The Lunar New Year is just around the corner and with it comes the traditional hectic spring cleaning session around the house as we both practically and symbolically sweep out the old to ring in the new. Of course, any spring cleaning session is easier said than done and depending on the number of additional hands you can have at hand, how large your home is and also what gear you have, it can make for a pretty daunting task indeed.
Rather than having to wallow in despair at the monumental task ahead or having to fork out a sizable chunk of cash for a maid service, you’re in luck as we managed to sit down and chat with Dyson Engineers Lee Kah Wei – Senior Dyson Design Engineer and Kent Lee – Dyson Lead Separation Systems Engineer who have made the art of cleaning into a science and who had a hand in crafting their range of cordless vacuums.
To get an easier and more effective spring cleaning experience, Dyson shared more about the nature of the dust that collects and festoons our living spaces including, scarily enough, our beds too as well as the means to clean it in an stress-free effective fashion.
What is Dust Made Of According to Dyson Engineers
On top of the more obvious sources of dirt and dust including pollen, pet hair, crumbs of food and other debris tracked in from outdoors and mould, a good part of dust that accumulates in our living spaces comes from a rather surprising source – the dead skin cells that we shed daily. According to Kah Wei, a single dust mite can, on average, produce 20 tiny droppings per day. Further, the average person sheds 28g of skin a day.
Unfortunately, all these accumulated dead skin cells ultimately become a food source for hordes of tiny, nigh invisible dust mites that frequently live, nest and eat all the dead skin cells that accumulate in our living spaces, especially areas that we tend to stay in for long periods of time like our couches, and especially, our beds.
This naturally also leads to dust mites considering our beds as the equivalent of the Ritz with a warm environment and all the food they can eat. Unfortunately, it’s not what they eat that affects us but their faeces as dust mite crap, for lack of a better word contains allergens that induce allergies in people.
Combine the amount of skin shed in a single day and imagine the amount of dust mites that would treat that amount of skin as an all-you-can-eat buffet and you extrapolate the amount of dust mite faeces that crops up in our homes and especially our beds and you have a recipe for allergies, sinus problems and hay fever.
In fact, the problem is so pronounced that Dyson has actually established their own dust mite farm in the UK in order to find a means to effectively deal with these critters and to ensure their cordless vacuums are powerful enough to decisively deal with all the literal crap they produce on top of tackling smaller allergens like mould and whatnot.You can check out our prior feature with Dyson on dust mites and how to tackle them in particular here.
Not Just Than Dust Creates Unhealthy Problems In The Home
While dust mite faeces contribute to allergies, there are other things in the home that can potentially lead to longer term health issues in the form of formaldehyde fumes emitted by wood products like plywood, particle board and laminate flooring, some fabrics like furnishings, beds and couches as well as a host of other glues, paints, cosmetics and detergents. Exposure to formaldehyde in the short term can irritate the eyes, nose and throat but over the long term, studies have shown that prolonged formaldehyde exposure has shown a link to rare cancers.
With all these potential health hazards in mind lying around the average house, you’d probably baulk at undertaking the traditional spring cleaning exercise in anything less than a full hazmat suit or doing it at all but fortunately, Dyson has culled 5 tips that help ensure an effective, stress-free spring cleaning.
While a brute force approach with liberal amounts of muscle grease ‘can’ work, it behoves savvy users to clean smart which is what Dyson’s range of cordless vacuums are designed to do.
Featuring up to 185 Air Watts of suction power depending on model, sufficient battery life for an extensive clean without being tethered to a cable and a host of precision engineered cleaner heads capable of tackling all manner of challenges including the ability to detect minute motes of dust such as that used in the latest Dyson V12 Detect Slim, it simply makes sense using a Dyson cordless vacuum to get ahead in your spring cleaning programme.
To tackle formaldehyde fumes and also deal with potential allergens like mould and dust floating about to ensure a clean home environment, Dyson has also crafted a range of indoor air purifiers that not only offer a cooling breeze but also helps to filter it to offer cool, clean air via a powerful series of HEPA filters.
