How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean & Healthy

Of all of the rooms there are in your home there are only two that really have the potential to make your family ill. The kitchen is the first, the bathroom being the other.

The kitchen is a high use room. By this I mean that the kitchen is a frequently used room by all members of the family. The kitchen is also a place of food preparation. What do you think could happen if you wash the counter with your sponge then prepare food in the area washed? You’d think that you’d be preparing food on a clean surface but chances are you’d be wrong.

In the kitchen there are several places bacteria, viruses, germs, and even fungi can hide. Sponges, dish clothes, and hand towels are three very common places. The common household kitchen sponge is great the first time you use it. After that first time though it will contain germs. Each and every use adds more germs to that sponge. Same for dish clothes. They get wet and dry, get wet and dry, get wet and dry. When you mix that with the fact that you clean and wash food and grime with them you get the sum of a lot of bacteria. When you then wash down the kitchen table and the counters with that infested sponge or dish cloth you are spreading the germs that it contains to others surfaces.

The way to prevent germs from the sponge or dish cloth contaminating your kitchen surfaces and dishes is to replace them often. A new sponge each week keeps sponge germs from multiplying to the point of unhealthy, as does a fresh dish cloth each day. Rinsing these items with bleach can also effectively kills germs.

Knowing that alone can make your kitchen a healthier and safer place for food preparation, but if your cleanup after the preparing is done is not thorough more bacteria will result. Just as food must be prepared on a clean surface, the surface must be cleaned after the food is prepared. Foods like raw meat can leave behind germs, bacteria, viruses, even parasites on your kitchen surfaces, in your sponges, on your utensils and even on your hands. All of these things should be washed in hot soapy water immediately after preparations of all meats to ensure family members do not get ill. A household cleaner like Lysol can and should be used to kill any germs that the soap and water doesn’t get on counters, tables, stovetops, refrigerators, floors, or any other hard kitchen surfaces.

Keeping your family safe from germs in the kitchen is as easy as replacing sponges weekly, dish cloths and hand towels daily, and thoroughly cleaning all surfaces with a product such as Lysol both before and after food preparation.

Ah! For That Cup of Coffee!

Espresso which means ‘instant’ is the in-thing today. You can see an espresso machine in almost any office you enter in. What’s more? You can also see them in common households too. There is nothing to wonder about this. These machines are most economic and fit everyone’s budget.

Machines for All

Big offices go for the super-automatic machines which are fully automatic. They do not require any person to operate the machine as all the processes are automatically done. They stand elegant and grand at one corner of the office. These machines are quite costly. However the staff need not go to the cafeteria, it is provided right at their work spot and saves a lot of working time. These machines do not clutter up the area as everything is done in a neat and clean manner. There is no necessity for any special employee working at the best espresso machine as it is automatically done. All you need to do is click the button for a fresh cup of espresso. It serves many numbers of cups most economically. For those who feel that the machine is a bit pricey, they can go in for the semi-automatic machine which is also automatic, but requires the human touch to set the temperature and pressure.

It is also sufficient for smaller offices where the number of espresso consumers is less. There are also smaller models for the households. People who like to brew their own coffee right from the beans powder make use of these machines to brew fresh espresso at home. Machines used at homes come at more economic rates and hence needs a personal touch to the coffee brewed. This is just right for those who like to taste espresso by passing it through the right temperature and pressure that they prefer for getting their own cup of tasty coffee. Espresso machines come in different models and at different rates according to the need of the user.

Healthy Espresso

Coffee drinking is a habit that one develops. Usually a person would like to have a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning as soon as one wakes up. Normally a person consumes around 4 to 5 cups of coffee every day. Coffee is brewed from coffee beans that contain caffeine. Caffeine is good as far as it is consumed within limits. Having more number of coffees per day is not advisable. The coffee beans contain anti-oxidants that help the immune system. Anti-oxidants keep the human body healthy and decrease the level of heart disease. It also helps to reduce cirrhosis of the liver or liver damage. It is also said that those drinking coffee are not affected by Parkinson’s disease. Freshly brewed espresso gives energy to the body and mind and provides the person consuming it with instant freshness. It removes lethargic and dull activities as they rejuvenate the body instantly to remove all fatigue.

