J and I have long-struggled with the whole “cleaning situation” in our house. The dogs. THE DOGS! Especially in the summer, they shed like it’s their job. I mean, I guess it kind of is? Pet dander, people dander, air dander (that’s not a thing. I just needed a third “something” to make a list.). How do we (sometimes) get a handle on our situation?
We vacuum. A lot. About 2-3 times a week in the summer and at least once a week in the winter. We bought this guy from Home Depot, which has a few attachments that are super-helpful. (I’ve been through many a vacuum, only to discover that Dyson’s do not work. At least for me. I’ve had the experience of using three different ones that ALL lost suction.) So we end up buying a “cheaper” vacuum, use the heck out of it for a few years, and then get a new one. Works for us. (affiliate link)
I end up vacuuming all the hard surfaces, instead of sweeping. With dog hairs, this just seems to be the best method. (If I have time, I dust first. But I usually don’t have time, so vacuuming suffices in the meantime.) Once that stage is done, I mop. We use this guy, which has a refillable canister and washable pads. I much prefer these washable pads to a plain old (disposable-wipe) swiffer. (affiliate link)
We change out the air filters! We have two in our house, and J handles that duty. Mostly because he’s tall and doesn’t need a ladder to change these out. We opt for a middle-of-the-road filter. We’ve heard that if you buy the top of the line filters, it actually ends up making your air handler work harder, which is no bueno for us… seeing as how our air handler is already 20something years old. (pleasedontdiepleasedontdie)I try to do this more often, but if I’m being honest, it happens about once a year: dust off the fan blades. This is pretty gross, but fairly self-explanatory. I usually use a damp microfiber cloth to get the nasties off.
When I was down at Haven, I got to meet the kind people of Honeywell (the air purifier-people). They were quick to show me their newest product, the bluetooth air purifier, touting its benefits. What are said benefits, you ask? Well.
- It matches Ringo’s fur. Very important.
- You can control it from across the room, check the filter status, set a timer, etc etc etc with the [free!] app.
- It has a LOT of different modes… like a general clean, a germ, an allergen, and turbo. We usually leave the turbo mode on during the day when we leave.
- You can schedule when this thing should turn on and off! So if you’re going out for the day, leave it on “general clean”, but want that extra boost right before you get home? You can totally do it with this guy.
So these guys were so nice to send us one of our very own to test out. Again, with the screaming and jumping around. J was so stinking excited about this guy that he had it completely set up and running before I even got home from work. Which basically means in the five minutes he is home before I am, he let the dogs outside, ripped the box apart, plugged it in, downloaded the app, and set the entire machine up.
So here’s the deal. I think, for some reason, I expected magic. As in… this guy would run for approximately 10 minutes, and then VIOLA! Our house wouldn’t smell like dogs anymore! We would have zero hairballs trolling through the house! And Angels would sing.
These things aren’t magic. They clean the air, not your house. They’re not Rosie from The Jetsons. (Can we bring back that show? I quite enjoyed that.) And when I say they clean the air, they don’t necessarily make it smell better. I have a different trick for that. BRB with that tip.
What they will do for your house: It’s got a HEPA filter, which traps VOC’s, mold, allergens, etc. Basically, it makes the air realllll nice. So while it may not necessarily make your house smell like lilies, it definitely keeps things fresh and circulating when we’re gone. A definite MUST.
So about the “making it smell better” thing for us? That works like MAGIC and is crazy cheap? Get out a nice bowl. Or glass. Or shoot… get your paper plates out. Whatever you choose. Pour some (whole) coffee beans into said [open] container. Wait for a couple minutes. Those beans will absorb those nasty odors out of the air. True story. It took somewheres around 15 minutes for our living room to not smell like dog flatulence. Got any other tips for us?
*super huge muchas gracias senores to the folks at Honeywell for sending us one of these to test out.*