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Cordless blower home cleaning  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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When cleaning the house, many people resort to the barbaric, primitivism of broom and dustpan, combined with a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes they use a feather duster as well. To my shame, I was guilty of wasting time that way myself, before discovering the proper way of doing it.  
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Introducing, cordless leaf blower home cleaning. The cleaner, better way.

 I first started using a blower, to clean vacant houses, that are my job sites, when I am involved with house moving. Quite often, the occupants leave a bit of junk behind, and it's necessary for me to make cuts, to build temporary walls and other things that make the house dirty.

My strategy is simple. I only blow the houses when the wind is coming from a definite direction. When the gusts are coming from multiple directions on a sunny day, this makes it difficult to choose a direction to blow. Patio doors and other big doors, make the best openings, but a window can work in a pinch.

 There are a few things to  consider, before blowing a house clean. There can't be a lot of very light, loose items like Christmas cards and the silly little knick-knacks that never should have been bought. Clear the house of obvious things like that, and then start blowing. Test wind direction, before you do anything else.

 I always start by giving the floors a rudimentary sweep or vacuum, if there is a lot of accumulation. This prevents floor debris from becoming airborne. Then, I start at the ceiling, moving the blower in an oscillating fashion. I use the lowest setting on paintings, lamp shades, and other things that are likely to be knocked about. When cleaning cobwebs from stipple ceilings, I press the turbo button, so that my ego blower gives me 480 cubic feet per minute. That's the amount of air coming out of the mouth of the machine, but a moving body of air drags more with it, so that in good conditions you can move thousands of cubic feet per minute.

Back to blowing. I give every dust-collecting surface a little shot of air, and then just blow all of the big surfaces. The stream is always directed in the right direction to work with the wind, in carrying the dust out of the house. Once all of the dust from the ceiling and wall surfaces, is airborne, I start blowing the floors, in the direction of the wind. Pet hair and dander are easily stirred up, so I generally make a quick pass, with the blower on the lowest setting. I hit Turbo, for just a moment when material must be blasted from beneath couches and appliances. Large plants are given special attention. When conditions are right, it generally takes me about 20 minutes to completely  clean a three-bedroom house. That's all surfaces. Ceiling, walls, floors, pictures, mirrors, trims and curtains.

Really dusty curtains and other fabrics are given special attention. They can often be hit in a manner that allows them to oscillate and be shaken out like a rug. I take door mats and other rugs outside. The type with a rubber backing, are placed upside down on the pavement. The blower is pointed at them on the turbo setting, while one foot holds the mat in place. They generally move in a flopping wave pattern, which quickly shakes out all of the debris. The constant stream of air means that none of that debris remains under the mat.

Back inside. When a house is really dirty, it is sometimes necessary to do the first blow, then wait for things to settle out and give it a run with the vacuum cleaner. This prevents dust from being spread everywhere again. I always end it , with a very quick blowing of all upper surfaces again, so that fine dust becomes airborne. I then stand back about 15 feet from the exit door, and set the machine to move about 250 cubic feet of air per minute. When standing at this distance, much more air is forced out of the building. The blower can be placed with an elastic on the control, and allowed to run a few minutes.

When it's all done, there is usually a small amount of heavy debris against the wall of the house, near the exit door. Sweep it up.
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This sounds like a lot of steps, but it is incredibly fast, when compared to actually getting to all of those surfaces yourself. This isn't an everyday cleaning for most people, but doing it occasionally, particularly in homes with cats and other fluffy creatures, can rid your home of massive quantities of light dust and debris that you may not know you have.
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My friend's townhouse, that is pictured below, was incredibly dusty , after 2 months of renovation. Dust had invaded every crevice and was sitting on every surface. I wore my asbestos mask, during the beginning stages of this clean up.

Her place is 3 stories tall. After cleaning the lower floor, I opened the doors down there, and opened the big patio door on the next level. The place was nice and warm, so the stack effect, helped to really increase the amount of wind blowing up the stairs, and out the big glass door.

 I did it when it was nice and sunny outside. It's easy to see if it's working, when thousands of little cat hairs are glistening in the sun.

She had a grand opening, housewarming party the other day. People walked around in sock feet and with bare feet, with no little chunks of anything to stick to their feet.
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Sometimes, after being blown, some surfaces will still retain a thin layer that doesn't want to blow off. I found that drywall dust clings to certain surfaces. So, there's still a need to occasionally use a damp cloth. But this dust isn't eager to become airborne. Very important for those with allergies.

I have a friend who has serious issues with dust. We are going to try this occasionally. I will do it while she is not in the house. After the doors have been left open for half an hour, with the wind wafting through, the home will have far less dust, than when I began.
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30 year old Pink Carpet is gone. :-)
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This salvaged flooring, was in such good condition, that we nailed it down, but did not sand and finish.
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After the party, another light blowing, moved all of the debris to the leeward side of the place. This took 2 minutes. Again, there was lots of pet hair. It blew out the door.
 
pollinator
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I have visions of a small factory some where rebranding leaf blowers as we speak :-)

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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Lloyd is black again. He is constantly wrestling with the other cat, and was a light Shade of Grey during two months of renovation. A mixture of drywall and wood dust.
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I have never used the broom, without Lloyd trying to ride it or play in the dirt. He's cute, but he's an asshole. :-)
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He is watching a bird outside.
 
pollinator
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I just had to laugh out loud when I read the subject title. Super! My two favorite housecleaning tools are a leaf blower and a shopvac.
 