One model, the TP09 Purifier Cool Formaldehyde is able to effectively purify the air in a small area via a series of unique formaldehyde filters for extra peace of mind. With these potential challenges in mind, Dyson offers these top tips for an effective spring cleaning session ahead of Chinese New Year.
Effective Spring Cleaning Tip #1 – Clean High Placed Objects and The Ceiling First
To enjoy an effective, stress free spring cleaning session, you’ll need to approach it in a more strategic fashion and the first fact that you’ll have to appreciate is that dust follows gravity so it’ll tend to travel downwards.
To avoid cleaning areas multiple times, start cleaning ceilings and other high-mounted appliances like ceiling fans, chandeliers and air conditioning units as well as the tops of cabinets. By cleaning from top to bottom, you’ll save on cleaning the same areas again and again during your spring cleaning session.
Since they’re usually in out of the way places, they’ll have a lot of dust and anything that misses your initial clean can be mopped up afterwards when you work on the floors and other surfaces. Don’t forget to also clean other wall-mounted items like photo frames and clocks as well as tiny motes of dust that cling onto walls.
While a wet rag will do in a pinch, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a powerful suction like a Dyson cordless vacuum to ensure a deeper, more effective clean and the portable, compact nature of their latest models makes cleaning high and out of the way places a cinch.
Effective Spring Cleaning Tip #2 Clean Air, Clean Home
An effective spring cleaning doesn’t just cover the furniture and rooms alone, it also factors in the air in your home too. While it doesn’t seem as immediately obvious, our homes are full of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) based on the products that we use on a regular basis like hair sprays, scented candles and also from the process of cooking food too.
Some products such as scented candles and even lotions and perfume may also emit hazardous VOCs that evaporate into the air at room temperature and form vapours that we breathe in over time.
For an effective spring cleaning, you’ll not only need to reduce usage of these VOC and NO2 sources (or find allergy-friendly alternatives) but also try and open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when using these products. Naturally, regularly vacuuming your home helps as well as the usage of an air purifier to filter out indoor air from pollutants and other particulates in the air.
Effective Spring Cleaning Tip #3 Don’t Forget Rugs and Carpets
On top of dusting and vacuuming the floor and more obvious bits of furniture, one of the key aspects of an effective spring cleaning are ensuring that other parts of the furniture, including the pillows and cushions and more importantly, rugs and carpets are all thoroughly cleaned.
Carpets and rugs are perfect hiding places for dust mites where they cling deeply to the fibers where they breed and feed on dead skin flakes that accumulate over time. Seeing as these areas are often neglected, an effective spring cleaning session requires regular vacuuming to reduce the number of dust mites and to remove their food sources.
Effective Spring Cleaning Tip #4 Don’t Forget To Wash and Clean The Upholstery and Furniture
The bedrooms including all mattresses and pet baskets and all textile covered furniture like sofas and chairs should be considered a two-day clean-up job. To get started, you’ll need to vacuum both sides of the mattress and all cushions to ensure dead skin flakes and dust mites are removed in an effective fashion.
To ensure a more effective clean that handles loose hair, the Hair Screw Tool in the Dyson V12 can effortlessly remove human and pet hair as well as microscopic allergens. For coverings that can be removed like linen, seat cushion covers and pillow cases, wash them at 60-90 degrees Celsius to kill any germs and bacteria.
Effective Spring Cleaning Tip #5 Cars Are Living Spaces Too
Seeing as we spend a good chunk of our time in our cars for the better part of the week, they can almost be considered living spaces too after a fashion and that means they also merit a thorough cleaning.
Short of hauling it to a car wash and upholstery cleaner to sort out the interior, the best option is to use a powerful cordless vacuum cleaner like the Dyson V12 with a Mini Motorised tool to clean up every car set of dust and dirt. You’ll often be surprised how much dirt accumulates on your seats! You’ll also need to clean out the floor mats and for tight narrow crevices like between car seats, you’ll need the Light Pipe tool to ensure a thorough clean.