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Easy Ways to Prevent Mold in the Home

preventing mold

Moisture and mold, they go hand-in-hand, especially in your home. But there are several ways that you can prevent mold build-up while still being eco-friendly.

The most important prevention is looking for moisture, standing water or condensation, and getting rid of it quickly. Dry up any standing water on the shower floor. Keep the shower curtain closed so no mold builds up in the creases. Remember to run the exhaust fan while showering. All exhaust fans in the house, bathroom and stove, should lead to the outside, not into your attic where it can increase the moisture level. If you are building or remodeling and plan to use drywall, consider using a mold resistant product, such as EcoRock. This environment friendly drywall is paperless and moisture resistant.

If any windows, pipes or walls are showing condensation, dry them quickly and find the reason for it as well. Air flow is very important, if your drapes are blocking the air vent, you will see condensation on your windows. You may want to buy a moisture meter for your home, you want to keep it between 35 and 50 percent. A dehumidifier can also help, but be sure to keep it clean and not let the tank overfill.

Your a/c unit can help greatly if used correctly. Keep the thermostat set at 75 degrees F while you are home and 80 degrees when you are gone. Turning off the a/c will allow humidity to build up and that produces mold. Also, be sure you have the right size HVAC for your home, too big or small will waste energy.

You should cover any crawl spaces with a 6 mm polyethylene plastic vapor barrier to trap ground water that seeps up and adds moisture vapors to your home. Keep water flow diverted from your foundation as much as possible, such as keeping gutters clean.

Do not leave wet items lying around the house, nor leave wet clothes in the washing machine where mold grows quickly. Moist soil in your house plant attracts mold. To prevent this, add Taheebo tea to the water for your plant. This tea has mold resistant properties that work even in the rainforests. If you have spots that are especially hard to keep dry, spray the area with white distilled vinegar and let it sit, the smell will clear in a few hours. This can kill 82% of mold species.

If the worst happens and you find mold in your home, clean it immediately, and if it is too much for you to clean call a mold remediation professional.

How To Re-Use Old Newspaper In Your Home

reusing-newspaper

Although newspaper circulations are in decline around the U.S., the uses for newspapers that are out of date or have been read continue to grow. By reusing old newspapers large amounts of the Earth’s natural resources can be saved from destruction in the manufacture of products, such as fire starters and painters tape.

With large numbers of people concerned about the amount of fossil fuels releasing dangerous toxins into the atmosphere, old newspapers can be used as fire starters for wood burning stoves. By tearing up the old newspapers they can be reused by placing in a stove to start a fire. Newspaper ashes from a wood burning fire can also be used to add traction to road surfaces around a house when covered in snow or ice.

Paper is often used to clean glass windows and surfaces; instead of using paper towels for cleaning glass newspapers can be substituted to wipe away vinegar sprayed onto the surface to be cleaned. Old newspapers can also be used for cleaning around the house when a glass object has been broken. A few sheets of newspaper should be dampened and blotted onto the area of broken glass; the smaller pieces of glass that are not always visible will stick to the newspaper and can be disposed of without harm to any member of a household.

Newspapers can also be used to dry out shoes when they have been saturated; many manufacturers of soccer and football cleats recommend the use of newspapers to dry leather shoes by removing the dampness from the inside. Several sheets of newspaper should be balled up and placed inside the wet shoes at room temperature to drag the moisture from the shoes. If the shoes have been waterlogged the newspaper stuffing should be replaced when it becomes damp until the shoes have completely dried out.

Around the house old newspapers can be reused by placing them inside or underneath plant pots to capture moisture when the plants are watered. In Fall months not yet ripe tomatoes can be ripened quickly with the use of old newspapers. The green tomatoes should be wrapped in several sheets of newspaper and sealed in an airtight container; place the container in a darkened area at room temperature for a couple of days to ripen. When painting in a house, old newspapers can be used as a good way to stop drips and splashes. Newspapers can be spread around the floor or taped to walls and windows that are not to be painted.

What is an Acoustic Ventilation System?

acoustic-ventilation

Most people know about the hazards that air pollution presents to the lungs. They always hear about the products being made to reduce pollution and consume minimal energy. Both indoor and outdoor air quality is important, so that is where an acoustic ventilation system becomes valuable. Indoor air pollution is considered to be just as bad as the outdoor type. Most people spend most of their time inside homes and buildings. An acoustic ventilation system draws in fresh air so that pollutants are removed and humidity is controlled. At the same time, the system is not seen, smelled or heard for the benefit of sensitive people.

