How to keep the home clean and healthy through the warm humid summer months
BY SHERRI SMITH
Well hello there, how is summer treating you? If you are anything like me, you might be finding this humidity a wee bit over whelming. It saps our energy and can play havoc in our homes. The constant high levels of heat and humidity are a fabulous breeding ground for mould and mildew! But don’t despair, today we are sharing a few tips on how to help keep your home clean and healthy through these summer months, from eco-friendly cleaning, to plant care and the importance of ventilation and cooling in the home.
No doubt you have seen an array of speciality eco-friendly household cleaners available. Some of them are great while some of them can be problematic with respiratory issues. With that in mind, I would like to suggest a couple of very basic but good cleaning ideas. The first one is using a bamboo fibre cloth. Like a microfibre cloth, but without the chemical fibre residue that gets into the water ways. Keep an eye out for “Re-sparkle Bamboo Microfibre Cloths”. These cloths make cleaning a lot easier and are usually sufficient to clean without using any other cleaning aids. To make your own cleaning spray try the following mixed in a spray bottle using distilled or boiled water (cooled). 1 part white vinegar, 1 part water and optional 12-15 drops essential oils eg. Lemon or Lavender, or your favourite blend with cloves and citrus. NB omit the oil when cleaning glass, and do not use vinegar on natural stone. Alternatively for stone bench tops etc. use a mix of water and baking soda mixed into a paste.
Indoor Plant Care
In summer plants in the home need extra water due to heat stress, the use of air conditioners and fans. As the sun moves around the earth casting light in different angles be sure your plants are not in direct sunlight. Just like us, indoor plants can get sunburnt! The direct sunlight will turn leaves yellow, dry out soil, raise plant root temperatures and potentially kill the plant. Be kind and remove plants from direct summer sun, away from the direct line from air conditioners and fans and water a little more often to reduce heat stress. On a side note, summer (outside of the extreme heat times) is a great opportunity to repot plants and get them settled and growing in their new larger pots before the cooler months. If you have the space outside to create a sheltered area for your pot plants away from direct sun, and wind, this spot can be used to rotate your indoor plants to keep them fresh and healthy.
Extra Tip: Did you know certain plants like English Ivy help reduce mould spores while others like Palour Palm and Pathos naturally cool the home.
Ventilation and Cooling
Mould loves a damp dark place to grow, and the way to combat mould and mildew is to reduce the hot humid air with great ventilation. Open the windows! Be mindful of where your cool breezes are coming from and open up to let in those breezes, draw the air through the home by having another window on the opposite end open as well… and let in the daylight. Use ceiling and pedestal fans to keep air moving and cooling the home. Block out curtains and blinds are a great choice to stop the harsh summer sun and heat coming in through the windows. But be sure to open the block out curtains and blinds and the windows once the sun has passed by Plant shade trees and shrubs to create a barrier to the sun outside if possible. When you can stop the sun before it gets to the home it dramatically improves temperatures inside the home..
Plus… There are numerous ways to improve the living environment in the home. Smart gardening, the right type of windows, ceiling fans, external colours on walls and roof, insulation, plus utilising the natural attributes of the location can create a cooler home. We hope you have been inspired to try some of our tips and enjoy our glorious Summer.
Find all of Sherri’s contact details by viewing the ‘Sherri Smith Interiors’ feature page HERE