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5 Most Common Household Allergens

Most common household allergies.

I will mention the very common causes of allergic reactions within our own houses as part of a simple process of identification, elimination and cure.

I) Dust

Dust is a very common problem in every house but worse for people living next to busy roads. Somehow you find that dust settles back even the next day after a good clean. On its own it is completely harmless but when it mixes up with the many pollutants around us then it becomes a problem.

These pollutants can be particles from dead insects, dust mites and even skin off our pets.

Symptoms of a dust allergy may include,

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Red itchy eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Itching

Symptoms can be minimised or eliminated through the use of vacuum cleaners fitted with HEPA filters, dump wiping of dusty areas instead of using a feather duster and doing proper periodic cleans.

II) Pollen

Pollen comes from trees, flowers and grass. Over the flowering season this pollen is blown all over by the wind or transmitted by animals and insects and so we clearly cannot avoid contact.

Pollen allergy symptoms

  1. Itching and swelling of the skin. (can be life threatening and requires a fast response)
  2. Nasal congestion
  3. Runny, watery eyes, and itching.

To help manage your pollen allergy you will require treatment so it is best to see your doctor about it.

III) Food

The most common food allergens include eggs, shellfish, soy, wheat, nuts and milk.

Symptoms may include

  1. Tingling or itching in the mouth
  2. A raised itchy rash
  3. Swelling of face, mouth or other parts of the body.
  4. Difficulty swallowing
  5. Wheezing

Treatment includes the use of antihistamines for mild to moderate reactions and adrenaline for more serious reactions. If you know that a certain food causes an allergic reaction in you then the best treatment is abstinence.

IV) Pet allergy

Pet allergy can come from their hair, urine, saliva and sweat and symptoms will be very similar those of dust allergies.

This type of allergy can be minimised through good cleaning practices, avoid having your pets in your bedrooms, probably avoid wall to wall carpets as they tend to hold more waste as opposed to clear vinyl, wooden or tiles floors.

V) Mould

Mould develops in wet and humid places especially around winter when we tend to keep heating on. Condensation that forms around windows supports the growth of mould spores that in turn spreads causing allergic symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and even asthma.

Coughs & colds, will your kids eat their veggies!!

Coughs & colds, will your kids eat their veggies!!

As grown as I am I must admit that eating fruit and veggies is a tough psychological battle for me let alone my children.

My typical fruit and veggie list is as follows:

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Oranges or tangerines
  • Mango (occasional)
  • Melon (occasional)
  • Lemon (for my morning drink as a Vit c high dose to fight colds)
  • Kiwi (occasional)
  • Avocado (occasional)
  • Peach (Occasional)
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries(occasional)

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Sweet cabbage
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen French beans
  • Frozen cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Butternut squash/pumpkin
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Not a long list but put me to the task of picking and eating 3 fruits and 2 veggies and I will genuinely struggle. My children do a better job than me because I see them with an apple in their hands often or a banana or some grapes not every day as required though.

So I decided to start making smoothies in a bid to keep up with five a day for an adequate intake of nutrients for the children especially.

My best mix quickly became apple + pear + banana.

Other tasty combinations I have made are:

  • Banana + peach + pear
  • Apple + Grapes + Banana
  • Mango + Apple + Banana
  • Mango + butternut squash
  • Butternut + carrots
  • Banana + Blueberries +apple + pear

Then in my cooking I must include an onion, tomato and ginger everyday then serve my dishes with at least one type of vegetable and that’s it.

The results have been a tremendous with major reduction in trips to the doctors!! I cannot remember when I lastly visited our Gp,  School attendance has shot up to Gold level and we no longer sit around the dining table for hours forcing all sorts of veggies into our mouths .

Did you know you could use vinegar to solve these problems?

Did you know you could use vinegar to solve these problems?

  1. Keep ants away by spraying equal parts of vinegar and water along their path.
  2.  Removing musty smells from furniture e.g. cupboards. Just wipe all the sides of the piece in question with a towel dampened with a mixture of water and vinegar.
  3. Cleaning gold jewellery. Soak in a cup of Apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes then wipe dry. This will restore the shine on your item.
  4. Eliminate odours from your water bottle/tea flask by soaking it over night with half vinegar and half water. Rinse well before use.
  5. Clean suede shoes with a mixture of water and vinegar for a renewed look.
  6. Soak rusty valuables in undiluted vinegar overnight for restoration.
  7. Use a tablespoon of vinegar in a medium sized bucket to clean plastic chairs.
  8. Dampen a cloth with equal parts of water and vinegar to clean your computer keyboard.
  9. To remove labels or decal, cover with a towel soaked in white vinegar. Leave it on until the label is loose enough to slide off.
  10. Soak your rusty or soiled coins in white vinegar overnight.
  11. Clean children toys in soapy water with vinegar.
  12. Soak baby bottles by filling them up with equal parts of hot water and white vinegar, leave to soak for an hour then clean as usual with a brush.