Subpar air is created by dirt, dust, smoke and mold particles that are easily released by products of technology. The only way that bad quality can be detected is when home air becomes thick, humid and emits strange odors. The best way to remove this problem is to use a ventilation unit. It is not easy to tell if a house contains the right system. Many people who do know about these units cannot operate the functions properly.

Ventilation use is an important way to decrease the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses. People who suffer from asthma or allergies will suffer the most from complications caused by filthy air. However, just opening the door or window may not be enough to eliminate the spread.

A system may not be usable because it causes too much noise. Acoustic ventilation is effective in eliminating this problem. If a system works well, the air is not felt as it streams out of the vents. The streams should not come out in large gusts, as well, which is common when a fan is used. Also, odors should not be smelled. Residents should not have to feel the air being diffused throughout the house either.

To maintain the quietness of the system, the ducts must be insulated. Some grilles, or vent slits, are specially designed and insulated to block out noise. For the best effect, the grilles should be placed away from the street and noisy areas.

An acoustic ventilation system does not need much maintenance, but a user can increase the value by cleaning parts of it at least once a year. Natural ventilation requires no expenses or maintenance, but it is far less effective than mechanical equipment. An acoustic ventilation system is not well-known, but it is designed to improve long-term indoor health.

baking soda

For years, home cooks have been utilizing baking soda in their kitchens as a leavening agent. From baked breads to battered foods, baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) has a wide range of different culinary applications. While this ingredient’s use in food preparation is widely celebrated across the board, many are surprised to discover just how powerful baking soda can be in other household applications. From cleaning the home to keeping the human body functioning effectively, it can be utilized to perform an assortment of different tasks. The following 5 uses will have you thinking about that standard ingredient in your cupboard in a whole new way.

1. Treating Fungal Infections
Baking soda can be used an an effective fungicide, keeping pesky fungi at bay without employing harsh chemicals. Many gardeners employ the use of baking soda in their plots, treating fungal infections on their plants with the product. Baking soda can also be used to treat fungal infections in humans. Nails are skin are particularly prone to issues with fungi. Soaking the infected area in a baking soda and water solution can help eradicate the issue.

2. Flame Extinguisher
Small kitchen fires can easily be extinguished with baking soda. It is commonly used in grease and electrical fires, when water presents a unique danger. When used in this capacity, it is essential to utilize extreme caution.

3. Splinter Removal
A pesky splinter can be incredibly difficult to remove from the skin. Baking soda can be used as the base in a paste to soften the skin and simplify the splinter’s removal. Once the paste has been applied, the skin should become more supple, allowing the splinter to be worked out.

4. Clothing Softener
Instead of relying on a chemical-heavy fabric softener, baking soda can be added to washes to soften clothing. It also has additional uses that can further benefit textiles, including odor and stain removal. Baking soda is much less harsh than traditional bleach, but will nevertheless whiten fabrics that may have become dull with age.

5. Insect Repellent
Keeping pests from entering the home can be a major hassle. Instead of using a commercial bug repellent, baking soda can instead be used to create a non=toxic barrier to insects. The product should be sprinkled around the window and door seals that typically allow insects to enter the home.

Baking soda is arguably one of the most powerful tools in a home’s arsenal. As it is non-toxic, it is ideal in homes that have small children. Baking soda is also an incredibly environmentally-friendly way to maintain the home.

mothballs

When searching for alternatives to mothballs, many people forget that there are beautiful and eco-friendly options that they may have overlooked at first. This is great news since pulling out your winter wardrobe and finding that you need over $1000 worth of replacements is not easy. On top of that, people that have disabilities are often sensitive to chemicals and mothballs are full of unwanted wafting fumes.

Despite all the worry that moth prevention entails, with a few tips and some basic background knowledge you will have a healthier way to evict moths.

Only put clean clothes in storage – Cleaning is a beautification process in and of itself. It is also a great way to prevent moths. Of course, you cannot clean the wool that moths love without taking it to the dry cleaners. If you are alarmed that toxic dry cleaning is suggested, do not worry. There is no need to fear dry cleaning toxins these days since many cleaners have environmentally friendly methods that specifically work on moth prevention.

Put stored clothing in sealed containers – No one is perfect, and there is always a chance that you or someone else in your household will forget to clean everything before you put it in storage for the summer. Unfortunately, moths are attracted to any kind of human or animal protein. This means that the late spring cold snap where you wore your jacket could now be an attractive place for moths to feed. For this reason, find some wooden or plastic boxes for storing your woolens. This procedure will keep moths out and the storage boxes can be built into rolling stools, furniture, or other clever re-use ideas.

