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April 2019

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12 Things to Get Rid of Today

Spring has arrived and that means houses around the country are getting a good old-fashioned spring cleaning. Don’t just be amazed at how many “things” and how much “stuff” crowds your closets, drawers, and open spaces throughout your home. Make the best use of your storage spaces by donating, recycling, or tossing items that are never used, old and broken. Here’s a list of items to tackle this spring with the help of Family Circle.

The Utensil Drawer

If your utensil drawer is looking more like your junk drawer, it’s time to corral all those wayward knives, forks, and spoons. Take an inventory of your utensils. Are there duplicates that never get used such as can openers or serving spoons? Many times when we buy new utensils we just add them to our current inventory without taking the time to donate or toss old ones. If you own way more spatulas or serving spoons than you need, donate them to your local soup kitchen.

Coffee Cups

Coffee cups and mugs tend to take up valuable cabinet space. If you reach for the same mug each morning, or only use one fancy coffee cup set for when entertaining, scale down your collection.

Plastic Storage Containers

Trying to find a container and its matching lid can be as frustrating as trying to match up pairs of socks. Make the task easier by keeping only a few of each size container and recycling the rest. Before delegating them to the recycling bin, think about using containers around the house for storage. They make great holders for crayons, paper clips, rubber bands, and any other small items that tend to get lost.

Little or Never-Used Kitchen Gadgets

Many kitchens in the U.S. are stocked with novelty kitchen tools or gadgets that rarely if ever get used. If you’ve only used your waffle maker once or never got around to putting your fruit and vegetable juicer to good use, ask friends or family if they can make better use of them.

Vases

Flowers are always a welcome gift. Over time, anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day result in a collection of vases. If you’re not sure what to do with extra vases, give them back to your local florist to be reused.

Pantry Purge

This spring make a point to clean out your pantry. Clear the shelves and take an inventory of the items you have. Check the expiration dates. Keep an eye on foods that are soon to expire and think of ways to use them for upcoming meals. If you bought the wrong item or know you won’t be using an item, donate it to your local food pantry.

Magazines and Catalogs

Even with the convenience of digital magazine subscriptions and online shopping, hard copies of magazines and catalogs probably still crowd your coffee table and bedroom night stand. Recycle what you’ve already read and tear out pictures of articles you want to keep.

Books

Books are wonderful items to collect and a wall of neatly arranged books makes a great decorative impact. Keep your favorite books and donate the others to local schools or organizations.

Clothes Closet

Gain valuable space in your clothes closet by donating any items in good condition that no longer fit or items given to you as a gift that you know you’ll never wear.

Electronics

If you frequently upgrade your electronic devices, you probably have a collection of USB cords, power cords, and other electronic equipment. Ask around your local community if organizations can use your equipment. If you do dispose of broken or outdated electrical equipment, be sure to visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to learn how to properly dispose of your equipment.

Linens

Need extra space in your linen closet? Retire worn or ripped towels or sheet. According to Family Circle, a general rule of thumb is to keep two sets of sheets per bed.

Toys

Donating toys to underprivileged children gives you the extra space you need and teaches your children a valuable lesson about sharing their belongings with the less fortunate.

References:

http://www.familycircle.com/home/organization/tips/18-things-you-can-get-rid-of-right-now/?page=6&viewAll=true

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm

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4 Must Have Vacuum Cleaner Tools

When it comes to vacuuming, many of us will understandably believe that whizzing the vacuum cleaner over the floors will remove all dirt, dust and debris, leaving our homes clean. However, dirt can hide in areas where the standard vacuum cannot reach, which is why it is important to make sure that your vacuum is tooled up.

Some of the vacuum tools we recommend ensuring you have to utilise your vacuum cleaner include:

Crevice Tool:

The crevice tool can significantly improve the cleaning qualities of your vacuum once it has been attached to the extension tube.

With a crevice tool you’ll be able to remove dust from those hard to reach and tight areas, including corners where walls meet, and across skirting boards.

Dusting Brush:

Normal dusting with polish and a duster doesn’t always result in the surface looking clean. Thankfully, for such areas (and those covered by a thick layer of dirt) the dusting brush tool for vacuum cleaners can prove invaluable.