You can visit an online store for further details regarding the espresso machine. You can choose from their various models and prices to fit your budget and requirement. They also provide various tips on how to operate the machine, the cleaning process and the maintenance process too.

How to Change Your Air Purifier Filter

Air purifiers are becoming more and more popular as people become more health conscious. They clean a surprising amount of allergens, pet dander and general grime out of the air and leave each room smelling clean and fresh. We have four pets and a very allergic little girl, and it soon became clear to us that regular vacuuming and steam cleaning just wasn’t enough, but once we put in several air purifiers she had no problems. Listed below are some helpful tips on how to change out your air purifier and what to do to keep it running smooth.

First off, what kind of purifier do you have? I’m not talking about brand; pretty much all filters can take the generic filter devices that are sold at your local Wal-Mart or Target. Is your purifier a permanent purifier or a changeable filter purifier? Changeable filters will have to be swapped out usually once every 30-60 days, depending on how severely the air is polluted. Permanent ones don’t necessarily need changing, but will require a routine vacuuming of the filter. Also, with ours it never hurts to wash the filter off with a damp cloth and then let sit for several hours, but that technique varies from brand to brand. Finally, is it a magnetic purifier? These don’t have filters, but rather a large metal strip that you remove, wipe off and then reinsert. While these are the most powerful (I knew a chain smoker whose home was actually bearable, and he only had one of these planted in his living room), they are also the most expensive.

First off, the purifier may either twist out, or be behind a panel. The paneled ones usually have handles or latches that are fairly simple to open. Once you do this, pay attention to how the filter is placed; while it’s pretty hard to place them in backwards, some people have been known to force their filters in.

Air Purifier

Now, look for latches or releases on the sides of your filters. Most will have four small release latches on the side- try these first. The filter should slip right out. Don’t throw it away! Put the old filter in a bag and head to the store. You will probably need it to match up a new filter (they’re kind of like vacuum bags; they all look alike, but they’re all different).

Finally, please note if your purifier has one or two filters. Usually the taller models will have to smaller filters stacked one atop the other. Also, if you’re looking to filter your entire home, shop smart about it. A small purifier will handle a bedroom just fine, while one large will typically handle most living or family rooms. Look at the box and pay attention to the recommended room size.

Finally, there’s the matter of cost. Most filters run $25.00 a bag, each bag containing (usually) two filters. Now, when you consider the average house will probably require two small purifiers for the bedroom areas and one large for the main area, you’re looking at spending $40.00 a piece on the smaller purifiers and roughly $7.00-$90.00 for the taller ones. The permanent ones can run anywhere from $120-$250, with some crazy models hitting the $1000’s. Don’t go crazy, but consider this; if you assume there are two filters a pack and you buy four filters every sixty days, you’re spending $300.00 a year just to keep your purifiers working properly, where as you could just shell out a bit more up front and purchase a permanent.

Regardless of your choice, purifiers are a great way to keep your home feeling fresh and your air smelling clean. Purifiers can be purchased online at sites like www.target.com, www.meijer.com or any other major retailer. Also, many filter companies will post directions, ordering info and filter information on their sites.

Robotic Cleaning Technology

Using a robot to clean up the house or a commercial building is a new method of cleaning that some people are just hearing about. Though introduced about two decade ago, the technology is fast catching up. You can find that these robots are being introduced with higher facilities to help maintain cleanliness indoors. As cleaning is a time consuming job that most people hate, these robots are very much in demand and are a more trendy way of getting the job done.

Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Technology on the increase

Robot vacuums are on the increase with new features added with every model.

Wi-Fi-enabled robots: These robots can be connected to the Wi-Fi and schedules can be given even when you are not at home. Laser mapping helps the robot to find its place around the house, find the obstacles placed and cleans the room accordingly. Notifications are also given by these robots as they move around the house doing their job of cleaning.

