Now that we’re all staying home a lot more, maintaining a happy and healthy environment to work, play and live in is instrumental to great mental and physical health. If you want your home to spark joy, follow these methods to ensure your home is clean and toxin-free.
Get all surfaces sparkling clean
You know the drill: Take out your vacuum cleaner, broom, pail and mop, swiffer or what-have-you, and wipe down all your surfaces so they’re completely spick and span. Bonus points if you opt for natural disinfectants, too. If you’re new to that arena and are shopping for new cleaning supplies, make sure to look for words such as ‘biodegradable’, ‘non-toxic’, formulated without dye or synthetic fragrances, ‘non-flammable’, does not contain chlorine, phosphate, petroleum, ammonia, alkalised solvents, nitrates or borates.
Otherwise, you can also make your own disinfectant for a naturally anti-bacterial cleaning spray that smells fabulous. In a 16 oz. spray bottle, fill it almost to the top with at least 70 percent ethanol. Mix with half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and add 15 drops each of lemon, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, and 30 drops tea tree essential oil.
Practice natural pest control
Instead of using chemical pesticides, try spraying a mixture of water, alcohol and dish soap throughout your home — especially in areas where there are cracks or openings such as windowsills. Crushed bay leaves, or a mixture of sugar and baking soda, can be sprinkled near cracks or crevices to ward off and kill roaches, for example.
Cull your wardrobe
You always feel a little more put-together once you organise what’s in your closet — probably harbouring years worth of unworn outfits that haven’t seen the light of day since your college years. And of course, culling your wardrobe gives some breathing room for you to know what you’re missing in terms of stylish additions or basics. Make sure to send worthwhile items in good condition to your local reseller or charity.
Declutter your home
After the big task of detoxing your wardrobe, next comes the mission of decluttering á la Konmari Method — referring to Marie Kondo’s widely popular method of clearing your home and only keeping the items that spark joy. Take this philosophy as you rift through old books, CDs, papers and documents, and any items of sentimental value.
Install an air purifier
Once all your surfaces and storage units are clear, it’s time to make sure the air you’re breathing indoors is as clean as possible, too. A little known fact is that your furniture and electronics contain a group of chemicals called PBDEs, which reduce the chance of them catching fire. Traces of these chemicals accumulate in dust that can be breathed in or swapped, so you may want to invest in a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter and dust your home often. Having a HEPA filter can also stop airborne pathogens and allergens from circulating around your home too — just make sure to clean the filter regularly and properly to prevent bacteria from growing in moisture.
Spray your surfaces with Raze
Increasingly popular across Hong Kong’s public transport systems and commercial spaces, Raze is a local material science startup that has developed a revolutionary nano particle technology in the form of a liquid you can spray onto any surface. After being activated by light (this can be UV sunlight or indoor light), it forms a coating that becomes self-sanitising for months to as long as five years. What happens is that the formula releases electrons when exposed to light. These electrons then bind to pathogens — such as harmful bacteria, the influenza virus, as well as toxic VOCs and mold — and decomposes them into water and carbon dioxide molecules. Raze’s effect is two-fold: not only does it keep surfaces sanitised, but it also purifies the indoor air.
You can shop from its online store for consumer-ready bottles catering to all sorts of surfaces from wood to leather, but the brand also offers professional treatment services for offices, gyms and households from HK$10 per sq.ft.
Raze Service uses professional equipment to get the most out of its technology, and protecting 1,000 sq.ft. will only take about three hours. While conventional cleaning products can still get the job done, surfaces will only stay sanitised for only a few hours before you’ll have to do it all over again. One single treatment of Raze Service will give you continuous protection of up to five years — thus forming a more long-term solution for a healthy environment for you to live in.
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