Such a tool is ideal for cleaning dusty areas and its soft bristles make it perfect for precious furniture and scratch sensitive objects.

Mattress Tool:

A little know fact is that the body sheds roughly 18 kilograms of skin in a lifetime; with some of this skin being shed during the night as we sleep. It’s therefore important to ensure that we regularly clean our mattresses.

Thankfully, with the mattress tool for your vacuum cleaner, this doesn’t need to be a chore. Generally, the tool features a wide suction and thread catcher, making it perfect for cleaning not only the mattress, but those awkward gaps between the bed frame and mattress.

Upholstery Tool:

We all know that the vacuum cleaner is a valuable household appliance for keeping our floors clean. But did you know that it can also be used to remove pet hair and various other dirt and debris from upholstery within your home?

With the vacuum upholstery tool any soft furnishings can once again be left clean. Many upholstery tools also feature lint strips and an agitating edge to remove hairs and lift carpet pile for a deeper clean.

Top Tip: Such a tool can also be used to make the normally difficult task of vacuuming the stairs easier, quicker and more efficient.

Utilising the various tools available for your vacuum cleaner will help to ensure that any dirt, debris and allergens which you may find in your home, are removed with relative ease. In addition to taking advantage of the various vacuum cleaner tools on offer, we also recommend utilising floor cleaning products.

From spot cleaners and stain removers which help to remove blemishes ahead of vacuuming, through to vacuum air fresheners, which help ensure your vacuum emits a pleasant smell as you make your way through your home; using these combined with the vacuum cleaner tools and attachments which leave your floors cleaner for longer.

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4 Ideal Bed Bug Solutions For Your Mattress

Bed bugs are harmful for your health. Keeping your mattress clean and free from these parasites should be at the top of your priority. You wouldn’t want to compromise your sleep because of these small, invisible pests.

The following are some of the best bed bug solutions you can find in the market:

1. Bed Bug Proof Box Spring Encasement by Protect-A-Bed

You would want to buy this box spring cover. It features a remarkable 3-sided BugLock Zipper system that can prevent the entry of bugs. This can also prevent those bugs from escaping the bed, thereby preventing them from scattering elsewhere.

This is made up of polyester jersey fabric that you can easily use to cover your box spring. It can be easily washed using your washer. The only downside to this is that it cannot be used as a mattress protector. However, it prevents bugs from climbing up to your mattress.

2. ELF Spray

This ELF or Eco Living Friendly Spray can get rid of bugs, mites, lice and scabies. It also effectively controls the production of those parasites. This is an ideal mattress spray because it does not contain harmful chemicals. In fact, many types of bugs are immune to chemicals. But using this eco-friendly spray can kill those pests effectively. It is safe to use for your mattress and even for the mattresses used by your kids.

3. BuzzEnder Bed Bug Spray

This can protect your mattress from bugs and dust termites. You can even use this for your sofa, luggage and carpets. Just spray it all over the mattress and it will keep your bed bug-free for about 30 days. It does not contain any toxic chemicals or pesticides so you can use it for your kids’ mattresses.

4. AllerZip Waterproof Bed Bug Proof Zippered Bedding Encasement

This is what you can use to protect your mattress from bugs and other micro organisms. It can help repel those invisible creatures. It is water proof so it can protect your primary bed from urine or sweat. This is also a better choice compared to other mattress covers because it has breathable barrier fabric. It will allow air to circulate better inside so you won’t have to worry about night sweats.

These are the solutions you would want to use to keep your mattress free from bugs. In addition to that, always keep the area around your mattress in pristine condition. Clean your room using a good vacuum cleaner to remove dust mites and other microscopic creatures.

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3 Carpet Cleaning Mistakes by Beginners

People constantly make mistakes when cleaning carpets because they watch their carpets getting dirty for years and try to solve the entire problem in one day. The fact of the matter is, if you neglect your carpets then the dirt will build up and create dirty carpets. Quick vacuuming jobs twice per month will not keep your carpets clean for years. As you neglect them more and more you’ll lose years off of the life of your carpets when cleaning them regularly could have pushed out the cost of new carpets by an additional five years.