A simple way to clean your venetian blinds

A simple way to clean your venetian blinds

There are three types of blinds:

  1. Metallic
  2. Wooden
  3. Plastic (polymer)

Of all these three I have found the plastic ones the easiest to clean, the wooden the fastest to clean and the metallic ones the trickiest to clean. Let us look at tested and used ways of cleaning each of them.

Wooden Blinds

  • Do not take them down.
  • Turn them into the closed position.
  • Get a hoover with the soft fabric attachment NB do not use a bare hoover nozzle directly on venetian blinds as the direct strong suction could cause the blades to break.
  • Hoover from one side to the other, it is possible to do it in sections two blades or three at a go. Note any blades that might have stains or grease at this point.
  • For the greasy and stained bits wet a scouring pad, add a few drops of washing up liquid and light clean off the marks. You might need a degreaser spray if the condition is bad, apply in the same way then dry with paper towel.
  • Turn your blinds to shut position on the opposite side and repeat the procedure.

Plastic/polymer blinds

  • Using a soapy scouring pad hold the edges of the blades then clean from one side to the other then immediately dry with paper towel
  • Clean from top to bottom.
  • Use a degreaser if too stick.
  • Shut the blinds to the back side and repeat the same procedure…Easy!!

Metallic blinds

  • Repeat above procedures but use stainless steel cleaner on the scouring pad as washing up might not do the job.
  • Use a paste of baking soda on any rusty parts.
  • Avoid using degreasers as they might cause irreversible stains on the blades.
Bathroom Wall

How to clean your bathroom tiles / grout in no time

Grout cleaning in no time.

You do not need to be a professional cleaner to keep your bathroom in tip top condition. All you need is know what to use and how often.

You also do not need to change your tiles unless you want a new look or they are broken.

This method will work quickly on mould and mildew as well as discolouring caused by unexplained factors.

All you need is:

  • A toothbrush or grout brush
  • Small amount of domestic bleach in a container.
  • Scouring pad.

 

Procedure:

Wet your tiles with your shower head or bucket and sponge to begin.

Dip your toothbrush in the bleach and apply along the grouting making sure you apply enough.

Do the same along the silicon sealant around the bath or shower cubicle.

Leave it to act for 5-10min then using the same toothbrush scrub along the grouting just where you started.

When you have scrubbed all round rinse the whole area using the shower again as before.

For the tiles use a shower cleaner spray sprayed directly onto the scouring pad and firmly scrub. NB: Do not use a stainless steel scourer as it will damage tiles.

Repeat this weekly to keep on top of things and ensure that your bathroom is well ventilated especially after showers or baths.

This method is great too for cleaning around the base of taps and sink holes. Eliminate those black or brownish colours fast!!

Easy Method to effectively deep clean your fridge freezer

How clean is your fridge/freezer?

How does your fridge look like at this particular moment?

Sparkling? Mouldy and germs ridden? Stained?

How does it smell?

Many people say they do not like to clean their fridges but I find it a very simple and satisfactory process no matter what the condition of the appliance is. The main reason for this being that all fridges have white as the internal colour so you see change and progress as soon as you start cleaning.

How often should a fridge / freezer be cleaned?

  • I like to deep clean mine once every two months. NB Deep clean.
  • Wipe and sanitise as soon as you spill any fluid or dirt from daily use.
  • When you move into a furnished house – there is no guarantee that the previous occupant cleaned and sanitised that fridge/freezer. So be safe! Clean it.

How to deep clean your fridge/freezer

If you have a completely empty appliance then this becomes a quick job, if the situation is otherwise then you need to plan in advance.

Whether your freezer forms ice around the drawers is something else to consider because you need to allow time for defrosting.

For the clean,

You will need:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Bucket/bowl
  • Warm water
  • Scouring pad
  • 2 microfiber towels
  • Paper towel
  • ¼ cup Baking soda or one lemon or ¼ cup vinegar

Method

  • First remove all shelving from the fridge and freezer.

Add a squirt of washing up liquid in a bucket of warm water. You do not need much water for this. (I find fairy the best choice due to its high foaming quality)

Dip the scouring pad into the soapy water and clean your fridge from the roof and down the sides. Use a clean toothbrush for corners and hard to reach areas. Some stains will require a little bit of elbow grease.

Dip one of your two microfiber towels in the same water and wring completely then wipe from the roof, side and fridge floor.

Empty and rinse your bucket then get hot water – ½ litre is ideal. In this water add the baking soda and stir to dissolve it or vinegar or lemon juice.