Dale Hodgins
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For those who lack a blower, many shop vacs, can be converted to a blower. Some are made for the task. Others can be converted just by putting the hose on the end, where air exits the machine.

A really good exhaust fan, would definitely be useful. If you have a really nice fan that you don't want to be dusty, use it to push wind into the house. Never try to fight the wind that nature provides.
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RMH cleaning
Your blower can also be used to blast fine dust from your wood heater. I have put the nozzle of my blower, into the wood feed opening, on my J tube style, masonry stove. An old towel was used to create a collar, to avoid blowback. This sent a huge plume of ash, drifting across my property. I don't have any immediate neighbors. It's best to check out where you parked the car, before doing this.

48 hours after the big cleanup, I have just run my hand along the hardwood floor, and can hardly find a speck of anything.
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Lloyd is staying very clean.
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23 hours a day, of lounging, has provided him with a lean muscular frame.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Did it again today.  The cat hair is still coming out of the woodwork. I can't believe that they're losing hair so fast. Thousands of hairs. The silverfish are going to starve.

The photo shows the heavy stuff from the leeward wall.
............
Broom and dustpan, stand by the wall, useless and forlorn. Only used now to clean up after the occasional mishap, but otherwise relegated to the scrap heap of History.
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Dale Hodgins
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Last night, my roommate and landlady, Lorie, mentioned  that I was occupying a little too much space on the countertop with my battery chargers and other stuff. One item was the charger for the blower.

So I asked, "are you enjoying living in a dust-free home, where your wool coat is no longer covered with cat hair every morning, before work? Are you enjoying never having to sweep or vacuum?" She said, "that only takes you a few minutes with the blower."

Some guys would let it go at that point, but not me. I had to ask several times, "how long would this have taken if you did it all the old way?" Finally, she said, "okay it would have taken hours."   Me- "Great, now that we are agreed, keep it zipped." She didn't, but she also didn't bug me about having my charger laying about anymore.

I proclaimed myself the winner of this little battle. Lorie said, "weiner is more like it," so I guess we both won. And she got a  clean house out of the deal. Maybe she just let me think I won. Some people are sneaky like that.
 
Dale Hodgins
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It's often hard to teach Old Dogs new tricks. My friend and roommate, was quite dismayed when she first witnessed the blower being used as a home cleaning device.

The other day, she called me to say, "I've invited Madeline for a visit. Will you be able to blow the house before 6 p.m.?"

 A skeptic was turned into a total convert. Lorie has frittered away many happy hours on pointless house cleaning pursuits. Sometimes, if her brother is coming for Christmas or there's some other big event, she will give it 8 hours. But it's never been as clean as I can get it in 20 minutes , with the blower.

After the final blow, to loosen any little bits that have hung up on the walls or picture frames, I set the blower in the stairwell, with a towel jammed on the controls. This maintains a constant flow of about 500 cubic feet per minute, up the stairs and out the big patio door.
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pollinator
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I've used this method using the blower end of a shop vac or an Electrolux vacuum.  Open all of the windows and doors on a windy day, then use the blower to get all of the dust airborne and shepherded towards and out of the downwind doors and windows.
 
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I love it! I have been doing this for years. My last home was dusty due to climate, and had large amounts of floor to ceiling bookshelves. I leaf blowered my books particularly, but the whole house for dust control. I have 2 of the big (over 2 foot?) fans that sit on the floor, I had figured out the best place to draw air into the house (the air had to run a fairly convoluted path through the place) and to keep it moving out of the house. Turn on both fans, so the air flows through well, start at the air input side and work my way through to the output side. I'd break the dust loose off the books and such, then kind of round it up in the air and shove it toward the air flow. It's really quite fun, be sure to wear a dust mask of some sort!

My mom volunteered at a library, the lady in charge was sighing about dusting books, mom said "oh, my daughter leaf blows hers!" and told her about the double fans bit. Years later, that library still blows their bookshelves  :)  Yay! Corrupting normal humans!!
 
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I have a large exhaust fan with a two speed electric motor and belt to drive it.  Back around 1986 I had to cut the concrete floor in an apartment to run a hot water line to the bathroom. It was two lines a foot apart at least 25 feet long. I was using a concrete saw so I opened the windows in that area and set my crazy powerful fan in the doorway. This fan would blow kids over if they walked in front of it within 20 feet. I made my cuts and shut the fan off. I am very glad the house next door was owned by folks that very close friends with the lady I was doing this for. I turned their whole back yard gray. It did rain that night so their yard was green grass again that next morning.

 
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