Scrubbing stains

When something spills on carpet people like to panic. When people panic in a fire drill chaos happens and the situation is worse than just a fire. Now people are trampling all over each other causing more injuries than the fire itself. Don’t panic and start scrubbing the stain into the carpets with a bundle of paper towels in your hand. Be smart. First scoop the solid into a bag without spreading the spill. Then spray the stain with a stain-fighting formula and blot the stain with paper towels.

Scrubbing it will never take more out, it rubs more in. Once you thoroughly clean the stain solids and liquids run a vacuum over it a few times. Repeat the process for two or three days until it’s gone or call for professional help as soon as possible. Don’t look at the stain for a month hoping it will go away, call a professional to get rid of it.

Using magic formulas

If you have a stain that you can’t remove and you’ve “tried everything in the book” then stop trying and call a professional. If you couldn’t clean it the first ten times with your magic online formulas that clean any stain from chocolate to wine then it’s not going to work the eleventh time either. It’s time to stop wasting your time and call a professional. It will cost money, but make the most of it. Ask them for tips while they’re in your home and you’re paying them. They will be willing to give you some quick advice because you’re paying for their services.

Not taking action

Looking at the stain every day and complaining about it is making the situation worse. The longer it sits there the harder it gets to remove. Take action immediately. Use paper towels, warm water and soap until the mess is clean. Then use stain remover if it’s still visible, and if those methods don’t work within a few days, you should seek professional help.

If you spill oil on your hand you’re going to stay in the bathroom until the stain is gone. You’re not going to look at it for three days and then try to clean it because it will be too engrained into your skin. You should take the same action on your carpet if you really care about removing the stain. Clean your carpets on a regular basis to keep their original shine as long as possible.

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4 Carpet Care Tips

Buying carpet isn’t like buying a pair of shoes. You can’t just use them till they’re worn and buy another pair. Carpet is an investment that must be taken care of to maximize its use. Here are some tips to help you keep your carpet well maintained.

1. Keep it clean. To prevent your carpet from getting as dirty, you should implement a no shoes indoors policy in you home. Add to that the placement of knock off rugs outside each entrance to your home. This will further remove the chance of any outside dirt or soil being tracked into your home and onto your carpet. Probably the single most important thing you can do for your carpet is actually the easiest, keep it vacuumed. Vacuum your carpet at least once a week, and more if you have the time. Keeping your carpet vacuumed will prevent it from accumulating dirt, dust, grime, and all the airborne particles and allergens that end up in it on a daily basis. All these materials, when left unattended, will create odors, stains, deterioration, and health issues.

2. Be prepared. Your carpet is susceptible to spills and accidents at any time. Don’t fool yourself, these things will happen. Your best bet is to be prepared. Keep a spill cleaning kit tucked away somewhere in your house. Include clean towels, spray bottles, a bucket, and your favorite spot remover. Having these things handy will eliminate the time it takes to hunt for and gather them after an accident occurs. And you should know by now that the most important part of cleaning up a carpet accident is to act immediately.

3. Rearrange every so often. It is likely that you have some pretty heavy furniture on top of your carpet. We all know about the unsightly little divots that can be left behind from furniture legs. Many times these indentions are permanent. The weight of a heavy object will damage those carpet fibers and once that occurs there isn’t much you can do to repair them. A solution to this is to move your furniture every so often, even if it’s just a few inches. You don’t have to rearrange the whole room. Rotate a piece of furniture or just move it over a few inches to allow the divots to fluff back up and will reduce the damage to those areas.

4. Hire a professional. It is recommended to hire a professional carpet cleaner at least once a year to give your carpet a thorough cleaning. They have the tools and skills to give your carpet a rejuvenating cleaning. Even though you regularly maintain your carpet, it still requires a yearly comprehensive cleaning that will eliminate elements that work their way deep into your fibers over time. The type of cleaning a professional can give your carpet will refresh and revitalize the fibers and restore it. You can then continue with your routine maintenance and your carpet will thank you for it by giving you years and years of use.

