04 February 2010

Clean Hidden Areas of Your Home, Avoid Allergy Causing Mold and Mildew

From Denny: This is a fun segment from author Julie Edelman of "The Accidental Housewife." She addresses many hidden and often overlooked areas of the home that require attention to kill off mold and mildew before allergies are created or aggravated. Besides, mold and mildew is hazardous to our health if it gets out of control.

Her suggestions:

Shower curtain:
Julie suggests cutting off the long hems so it does not sit on the shower area but rather hangs free and drips, avoiding mildew issues. Spraying with a bottle of Listerine helps on a daily basis. What she suggested and I do at home is take down the curtain and throw it into the washing machine with bleach. It does a great job.

Kids' tub toys: Since many bathrooms hold moisture during the day it's a good idea to wash these tub toys carefully before each use. Make sure these get a good soaking in white vinegar to sanitize them. Even take a toothbrush to those small nooks and crannies to root out mold and mildew.

Washing machine: Did you know your washing machine was a moisture magnet, growing mold and mildew? Sweet. I usually do a bleach wash of at least kitchen towels every week and that takes care of the issue that potentially could build up in the machine. Julie suggests a new product out by Tide just to clean the machine. She also advises to clean the rims of the washing machine with the sanitizer white vinegar.

Bath towels: Mold and mildew in Louisiana is a big deal with our humidity. We even wash our bath towels every day because hanging them up for the next day just doesn't work out well since they don't completely dry and can easily mildew. Julie suggest washing them with the shower curtain so the towels act as an abrasive. I would only do that if the shower curtain had soap scum, not if it had mold and mildew as that could penetrate your towels and discolor even if killed by the bleach.

Refrigerator: Have you noticed she targets any appliance or area of the house with possible lingering moisture? Check out the drip pans underneath your refrigerator and clean with vinegar as roaches and other bugs like this area to hide and multiply.

Make sure you also dust well your refrigerator coils, especially if you have pets like I do. All that possible bacteria can make a house smell if allowed to build up. It also is a good idea to clean well if you have pets as fur builds up, clogging the efficiency of your refrigerator to work well, costing you more money.

Vacuum cleaner brushes: Bet you didn't think about cleaning that one. The brushes can get a build up of dust mites which is far from appetizing for the allergy crowd. They are easily cleaned with white vinegar as a simple inexpensive sanitizer.

Sport, tennis shoes: To get the moisture out of these, just stuff with newspaper or dust with baking soda. Washing them from time to time is also a great idea to hold down the bacteria.

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