Dip your 2nd microfiber towel and wring as before then wipe the fridge in the same pattern as before to avoid missing some areas. You could go over twice.

Finally wipe dry with paper towel.

Repeat the above procedure for the freezer.

Clean your shelves with soap under running water, wipe with baking soda water as you did the fridge then wipe dry with paper towel.

If your freezer has ice then set the fridge temperature mark 0, remove all your freezer drawers for cleaning and place a bowl of hot water on every shelf of the freezer. The ice will melt in no time. Change the water when it gets cold. Clean and sanitise as above when all the ice has melted.

14 Surprising Uses of Baking Soda around your Home

The many uses of Baking soda around the home.

The world is becoming more aware of the effects of human activity on our environment. Climate change and diminishing or extinct species are terminologies we have become so familiar with on different levels.
But have we thought about how we are contributing let’s say to the death of a certain living thing from the comfort of our houses?
As difficult as it may look, we really are destroying our environment (both flora and fauna) steadily.
The biggest culprits in our homes are cleaning chemicals. They not only harm organisms that live in waterbodies around us but us as well.
Chemicals that we use for cleaning around the home, that we use for cleansing our bodies and even conditioning our bodies are taking a toll on nature. So it is really important for us to look into the use of more environmental friendly products.

Let us look at baking soda to begin with for use around the house.
Baking soda has been around for many years and is very versatile but my guess is that people ditched it in favour of faster acting chemicals due to our busy lifestyles.
It can be used in different ways for cleaning and for beauty purposes.
Cleaning.
1. Use it to sanitise fridge / freezers and remove bad odour
2. Use it for cleaning the oven. simply make a thick paste and apply liberally around the oven and racks, leave to work overnight then simply rinse. You might need to scrub a little bit depending on how bad your oven is
3. Use in place of fabric conditioner and to remove odours from clothes.
4. To clean cups and pots stained by tea and coffee.
5. To remove limescale build up in kettles.
6. For the removal of surface rust. Make a paste of baking soda with cold water then use the mixture to scrub off the rust layer.
7. Used for paint and corrosion removal.
8. Used as a cockroach killer.

Personal health

9. Due to its alkaline nature it can be used as antacid for heartburns when mixed with water.
10. Toothpastes with baking soda are more effective in plague removal and teeth whitening.
11. Baking soda can be used as a natural deodoriser, just apply a little bit around your armpits to absorb the odour.
12. As a face cleanser, mix with water into a runny paste, apply on your face in circular motion then rinse off with look warm water.
13. For cleaning hair. Add a quarter to a handful of shampoo then rinse your hair.

14. For manicure and pedicure.

Add baking soda into warm water in a basin just enough to cover your feet for a soak. Make a paste and spread around your nails and cuticles then rinse off .

4 Quick ‘n’ Easy steps to clean your greasy kitchen cupboards

Clean your greasy cupboards in 4 quick ‘n’ easy steps:

Cleaning greasy kitchen cupboards can be both frustrating and time consuming. Especially when grease has been left on for so long.

In the next few paragraphs I will teach you how to make this task as stress free as possible.

What you will need:

  • Scouring pad
  • Disposable kitchen towel/paper
  • Degreaser from your local store (get one that smells nice preferably)
  • Scraper or stainless steel scourer.
  • Hot water in a bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Household gloves

Step 1

Scrape off all visible grease lumps on your cupboard surface. The most vulnerable places are the boards just under the extractor and above the hob on each side. Wipe off the smudge with your paper towel. Use the scraper careful to avoid damaging your cabinets.

Step 2

Spray the degreaser directly onto the surface you have just worked on.

Step 3

Use the rough side of the scouring pad lightly scrub the area, use the stainless steel scourer for any tough lumps remaining.

Step 4

Dip the microfiber cloth into the hot water and wring completely then wipe the area.

Dry with the paper towel and you are done.  Quick and easy!!

Please note that: some degreasers may stain stainless steel appliances and in this case the extractor/hood and hob are susceptible so consider covering them off or be very careful when spraying because the product will drip down owing to the vertical nature of kitchen cupboards and the law of gravity.

Find out what chemicals

Are used with the carpet cleaner by the professional company and how long the clean-up will take as well as if any furniture will be moved. Make sure that chemicals used are going to be safe for you, your children, and also your pets.

are used with the carpet cleaner by the professional company and how long the clean-up will take as well as if any furniture will be moved. Make sure that chemicals used are going to be safe for you, your children, and also your pets.

are used with the carpet cleaner by the professional company and how long the clean-up will take as well as if any furniture will be moved. Make sure that chemicals used are going to be safe for you, your children, and also your pets.

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