat and look into cooling gel memory foam pillows. If that doesn’t do the trick, it could be due to your mattress which you can easily replace.

Item #2: Food

Let’s be honest, some of you find that eating in bed is comforting. It’s nice to sit on the bed with a slice of pizza while watching a movie. Unfortunately, food on the bed can leave crumbs and these crumbs attract bed bugs. Other than being a nuisance, studies have shown that bed bugs might be able to host and transmit Chagas Disease (chronic heart disease).

Item #3: Dust Mites and Germs

Dust Mites are microscopic organisms that feed off our dead skin cells. Contagious germs from body fluids and dropping such as E.coli can attract dust mites and infect the person sleeping next to you. It is inevitable that you will shed off dead skin cells while sleeping and if you do not maintain your sleeping area you could be putting yourself at risk of infections and viruses such as pneumonia.

Overall: the proper way to clean your bed sheets and pillow cases is to wash it at a temperature of 60 degrees. It’s really that simple and easy to keep your bed clean for your next wonderful dream.

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3 Cleaning Supplies to Keep in Each Room of Your Home

Cleaning each room can be difficult sometimes and no one likes spending time to clean. On top of that, there are more important priorities than cleaning. Cleaning and organizing one room may be manageable for the average working person but realistically there are more than one room at home that needs cleaning. These 3 cleaning supplies will help you manage each room.

Tip #1: Spray Bottle with Solution

Start with finding a simple spray bottle that’s neither bulky nor heavy. Keep the spray bottle in each room be it your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or dining room. Keep it where you can easily access it but away from children. The spray bottle is excellent for cleaning counter tops, tables and walls. The spray bottle is handy and you can always refill the bottle with a simple solution of vinegar, baking soda and water.

Tip #2: Cleaning Wipes

Picture this scenario: Sitting on your desk comfortably in your room, you see dust forming on your desk but the storage room is too far. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, cleaning wipes is a great solution for you. Having a compact container with wipes will leave you no excuse not to clean your desk. The cleaning wipes are also handy when cleaning spills and way easier than running to the nearest faucet for a wet paper towel.

Tip #3: Hand Sanitizer

Let’s admit it, we forget to wash our hands sometimes. Hand sanitizer may be the most important item you can put in each room of your home. You may not notice that touching keyboards, phone and desk can spread bacteria and make you and your loved ones sick. Hand sanitizers are great at decreasing the spread of most bacteria and viruses upon contact. This doesn’t mean that it should replace water and soap but having a bottle of hand sanitizer in each room is a great reminder of cleanliness.

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