Herbs, pomanders and potpourri sachets – With some of Mother Nature’s favorite herbs and spices, you can make a variety of attractive anti-moth alternatives. Place the herbs in a loose-knit bag (cheesecloth) and let the scents do their work. A few ribbons and beads make it look fancy.

One problem that some people have comes from storing the herbs on top of the clothing. This could cause staining from the herb oils and needs to be avoided. You can also hang pomanders made from citrus fruits embedded with cloves. The following are some herbs known to prevent moths:

Rosemary
Lavender
Cinnamon (chips or sticks; not powdered)
Cloves
Bay leaves,
Leaves from eucalyptus
Wormwood
Peppercorns

Red Cedar lined closets – Depending on where you live, cedar can be easy to come by and is certainly beautiful. The point is that you need to make sure that the cedar is free of other pests before you start nailing it to the inside of your closet. The moths will hate the smell and you will get to have your clothing perfumed with the pleasant cedar aroma.

One additional tip is that you do not cover your cedar boards in paint or clear sealer. Instead, let the unfinished wood stand and use sandpaper periodically to re-release the scented oils in the wood. In a pinch, you can also use cedar chips that are sold for hamster cages.

Finally, no matter what cedar product you use, you will need to remember to check for the smell. If the smell of cedar (or any moth preventing herb) is not strong, it will need to be reinvigorated with light sanding, buying new cedar chips, replacing the herbs, or a new bottle of essential oil.

Getting Whites Whiter Without Bleach

how to clean whites without bleach

For years, bleach has been a common cleaning product found in most homes. Bleach is used for a variety of laundry-related tasks, including keeping white linens, socks and shirts fresh by removing unsightly stains. Today, many consumers worry about the effects of bleach on the environment and have removed it from their homes. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to whiten and freshen your clothes without resorting to using bleach.

The Sun

Leaving laundry in the sun is a great way to naturally bleach your clothes. After washing, put your clothes outside to dry on a sunny day. Not only will the sun whiten your laundry, it’s also an environmentally-friendly way to dry your clothes without having to use a dryer. Additionally, an outside drying session keeps your laundry smelling fresh. Air drying can save your clothes from repeated damage from a dryer. Your clothes will last longer and look new.

Laundry Soap Mixtures

You can add a number of household products to a load of laundry to help remove stains and freshen whites. Baking soda, for example, can be used as toothpaste, a fridge deodorizer and in laundry. This product is known for removing stains from clothes. Try adding half a cup to your regular laundry detergent the next time you do a wash. Your clothes should emerge smelling clean and looking brand new. White vinegar can also whiten and clean your laundry. Rest assured, vinegar will not leave your clothes smelling like a salad. As with baking soda, place a half cup of vinegar with your regular laundry detergent in the washer. The salad smell will be gone after the wash, leaving your laundry load refreshed.

Soaking

Before doing a load of laundry, separate the white items that need to be cleaned. Place a lemon slice in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place as many stained clothes as you can into the pot. Let the clothes soak in the mixture for half an hour before throwing them in with your other clothes in the washer. If your clothes are heavily stained, use more lemon slices and let the clothes soak overnight.

Attack the Stain Directly

If a full cleaning doesn’t get the job done, try to target yellow or stained spots. You can pre-soak these stains with a spray of vinegar or by blotting baking soda or laundry detergent on the spot.

Getting Rid of Ants the Eco Friendly Way

ants

Spring and summer are the favorite months of ants. These are common household pests that can multiply in large numbers and be a serious threat to your home. Ants are drawn in by the warmth of the home as well as any type of food that may be laying around. There are numerous ways to get rid of ants in an Eco friendly manner. This not only saves you money but they are also considered greatly effective. The following natural ways to get rid of ants have worked for me understandably.

Wiping lavender scented organic hand soap on the walls will stop any ants inside the ceiling from coming out. This soapy scent is what keeps them away, so use it on walls where you know ants will appear. If you know the ants entry way into your home, put bay leaves and cucumber slices around the holes or door. This method worked tremendously well for me, and stopped ants from coming up under the floor boards or the screen door. Other alternatives to this would be to put out cloves, cinnamon, or coffee grounds mixed with lemon juice. These foods have rich smells that ants find repulsive and it will drive their little army away.

Boric acid and vinegar are also completely Eco friendly and natural ways to get rid of the little pests. Use a spray bottle and spray the mixture on the walls around the ants point of entry. Mixing these two together is completely safe and nontoxic for humans and pets. As a last resort, I have poured baby powder on the ants usual trail into the house. This is a substance that will keep ants from coming in for good, so use it daily until late into the summer months. Getting rid of ants in organic ways is very affordable and saves you time and money from buying toxic products or requesting the help of an exterminator.

