Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cleaning for crawling babies: how to keep floors clean

Q I have a baby that’s just started crawling – his clothes are so dirty at the end of the day that I have realized I need to improve my cleaning, but don’t want to use harsh products.

A. American writer Dierdre Imus, who founded the Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology and wrote Greening Your Cleaning, says the floor is often the most dangerous place in a house for babies and pets. Imus insists that the gasses given off by cleaning products and our furniture, paint or curtains often hover down at floor level, ready for the most vulnerable household members to breathe in. Ick. Carpets should be vacuumed at least once a week – probably more if you have an allergy sufferer in the house – and ideally with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner that won’t recirculate all the dust and dirt.  Hard floors such as timber, tiles or vinyl are easier to keep clean by daily sweeping. One of the best ways to keep floors clean is to make like the Chinese and insist shoes stay off inside the house – that way dirt stays on the bottom of people’s shoes instead of being tracked in to your floors. You can also put small rugs and door mats at the entrance to capture as much dirt as possible.

Related renovation stories:

Clean your house the easy way
A slacker's guide to cleaning the house
5 home repairs that add value

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