Smartphone: The schedule can be given via the Smartphone to guide the robot to clean the house. They also have powerful sensors such as carpet boost power to clean under carpets and rugs with extra cleaning power. With precise navigation system, these robots can navigate around the room and the house easily without bumping into walls and heavy objects such as table, chairs and sofa. Though they are a bit expensive, they can do their work just through the Smartphone even when the user is at work at the office by scheduling the work through the Smartphone.

Eye Vision: This is another new technology which provides the vacuum with eye vision so that it can see with its eye before it starts cleaning the room. With this eye vision it can easily “see” where it is moving and avoid objects, walls, staircases and furniture. However this vision is heavily priced too.

Powerful Vacuum: With powerful vacuum technology, the robot can suck in dust and dirt easily. Especially targeted for users who have allergies to dust and pets hair, its powerful cleaning efficiency helps to suck in dirt from its immediate vicinity. With higher infrared remote capacity, it is sensitive to objects and can maneuver through various locations using their sensors.

Allergy and Pet Sensors: Robots with special, high powered sensors can remove all types of dust and dirt even very minute dust. They work on all surfaces such as rugs, carpets, hardwood or any such floor surfaces. They are user-friendly and also have automatic cleaning that can be scheduled to make robots clean up the place even if you are away. They can also recharge automatically and continue cleaning. These are especially useful for those users who are allergic to pet hair and fine dust.

Mapping system: Robots have a new feature called the mapping system by which the robot identifies all objects it its path and avoids them. They don’t bump into furniture or walls and can move around the house easily.

With improved technology robot vacuums become more efficient and increased costs, but you are still able to find a best robot vacuum with affordable price if you spend some time on the research.

A Review of the Top 5 Juicers

In today’s health conscious world, one can’t deny the health benefits of juicing. Be it fruits or vegetables, juicing is a quick and easy way to enjoy the best part of your produce. There are juicers of all sizes and prices on the market today. Read on to find the one that’s best for you.

1. Black and Decker CJ525 CitrusMate Plus–If your only desire is to juice oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruit, this is the best bang for your buck. Selling for about $20, it is small, easy to operate, and easy to clean. It has adjustable pulp control as well, which is a great feature for those of you that like pulp-free juice.

2. Breville BJE200XL Juice Fountain Compact–Selling for around $80, this is a great compact juicer. It features a 3-inch wide chute, so you can skip the chopping step and feed most fruits in whole. It only has one speed, but puts out quite a lot of juice. It’s also very quiet and is dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean.

3. Breville 800CPXL Motorized Citrus Press–This stainless steel model can be found for around $170. It has quite a lot of power but is very quiet. It features two filters for varying pulp control and is dishwasher safe.

4. Acme Supreme Juicerator 5001–This juicer, selling for around $180, is a very sturdy machine. It doesn’t eject the pulp, so it’s able to put out more juice than models that do. This model uses paper filters, which poses both an advantage and disadvantage. This type of filter produces very clear juice. However, the filter must be changed regularly, so is an added cost.

5. Breville Juice Fountain Elite 800JEXL–This is by far the best juicer on the market. If you plan to juice daily, and want a juicer that will last a long time, this stainless steel model is the one for you. The priciest juicer at around $300, its features make it well worth the money. Like the Juice Fountain Compact, it also has a 3-inch feeder tube, allowing you to feed your fruit in whole. It juices fairly quickly and the juice is very smooth. Best of all, this machine’s parts are dishwasher-safe, so it is easy to clean.

Before making a decision, think about what you are looking for in a juicer. Will you be juicing regularly (daily), or just occasionally? Is there a certain feature, such as a wide chute, that you feel you must have in a juicer? After weighing the pros and cons of each model, you’ll be able to purchase the juicer that’s right for you and be well on your way to a healthy and happy juicing experience!

Is a Humidifier Worth Having

For the most part, humidifiers are very simple appliances used in homes to help relieve symptoms and discomforts such as dry skin, throat, lips and nose. In doing so, their main purpose is to increase the humidity or moisture in the air.

There are different types and models available that will all vary on performance. The most common found humidifier is the evaporative type. This particular humidifier is made up of three basic parts: a water reservoir, a wick and a fan.

There are 3 main types of humidifiers available: the steam humidifier, the ultrasonic humidifier and the impeller type humidifier.

