Community Wide: The healthy benefits of spring cleaning

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A good spring cleaning will clear away germs, along with the cobwebs, and dust bunnies- just in time for allergy season.{ }(Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

A good spring cleaning will clear away germs, along with the cobwebs, and dust bunnies- just in time for allergy season.

Some of the chores you may set aside for this magical time of year, however, might give your health a nice boost, if you did them a little more often.

Some dirt and germs you can see. Others, you can't. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, the average American shares a bed with over a million- nearly invisible- dust mites every single night.

St Mary's nurse practitioner, Candice Negrete, says you have one key defense, "Washing in really hot water is really going to be your best bet."

Wash sheets and blankets once a week- in water that's at least 130 degrees. Comforters, bedspreads and, yes, even your pillow need should be washed once a month is ideally, but at least three times a year.

Remember, Candice ssays, dust mites are not just a spring fling, "They're always there."

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation recommends vaccuuming your bed, and using hypoallergenic covers for mattresses and pillows. Every two years you should replace your pillows.

Dust mites also love carpet, which is why you should have yours cleaned professionally, at least twice a year.

Between cleanings, Candice suggests, "Lots of vaccuuming. Keeping your house nice and clean will help with that."

That includes vaccuuming furniture, too.

You should wash down your walls and window blinds, curtains at least twice a year.

There are some surfaces, like sinks and countertops, Covenant infectious disease doc, Muhaummad Khan, says you should be disinfecting every day, "All those areas, we should be cleaning, at least daily. There's wipes. There's sprays that are available, as well. Usually products that have Clorox in them are more effective."

Some other tips:

Don't use a feather duster to clean. Instead, use a wet cloth or paper towel.

Wear a face mask and gloves while cleaning.

Wash your hands thoroughly, when you are done.

There is a lot of debate about how often you should have your air ducts cleaned. You have to see how much dirty, dusty, moldy build-up you have in your ducts, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association says you should plan on having them professionally cleaned every two to five years.