Making Your Home Safer For Kids with Asthma

asthma kids home cleaning

Having a child or children with asthma can present a challenge. It requires trying to avoid household triggers as well as making changes within the home to make it safe for those with asthma. Luckily, there are ways to make your home asthma safe. Simple changes can have a huge impact and make your home safer for your child.

When I was presented with this challenge, the first thing I did was determine all asthma triggers in my home and I did my best to eliminate them. These triggers included mold, dust, pollen and smoke. Other things that can irritate those with asthma are household cleaners and aerosol sprays, which are also not very good for the environment. In order to remove these from a home, changes have to be made. In order to remove mold I had to keep the home as dry as possible. A dehumidifier is a great way to do so as well as cleaning any visible signs of mold. Also, do not be afraid to turn on the air conditioning. It filters the air and makes it clean and fresh.

Next, I did a thorough cleaning of my home. Vacuuming regularly and removing any dust is a great way to keep the home clean and safe. Not only is it good for those with asthma but it benefits those who always have the occasional sniffles as well.

A more costly yet very effective way I made my home asthma safe is by removing all wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet collects so much dust. Replace carpet with beautiful bamboo or cork floors. Not only will it reduce the amount of dust but it will also make every room look amazing.

Overall, making a home safe for children with asthma is easy. A few simple changes can make a huge difference. Get out the cleaning products and let the cleaning begin!

Options for Eco-Friendly Home Insulation

eco-friendly-home-insulation

One of the main factors people take into consideration when selecting insulation is its ability to reduce energy costs. Essentially, in the summer it prevents hot air from entering a home and in winter it locks the warmer air inside the home. There are a plethora of choices for Eco-friendly people wanting to apply insulation that benefits the environment. Numerous types of insulation exist to aid the environment: insulation containing a high percentage of recycled materials; insulation that does not incorporate harmful substances that cause health issues; and insulation that is made from natural, ‘green’ materials.

A type of Eco-friendly home insulation that’s fairly new on the market is sheep’s wool. The fibers within the sheep’s wool form millions of miniscule air pockets when compressed; these air pockets trap air, which can effectively insulate homes throughout the year. Wool’s permeability enables it to absorb moisture from the air without affecting its ability to retain heat. Sheep’s wool, when insulating a home, permits homeowners to lessen the amount of times they adjust their heating and cooling systems which invariably saves them money, and the environment.

Another type of renewable material that poses no threat to the environment is cotton. In and of itself, cotton is a natural resource, which makes it one of the best green insulating resources available. Unlike many well-known insulating materials, cotton does not contain the dangerous chemical formaldehyde, which is a known cause to many respiratory problems. Furthermore, cotton is great at absorbing moisture and acting as a natural insect repellent.

The spray-on foam insulation, Icynene, is by far the best home insulation one could buy. When sprayed onto a wall or ceiling, Icynene expands into a puffy sponge-like substance that forms a dense blanket of insulation. Icynene is fantastic at stopping drafts and muffling noise and it usually reduces a home’s energy bill by 30 to 50 percent.

Tips For Spring Cleaning the Garage

garage spring clean

All garages need to have a spring cleaning done every year and take these helpful tips to get the garage sparkling clean and organized. Most important thing to know is that maintaining a clean garage is essential to have the garage a safe place for you and your vehicles.

Spring cleaning the garage helps rid it of old products that are outdated, or half used, or just sitting around; x their removal will prevent possible fires. Fuel containers that sit idle will have condensation and water built up that makes the fuel unusable.

When the door is opened and closed, dirt and debris may blow in and build up. If a vehicle has an oil, water or fuel leaks; it collects under the vehicle on the floor. This can also create a fire hazard, so cleaning the floor is important all year around. Try keeping a solvable floor spread which can be purchased at most automotive parts stores.

Instead of having only shelving for storage, install wall covering that allows for tool storage and shelves. By having the wall of the garage used, it gives more floor place for larger lawn tools such as mowers for instance. Having an organized garage allows an individual to locate needed tools or products quickly. Eliminating most of the shelves will prevent fall over accidents from happening.

Allow having enough room in the garage to walk completely around a parked vehicle. The garage was built to protect your vehicle investment and should be an owners main priority, the other storage items are secondary but for their protection may require a separate storage shed for them.

All these tips for spring cleaning the garage are useful and if followed, will provide you a clean, well organized and safe protection for your vehicles.