One way to feel healthy this winter is to prevent our homes from becoming stagnant and smelly. Fresh air will help to clear germs and make everything smell better. Here in Seattle, this was our last sunny day above 50 degrees F. It was time to Air Out The House. But any non-percipitous day will work for you. I do this once a month all through the winter and spring. It helps if you start with a fairly clean and dusted house. (But maybe the day after, so you don’t over-do it 😉
This is especially wonderful after a family member has been sick and using a humidifier building up condensation and possibly mold in the home.
1) Turn off Heater.
2) Bundle up! Of course bundle the kids too, they will love this activity.
3) Open all of the windows.
4) Fans. Bring back last seasons fans or turn on ceiling fans. Some free-standing fans can actually be wedged in the window to bring in fresh air! In that case, turn it one way to suck out old air for 5 minute sin each window, and then turn it around to bring in fresh for 5 -10 min. Please be careful you watch your children around fans.
5) While your fans are going inside, take your rugs outside to bang on them later after you have closed up the house again. Throw anything washable into the washer. Curtains, small rugs, bathmats, placemats, stuffed animals, throw pillows/cases.
6) Wash the couch! If the furniture has been vacuumed very recently, use a barely damp terry rag (warm water, maybe one drop of a natural cleaner like Dr.Bronner’s a homemade vinegar/lavender solution)
7) De-germ by taking a rag with hot water, vinegar and an essential oil (thyme is best) to your doorknobs and light switches.
8.) Sniff. Hopefully your home now smells like something fresher than sleeping bodies, dog, cat, crusty breast milk, poop, boogers. But if you like your home to smell like something else entirely, you can make a natural spray with equal parts water and witch hazel plus a few drops of your favorite oils. (Mine: lavender, rosemary, rose.)
9) Drying Out. Close windows, put fans away and turn your heat up high (74F?) for 30 minutes to dry everything out. Don’t forget to un-bundle yourself and the children or they may keel over. 😉
10) Turn your heat down to an ecologically respectable temperature!
! C’est Fini !
*You get extra credit for stripping the beds beforehand (air out the pillows and mattresses) and if you schedule to have your heating vents cleaned or change furnace filter after this..