These are easy tips that anyone can follow. Keeping your carpet well maintained is not rocket science. It just takes some dedication.

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4 Essential Steps To A Fresh, Clean, Healthy Carpet

Everyone is aware that carpeting involves a significant investment. Like any other valuable investment, your carpet requires frequent and constant care in order to preserve and maintain its useful life and its beauty. A regularly planned and scheduled carpet cleaning and maintenance program, will make your carpet look better, last longer, and contribute meaningfully to a healthier home environment.

Here are 4 steps to a fresh, clean and healthy carpet.

1. Vacuum Frequently. Most people in the know will tell you that the most important element in a good carpet maintenance program is regular and frequent vacuuming. You need to vacuum often. Once a day if possible. If not, at least once per week is necessary. Vacuuming will remove the abrasive soil that filters down and settles among the carpet fibers. While residing there, it causes the fibers to be cut and sliced by pressure from foot traffic or any other heavy mass passing over it. Vacuuming will also remove loose particles of sand, grit, skin scales, hair, leaves, food or bugs, etc., that settle at the base of the fibers. You may not be able to see these, but be aware that your carpet is a filter that will collect all the particulate material that floats in the interior environment of your home, or is tracked upon it.

2. Clean Up Spots and Spills Immediately. This is a key habit to adopt, and could save you a lot of frustration, heartache or just cold cash. With the passage of time, spots and spills that are allowed to remain on the carpet can become permanent stains that will be difficult or impossible to remove. If the carpet is new or has had protector applied recently, fresh spots and stains can be removed by simply blotting with water. Remember. Blot. Don’t rub. Rubbing could cause the stain to spread and just lead to more grief.

You will probably need to remove some spots with a good spotting agent. Be wary of spot removers purchased over the counter. Some of them will leave too much soapy residue and can cause yellowing or re-soiling. Some contain strong oxidizing agents, reducing agents, or bleach. You need to know how to use these safely. If you do not, try one that is recommended by your friendly professional carpet cleaner. Just call the carpet cleaning company and ask for their recommendation. A good company will always be willing to offer their help without charge, but you must be careful to describe the condition exactly. Most importantly, let them know what caused the spill.

Apply the spot cleaner carefully to the spot, with a white terry cloth towel, and blot repeatedly. Never rub it in. If you are not able to remove any spot, or for pet urine or feces, call in your professional carpet cleaning company immediately.

3. Have Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned Often. Most people do not realize how important regular deep cleaning by a competent, certified carpet cleaning company can be. Carpet manufacturers recommend that this is to be done at least once per year. For heavily soiled traffic areas, this should be done more often. If your traffic areas are visibly soiled, you have already waited too long.

4. Have Carpet Protector Re-Applied After Cleaning. Most residencies have stain resistant synthetic, usually nylon, carpet installed. They come pretreated with a protective coating that causes soiling material to slide off the fibers and leave the carpet looking clean for extended periods. With wear however, and after treatment with some of the harsher chemicals used in cleaning, this coating will be removed, causing the carpet to get soiled much more easily, wear faster, and become susceptible to permanent staining. Ask your professional carpet cleaner to re-apply protector after carpet cleaning. This is somewhat costly, but is well worth it.

Victor Nugent is Owner and President of AJS Carpet Cleaning, Inc. with over 10 years experience in the Carpet Cleaning business.

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2 Easy Ways to Clean Your Wooden Venetian Blinds

The benefits of having wooden Venetian blinds are numerous; they provide excellent shading from the sun, are durable and are easy to clean and maintain. Similar to other kinds of wood furniture and finishes, wooden blinds need special attention and care so that they may look their best and last a long time. Follow this simple guide for maintenance tips on how to clean your wooden Venetian blinds.

The first crucial step to maintaining your wooden blinds is to remove any excess dust that may have collected. Dust loves to collect in hard-to-reach places, but it is harmful to fibers and materials over time, not to mention that it looks terrible. Before you begin, it is recommended that you place a sheet on the floor below your blinds to catch any dust that may fall. When you are finished, you can shake the cloth outside. This helps keep unwanted allergens at bay and is especially important for maintaining a healthy and pure, indoor air quality. There are two different ways you can approach your routine dust removal; either one is an acceptable method. For both methods, you need to open up your blinds; make sure the slats are vertical and flat, allowing you to reach every part of each individual strip.

