• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

Advice on vacuum/carpet cleaner and dealing with allergens needed.  RSS feed

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The phouka household has been sick. Dad had a cold that turned into pneumonia. I caught his cold and had two weeks of asthma, sinus infection, and misery. Mom got the same cold and missed three days of work, which is unheard of.<br /><br />We are under orders to get rid of all the allergens, and I need help.<br /><br />Stuff we've done:<br /><br />- washing sheets twice a week, pillows and comforters once a month.<br />- cat gets brushed daily, puppy gets bathed weekly.<br />- carpets are vacuumed every other day.<br /><br />While it would be best to remove the pets from the bedrooms, that's just not possible. The cat is 18 years old, half-blind, and cannot tolerate the puppy. So, she lives in my bedroom. She sleeps on my bed or sometimes on my face. Not much to be done there. The puppy sleeps in my mom's room (parents maintain separate bedrooms because their sleep habits are diametrically opposed). Puppy sleeps on the bed, in the chair, and sometimes in her crate. The likelihood of Mom permanently removing the puppy from her bed is similar to me hitting a Kuiper belt object while playing fetch. <br /><br />The carpet is near the end of their life, but replacing it is a very large investment in time, money, and inconvenience, and the parents have not considered it.<br /><br />Mom wants to purchase a carpet cleaner, but the previous cleanings we've done don't appear to help much, and now I'm told that it can cause mold to grow under the carpet and padding. <br /><br />Mom is very much impressed with the Kirby vacuum - 2.0 horsepower motor, excellent engineering, HEPA filtration on the bag, dry carpet shampooer - but it is $1300 on sale. She is leery of a used Kirby because of horror stories she's heard (told mostly by the salesman, but still).<br /><br />So, I am tasked with developing options to laying out the $1300 for a new Kirby or getting ripped off on eBay for a fake/used Kirby. I turn to you.<br /><br />Removing the pets is not an option.  However, we must cut down on allergens - especially pet dander, dead skin cells, mites, and mite poo. I'm looking for alternatives to the expense of the Kirby (or possibly accolades which say it's totally worth it), ideas for further eliminating respiratory stressors, and experiences you've had with similar problems. All advice is gratefully accepted.
   
clicke here
 
Posts: 34
Location: West Quebec
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can't address vacuum models here, but there are simple ways to cut down the dander and allergens.

Used tea bags, slightly moist, the contents emptied onto the carpet a few minutes before vacuuming. The dander sticks to the tea, and gets sucked up/swept away (works for sweeping, too) more effectively.

Again, tea, this time diluted, in a spray bottle. Spray very lightly onto furniture & rugs. This deodorizes (yeah, like home made Febreeze only safe) and it neutralizes dust mite poop, which is the stuff makes you sick. Just don't use it on white fabric.

Sunlight is great. Hang blankets, pillows etc in the sun for a day, very effective.

Clean your airconditioner, forced air heat system, and any ceiling fans too.  Vacuuming creates as much dust as it sucks up IMO, so DO open windows and try to leave the house for a couple of hours after.

You can trust me, I was a cleaning lady in another life.
 
pollinator
Posts: 419
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How old is your home?  Any chance there is a wood floor under the carpet?  We recently switched out our carpet with wood flooring and it is now much easier to manage the pet fur.

I did it myself, it wasn't that difficult and the price was reasonable.  But it was time-consuming.  We used pre-finished engineered flooring.

Another thing I do now and then is open all the windows on a windy day and use a leaf blower to blow a lot of the dust and hair out the windows.  It definitely kicks things up for a few hours though, and you'll need to dust afterward.

Regarding allergies, have you tried any probiotics?  I have heard that those have helped some people.  We are trying some now with our dog as well, to see if it reduces her yeast infections.
 
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

christine lawson wrote:
Used tea bags, slightly moist, the contents emptied onto the carpet a few minutes before vacuuming. The dander sticks to the tea, and gets sucked up/swept away (works for sweeping, too) more effectively.
Again, tea, this time diluted, in a spray bottle. Spray very lightly onto furniture & rugs. This deodorizes (yeah, like home made Febreeze only safe) and it neutralizes dust mite poop, which is the stuff makes you sick. Just don't use it on white fabric.



Wow, good advice.  I will try the tea thing. I have two dogs in the house, but since the cat decided to leave home, my house is SO much cleaner! It is unbelievably so. The dust balls and floating cat hair are gone.

I suppose something bad happened to the cat since he didn't return; he lived here for 12 years and I feel sorry for him, but I am so glad to have a clean house that I will never have a cat in the house again.

My vacuum has a Hepa filter and I can even smell the difference when I use it; the air smells cleaner. I bought it at Lowes. We have mostly wood floors.

Perhaps you should try an air cleaner!? But don't bother with an ozone machine - total rip-off. I researched ozone for days following a small fire in the house. That reminds me - perhaps you should wash your walls! No kidding! When I came to the conclusion the ozone was not the solution I just washed all the surfaces and opened the windows. The smell totally dissipated in a couple of days. You might have all kinds of microscopic debris clinging to your walls. I like to use Murphy's Oil soap.