The steam humidifier is generally the most affordable. It’s basic function is to create moisture in the air by boiling water, which then evaporates into the air.

The ultrasonic style humidifier has a disc, or metal plate that will vibrate at a very high frequency which disperses water through a light fog of water droplets.

Using a disc, or spinner plate, the impeller type humidifiers push water into a diffuser where it is then broken up into very tiny water droplets which float into the air.

In recent studies performed by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the ultrasonic and impeller (mist) type humidifiers have the ability to disperse materials into indoor air such as microorganisms and minerals. Breathing the mist that contains these materials can cause an inflammation of the lungs, even though the dispersal of these contaminants is still not fully understood.

There is no conclusion from the Federal government whatsoever, that the minerals and microorganisms dispersed from these humidifiers pose any serious health risks.

The proper care and cleaning of ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers, will greatly reduce the potential exposure to microorganisms, such as molds and bacteria. The health effects associated with this type of mold is similar to other molds, yet there is no conclusive proof or evidence that it is responsible for affecting the health of some people. When people who are sensitive to mold are exposed, a reaction of allergies or asthma may result. Cleaning will prevent bacteria and other foreign particles from entering into the water and eventually being sent into the air.

Despite the potential health effects, humidifiers make your home more comfortable and overall, a much healthier place to live. They are affordable and are without a doubt, a very efficient way of receiving good clean, quality purified air. The small molecules of moisture in the air will extend the life of your furniture and also help to reduce static electricity, therefore eliminating the possibility of being shocked.

If you decide to purchase a portable humidifier, consider one that may produce a warm mist, is easy to clean and is equipped with an accurate humidistat. In addition to these features, select a type that has plastic parts, has an antimicrobial agent that is integrated into the wicking pad and is also equipped with a demineralization cartridge. These items will offer you optimal health and performance.

Climates known for dry winters are the largest known causes of health and home issues. Dry air can cause many health problems. These range from dry skin and irritated, scratchy throats, to furniture drying and cracking.

To obtain the optimal humidity settings for your family’s health and comfort, the relative humidity settings should range from around 30 to 50 percent in the winter time and from around 40 to 50 percent during the summer months.

In summary, humidifiers are wonderful devices to help bring improved health and comfort into your home. To eliminate any future source of major health issues, it is paramount to keep them clean.

What an Air Purifier Can Do for You

We’ve all thought it to our selves or said to others. “What can of stuff am I breathing in?” The fact of the matter is we breathe in lots of things each day that could potentially be harmful for out health. The problems could be much worse if it were not for air purifiers.

A best air purifier is a device that eliminates harmful particles from the air before you breathe them in. Air purifiers used in homes can strongly bring relief to both allergy and asthma affected people. Residential air purifiers also treat tenants to better indoor air quality, making breathing healthy air a reality. Air purifiers filter out large amounts of dust, dust mites and mold spores before they infect your home, allowing the indoor air quality to stay at a manageable level.

Air cleaners (which an air purifier is sometimes referred too) are like any other product. You have the cheaper versions, the middle of the row versions and the high end versions. When it comes to larger structures and buildings, the indoor air quality becomes important to sometimes thousands of people’s health. These air cleaners are usually called HEAP air purifiers, HEAP filters are high efficiency particle air filters.

Air cleaners that are used for business use such as hospitals and factories will feature some more in depth devices that intertwine with the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning units). Some of the best devices on the market come from these two companies.

Austin air purifiers are known for their heavy duty heap air purifiers and were even featured on the The Today Show a few months back. HEPA, the obvious top of line air cleaner (which can remove 99.97% of harmful particles from the air), is Austin’s top air purifier.

The other top company in the air cleaning market is Iqair. Iqair serves the United States, Canada and Mexico with quality heap air filters. Iqair is known for its dedication to bring both allergy relief and asthma relief to its customers via their newly modeled HEPA filters.

Air filters, whether used in your home, office or state of the art football stadium, are a gateway to easier breathing for all. When going to purchase an air filter for you home or business, be sure to check if the air cleaner is certified at ENERGY STAR, meaning it’s a greener way to use energy.