The first method involves using a feather duster or other type of manufactured duster. These are usually designed to maximize coverage and pick up large quantities of dust without sending it flying into your living room and breathable air. When using a hand held duster, remember to use slow, steady strokes. Moving too fast can cause the dust to propel itself into the air, increasing the likelihood that you may breathe these harmful particles.

The second method of dust removal is even more efficient; however, it does require that you own a vacuum cleaner with a hose and brush attachments. Attach the brush extension onto your vacuum hose, and, again, use slow, deliberate strokes horizontally across the wooden slats. Once you have completed this, you can open the blinds slightly, and repeat to ensure you removed any dust that was on the underside.

The next step involves keeping your wood conditioned. This protects it from cracking and warping. It seals needed wood oils in and keeps unwanted moisture and humidity at bay. All you need for this step is an approved wood cleaner and conditioner and a clean cloth or cloth mitt. Dab a small amount of the wood cleaner onto the dry cloth or glove; run it over the tops and bottom of each wooden slat. Never use water on wood. This can cause your wood to warp and need replacing prematurely. When applying the wood cleaner, take care not to over-saturate the wood as this can cause a similar effect, even with wood-approved oil. After you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your blinds, you may apply the wood conditioner. Conditioner is an excellent way to make your wood shine and keep it looking new.

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3 Tips to Declutter Your Wardrobe

1. TO BEGIN THE GRAND DECLUTTER OF YOUR WARDROBE GET THE TIMING RIGHT!

This first step is extremely important.

  • Some days just are not the right day to make bold decisions! You may be tired and listless after a hard days work then you will be unable to make any big decisions
  • Some days you may not have the peace and quiet required to make bold decisions. Interruptions in your thought process may interfere with courageous and sensible choices
  • Some days you may wish to invite your special friends to help you in your efforts to get organized and achieve the success you are looking for.
  • Other times you may wish to follow a saga on the TV or watch your favorite programme so your mind will be unable to concentrate on the important job in hand.

2. DECLUTTER AND ORGANIZE ONE AREA AT A TME

Now the mood is right and the stage is set, it is time to enjoy and celebrate the feeling that you have started on your path to order in the wardrobe.

  • You are in the right mood, a good feeling, so make the most of it and start by organizing the area you least want to do.
  • Clear the chosen area of items but only the amount that you know you will be able to cope with. Lay the articles on the bed or chair. Try to keep relatively tidy in order to keep the good moods flowing.
  • Clean this empty space ready for your new and wonderful organization.
  • Decide which items suit your needs and you really, really want and know it is right to keep.

3. DE-CLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING ITEMS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE USEFUL

  • This is a time of wavering decisions but your mood is right so you may be able to make bold decisions. If you are still not sure, put these few items into a box, out of sight, temporarily out of mind and reconsider them in a few weeks, when the mood is right again.

Carry on with these 3 tips to declutter your wardrobe. It may take a long time, it may be an ongoing task or you may manage to organize the whole wardrobe in one session.

Decluttering and organizing your wardrobe needs to be done regularly, especially when the seasons change. Maybe consideration too must be given to the possibility of not only seasons but also size changes!

Keep tidy! Keep organized. Have fun! Remember that LESS is MORE!

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3 Misconceptions About Carpet Cleaning

For many years now, Australians have been using services of carpet cleaning industry for both commercial and personal purposes. Since carpet cleaning is a much-needed service, better-serving firms have significantly gain prominence and grown in size. However, not everything has been ‘a walk in the garden’. Throughout the years, many myths and misconceptions about this trade have raised their heads.

Recently, we have witnessed that the service has come on leaps and bounds. The credit of this development can be given to the growth in products and the robust equipment that helps the process as well. No matter what’s the real reason, one thing has happened for sure that dirty or stained carpets are no longer the problem they once have been. Cleaning has become the best solution to costly replacement.