 
Posts: 225
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I go to a small vacuum repair shop to buy the bags for my cleaner, and they have quite a few used Kirbys, along with the heavy duty canister models that have lots of suction. The guy there said that for a few hundred dollars, he can provide a machine that will last longer than I will.

A friend once worked as a Kirby salesman, but not for long, as he didn't feel good about it - he did like the product, but not the high pressure techniques they were taught and expected to use.
 
gardener
Posts: 7488
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
426
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      Household carpeting is the worst idea since forced air heating. The two combined are a recipe for ill health. Hermetically sealing ourselves inside plastic vapor barriers is a major contributor to poor indoor air quality.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
29
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I ripped out all the carpet in our house. Some has been replaced with wood (bamboo really... so grass, but sealed) but anywhere else I just painted the sub-floor with deck paint... cheap, repaint about once a year for a few years till it is thick enough to last longer The truth is, I put down two coats at least two years ago in the dining room (we have kids so yes spills, the works) and haven't touched it since.... it could use another coat or two. I could have used better paint, but we want to tile at some point and so had to have a paint that would be compatible with that (not oil). I have seen plywood sub painted that looked really good (artist in the family painted wood grain like wood plank on) and just ok like ours. It is amazing what having it all the same colour does for looks.
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We had a Rainbow vacuum in our house growing up.. I ran across this idea a few months ago on some gearhead forum and found something similar today in googlifying it:

http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/19587-shop-vac-water-filter.html

I figure it'd be worth a spin before sinking $1300 into a vacuum cleaner. You can get a 5HP shop-vac for well under $100 and the cost of the rest of the materials for the project is negligible.

I also recall a thread in which someone was having problems eliminating DE dust from their home.. could be of value to that individual as well.
 
                                    
Posts: 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently bought a Yellow Wing steamer and it really helps my allergies. We  have a dog in the house, too, but he is not allowed in the bedroom. We are getting rid of old old carpeting and that is making a world of difference. Look into putting down your own wood floor. It was not that hard, very satisfying, and it was way cheaper than buying new carpet.
 
                                  
Posts: 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my dad put bread on the table selling kirby vacuums in 1978-1980.  after that he would sell used ones on the front yard.  they were always in great shape and there is no risk of a used kirby.  they are tanks.
 
Posts: 113
Location: Hatfield, PA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't forget to dust everywhere and get into the corners that the vacuum might not be able to reach.

I have an air purifier/ionizer that I leave on most times. It's a huge energy draw, but really keeps the bedroom air nice and clean. And a hepa vacuum is a must. I keep the filter on low all the time, and crank it to high when I dust/clean.

I second getting rid of the carpet. Wood floors are much easier to dust with a mop than carpets are to clean with a vacuum.

ETA: I've often wondered if attaching a hepa filter to a box fan wouldn't reduce room allergens on the cheap... Thoughts?
 
Posts: 192
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we got a used kirby awhile back, $100 if i remember right. it can do loads of other stuff too. check out craigslist for them. We had a sales guy drop by and gave us the whole demo and sales pitch, meanwhile i was checking them out online, hmmmm. Spend more than our car is worth on a vac? how about no. If I could do it all again, I would prefer to do sometype of heated concrete floor.
 
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The best thing I ever did for my family's immune system, was get rid of the carpet.
 
Posts: 16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our oldest has CP, one of the many problems he had was constant cold/sinus/flu symptoms. The first thing we were instructed to do was to rip out the carpet. They harbor everything no matter how often you vacuum. But wait I was a good housekeeper and I shampoos the carpets once per month so mine were cleaner! Wrong, I found out all that moisture from shampooing the carpets formed mold in the carpet padding which simply augmented the development of what our doctor called "The largest household petri dish". We didn't have the money right away to replace carpets, but for better health we ripped the carpets out and put down thin area rugs that I would wash in the washing machine each month. As money allowed we laid tiles, put down cork flooring (cork is a "super cushion" and would help my son with all his surgeries as well as holding amazing anti-fungal properties) and wood in a few places. Even though people visiting our house thought it was strange when they came over to find I had painted the wafer board the builder built the floors with. We play lots of board games in our house and paint from the recycle center is cheap. So while saving up the money to put down new flooring, I painted our favorite board games right onto the subfloor. It was great fun, the room where I pained the life sized monopoly board has remained uncovered, I simply have to keep it varnished a bit. I painted that game around where the family meal table sits. No one argues about which game piece they will be playing because if you happen to come over.....you, your body becomes the game piece that moves around the game "board".

Since we ripped out all the carpet and carpet padding, my sons health has greatly improved. It has been nearly 15 years since he last had to stay in the ICU from one of these infections.
 
Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music. This tiny ad plays the bagpipes:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!