Now that we are fully “moved,” I say that lightly, because we are FAR from settled, into our new house in Tennessee, we are working room-by-room to make it comfortable, beautiful and homey for our family. It is a time consuming, but very rewarding task. As each room takes shape and comes together, we feel more and more like this home is really ours and a place where we can thrive as a family.
By virtue of of what I am doing everyday in my home, I wanted to share some simple cleaning techniques that I have employed to clean my house for mold prior to positioning our furniture or things, or hanging any window coverings. I highly, highly recommend this for someone who has allergies or whose family members have allergies. Each technique is extremely simple, but packs a big punch in terms of future mold prevention. An added bonus is that your home will smell fresh, clean, and your allergies (if you have them) will not be as aggravated by the dust and dirt associated with moving—you know, with all of the boxes, furniture and movers/contractors that may be traipsing in and out of your home constantly during this time. I actually find that when I take the time to do these things, my home stays cleaner, and I have to do less cleaning in the future.
So, here is what I do to each room before I put any rugs down, or put any furniture in its place. It may seem like a lengthy process, but once you have all of your tools and products gathered and ready to go, it takes no time at all and makes a HUGE difference—you will literally notice the air quality change in the room as you do it.
Hard-surface safe HEPA vacuum and HEPA vacuum with an upholstery attachment – I use the Oreck XL Classic Upright Vacuum with the Saniseal HEPA vacuum bags and the ORECK canister vacuum for my upholstery work. I LOVE this vacuum duo. I cannot say enough good things about them. I especially like that both are safe for hardwood and stone floors too. I plan to follow this post with a post on the importance of purchasing a really good HEPA vacuum. They are pricey, but well worth the money for allergy prevention, and for cleaning for mold in your home. You do not want all of your hard work going to waste, because your vacuum isn’t sealing in the dust and mold spores that you are vacuuming up.
Steam Mop—I use the Smart Living Steam Mop Plus
EC3 Mold Spray – Will clean the mold spores from surfaces and the air.
EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate – When heated in the steam mop, it has the ability to bring down the mold count on surfaces to zero. (Note: You can buy a gallon pump sprayer in the garden section of Home Depot or Lowes. They are used for pesticides. I just pour the mixed solution inside to fill to the gallon mark. It sprays wonderfully and takes minutes to do large areas or rooms.)
Dust rags—I just use old, clean washcloths that are too dingy looking to use in our bathrooms anymore.
1 gallon jug of distilled water—It must be distilled, because you are going to be using it to mix with the EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate later on in your steam mop. I know I’m a broken record, but tap water can contain chemicals and minerals that can deposit inside the mop and essentially clog it, thus preventing it from working properly.
Move all of the furniture and boxes that you are going to place in the room to one side, so that as much of the room is clear as possible.
Vacuum all floors and baseboards on the clear side of the room, so that no area is left untouched.
Take your dust rag and mist it all over with the EC3 spray, or make your own spray using the EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate and distilled water per package instructions. Once your rag is damp, wipe down all of the baseboards and allow them to dry. Feel free to wipe down any furniture with your damp cloth as well. Just be careful to not fully saturate any wood furniture, because it could create water stains.
For hardwood, stone, or tile floors, fill your steam mop tank with distilled water to its capacity, and add 1 capful of EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate. Put a clean, dry floor pad on your steam mop, and plug it in. When it is ready to go, begin at one corner and steam the floors in the entire section where you have already vacuumed. For wall-to-wall carpeted floors, after vacuuming with your HEPA vacuum, mist the carpet section by section with the EC3 Mold Spray. Once it dries, go back over the entire area with your HEPA vacuum again. Once the floors are clean on one side of the room, move all of the furniture to the clean side, and vacuum and steam mop the other side per the previous instructions.
Now you are ready to lay out any rugs that you wish to. Unroll the rug onto the cleaned floor. Go over it once with the HEPA vacuum. Spray the rug section-by-section with the EC3 Spray. Vacuum the rug again. Spray once more with the EC3 Spray and allow it to air dry this time.
Position your furniture in the room as you would like to have it laid out. Once in position, use your HEPA vacuum with the upholstery attachment to go over each piece of upholstered furniture to remove any dust. After vacuuming, mist each piece of furniture, wood pieces included, with the EC3 Spray. This time, allow all of the pieces to air dry.
If you are hanging draperies, you should do the same process outlined above with them. Hang them, vacuum them thoroughly, mist them with the EC3 Spray, and allow the spray to dry.
When you are finished, each room will be remarkably less dusty and ready to live in. You have my expressed guarantee that you allergies will thank you.