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Ending Winter's Clutter

Ending Winter’s Clutter

Sixty-percent of Americans surveyed for the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) indicate they regularly engage in spring cleaning. Echo Research questioned 1,008 American adults (500 men and 508 women) via telephone on February 25-28, 2010.

Among that group, removing clutter, thoroughly cleaning the house, and eliminating asthma and allergy triggers are the top three reasons for engaging in ritual of spring cleaning.

How long does it take spring cleaners to finish the job? Of the 595 Americans surveyed who said they plan to spring clean, 65 percent will get it done within a week. Thirteen percent say it will only take them a day. At the other end of the spectrum, 11 percent say it’ll take them a month or more to get things cleaned up.

However long it takes you, the SDA has a few suggestions for addressing the ABCs of spring cleaning.

A is for Asthma and Allergy Triggers

During this challenging winter, many of us were snowed in with our pets, whose dander is one of the most common triggers of asthma and allergies. Compound that with everyday dust and the tiniest unwelcome guests who seek shelter in our homes during cold weather, and it’s time to do away with the “A.”

Have an allergen control plan. Clean one room at a time, starting with where an asthma or allergy sufferer sleeps. Wash their bedding and curtains. Dust surfaces and vacuum the carpet clean the window sills and frames. Wet mop the floors..

B is for Bacteria

From the front door knob to kitchen counters, the telephone and remote control, SDA recommends giving every surface in your home the thorough cleaning it needs with the goal of reducing the likelihood that bacteria stick around for spring.

Prevent mold and mildew from accumulating in the bathroom by using a daily shower cleaner. Use a disinfectant or products specially designed to remove mold and mildew. In the kitchen, give the surfaces a good cleaning and disinfecting. Make sure you allow enough time for the germ kill, per the product label instructions. A new cleaning myth is that lemon juice and salt will clean and sanitize a cutting board. Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of microorganisms that are on a properly cleaned surface to a safe level to reduce risk of food borne illness. Lemon juice and salt will not do this. The most effective way to sanitize a cutting board as well as other kitchen surfaces is with a diluted bleach and water solution. To clean and sanitize your cutting board first wash it with hot water and soap. Then sanitize it by using a diluted chlorine bleach solution -- just 1 Tablespoon unscented liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water. Let the bleach solution stand on the surface for a few minutes; then rinse and blot dry with clean paper towels. It is important to clean and disinfect - just because a surface looks clean, doesn't mean it is free of disease-causing bacteria

C is for Clutter

Start with finding the back of the closet and the bottom of those overstuffed drawers. Take everything out of the closet and dresser, out from under the bed and off the shelves and furniture. Separate out what you don’t need anymore and donate or hold a rummage sale! After the sorting, place “to-keep” items inside drawers, closets, covered boxes or plastic containers so dust can’t collect on them.

D is for Disinfect

Regular cleaning products do a good job of removing soil, but only disinfectants or disinfectant cleaners (also known as antibacterial cleaners) kill the germs that can cause many illnesses. Surfaces like kitchen and bathroom counters, door knobs, toilet seats and children's toys may be contaminated with bacteria even when they're not visibly soiled. Some germs can live on dry surfaces (such as toys) for several hours and moist surfaces (like bathroom sinks) for up to three days. Salmonella can survive freezing and can survive on dry surfaces for at least 24 hours. And germs can be spread to other surfaces on dirty cleaning cloths and sponges. How can I tell if a household cleaning product kills germs? Look for the words "disinfect," "disinfectant," "antibacterial" or "sanitize" on the label, as well as an EPA registration number, as this ensures that the product has met EPA requirements for killing germs.

A new cleaning myth is that lemon juice and salt will clean and sanitize a cutting board. Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of microorganisms that are on a properly cleaned surface to a safe level to reduce risk of food borne illness. Lemon juice and salt will not do this. The most effective way to sanitize a cutting board as well as other kitchen surfaces is with a diluted bleach and water solution. To clean and sanitize your cutting board first wash it with hot water and soap. Then sanitize it by using a diluted chlorine bleach solution -- just 1 Tablespoon unscented liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water. Let the bleach solution stand on the surface for a few minutes; then rinse and blot dry with clean paper towels. It is important to clean and disinfect - just because a surface looks clean, doesn't mean it is free of disease-causing bacteria

C is for Clutter

Start with finding the back of the closet and the bottom of those overstuffed drawers. Take everything out of the closet and dresser, out from under the bed and off the shelves and furniture. Separate out what you don’t need anymore and donate or hold a rummage sale! After the sorting, place “to-keep” items inside drawers, closets, covered boxes or plastic containers so dust can’t collect on them.

D is for Disinfect

Regular cleaning products do a good job of removing soil, but only disinfectants or disinfectant cleaners (also known as antibacterial cleaners) kill the germs that can cause many illnesses. Surfaces like kitchen and bathroom counters, door knobs, toilet seats and children's toys may be contaminated with bacteria even when they're not visibly soiled. Some germs can live on dry surfaces (such as toys) for several hours and moist surfaces (like bathroom sinks) for up to three days. Salmonella can survive freezing and can survive on dry surfaces for at least 24 hours. And germs can be spread to other surfaces on dirty cleaning cloths and sponges. How can I tell if a household cleaning product kills germs? Look for the words "disinfect," "disinfectant," "antibacterial" or "sanitize" on the label, as well as an EPA registration number, as this ensures that the product has met EPA requirements for killing germs.

sinks) for up to three days. Salmonella can survive freezing and can survive on dry surfaces for at least 24 hours. And germs can be spread to other surfaces on dirty cleaning cloths and sponges. How can I tell if a household cleaning product kills germs? Look for the words "disinfect," "disinfectant," "antibacterial" or "sanitize" on the label, as well as an EPA registration number, as this ensures that the product has met EPA requirements for killing germs.
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