However, with such growth in the carpet cleaning industry, it also becomes crucial to eliminate the misconceptions connected with it. Here is some important info to offer an insight into the 3 most common misconceptions. The only purpose of this article is to empower homeowners with the correct information.

Misconception #1 – The most common myth or misconception that you may have surely heard before is that gs, and powerful enough to offer the best cleaning for even the dirtiest floor coverings.carpet cleaning products are harmful to the environment. Believe us, this isn’t true at all as there are various products that have been specifically formulated to act friendly to the environment. The best thing about such cleaners is that they are soft enough not to damage the carpet fibres or affect the surroundin

The professional cleaners give importance to environmentally friendly products as areas that are being cleaned are widely used by kids and pets in the house. This makes it more crucial to consider the ingredients of the cleaning solutions.

Misconception #2 – Another major misconception about carpet cleaning is that the re-soiling process of professionally cleaned carpets is a lot quicker. A lot of homeowners think that after their rugs have been cleaned professionally, then they are more likely to become dirtier, and that too at a quicker pace.

A few homeowners think the service is needed on a more regular basis as some residue is left behind on the carpets. This is completely untrue and proves quite clearly that why it is so crucial to hire a local and renowned carpet cleaner to do the job. You need to have faith in the professional cleaner you choose, just make sure that the cleaning company is known for its high quality
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Misconception #3 – One of the most common and widely believed misconceptions about carpet cleaning is that it’s expensive. The cost and level of services offered by cleaning companies vary significantly. so, you job is to find the one that not only offers top-notch services, but also do the work at fairly reasonable rates. Pricing should be transparent and there shouldn’t be any hidden costs at all. Keep in mind that when it comes to steam carpet cleaning, lowest priced quote is not always the best option.

A high quality service may be reflected a bit in the price. To get excellent service, the right equipment should be used with the best-available cleaning solutions. When all these things are considered together, then it will offer true value for money.

10 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers

Did you know there is another approach to cleaning up the air inside your house?

It turns out that ordinary houseplants can purify the air, even cleaning such bad boys as formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene from the air. Houseplants even cut down drastically on airborne microbes. Here are 10 common houseplants that can beautify your home and clean up indoor air pollution.

1. Chrysanthemums have been shown to remove the dangerous compound benzene from the air. Keep in mind that chrysanthemum is poisonous when ingested or when it comes into prolonged skin contact.

2. Aloe vera is a plant that plenty of households already have in their kitchen window due to their ability to effectively cool cooking burns. It is also quite effective at eliminating formaldehyde from the air.

3. Boston ferns are the most effective houseplants for removing formaldehyde. They’re also good for soil, removing heavy metals like mercury and arsenic. This very common houseplant is not only beautiful, but healthy as well!

4. Areca palm trees are the best overall air purifying plant out there, according to studies by no less a scientific body than NASA. It’s also a terrific air humidifier. In fact, it’s such a great humidifier, it can eliminate the need for an electric one in the room where it lives.

5. Rubber plants provide moisture, get rid of bio effluents and volatile organic compounds, and even suppress airborne microorganisms. And the best part is its cleansing properties actually improve over time due to special bacteria within the leaves that “eat” microorganisms.

6. Peace lilies are not only easy to care for, they are great all around air purifiers.

7. Spider plants are great at removing carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air, bringing levels to near zero after only 24 hours. And readily make “baby” spider plants too.

8. Snake plants, also known as “mother-in-law tongue” plants not only eliminate toxins from the air readily, they also grow where others won’t, from hot window ledges to dark areas.

9. Lady palms can live in a wide range of conditions, and is very insect-resistant. It’s a great all-around purifier, but is not tops at removing formaldehyde, so if that is a concern, add a Boston fern or two.

10. Bamboo palms are highly rated by NASA for all around air purification, and are good at removing formaldehyde. They require lots of room, however, so place them carefully.

Air purifiers are a big business these days. As people become more energy conscious, they do what they can to eliminate drafts in their homes and offices. While this definitely holds the heated (or cooled) air in better, it can result in high levels of indoor air pollutants, particularly when new carpet or furniture is brought in. However by using the right plants, you can help to keep your home air clean.

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