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1. Front door

1. Front door
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Use a sturdy door-mat to scrape off dirt from shoes before it gets tracked in.

Place the mat vertically instead of horizontally so that everyone who enters will have to step on it several times.

Because entryways, mudrooms, and hallways are all small and confined, dirt quickly creates a less-than-appealing picture, and it can just as quickly migrate into other areas of the house.

Before you ever start cleaning small transition spaces, take steps to stop that dirt at the door.

2. Lead paint

2. Lead paint
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Over time, ingesting or inhaling dust and flakes from lead-based paint can cause brain damage.

If you suspect that the paint in your home contains lead, have it tested.

If it contains lead, don’t remove it yourself but hire a specialist.

There’s a perfect paint for every type of surface. Here’s how to pick a paint finish.

3. Household cleansers, pesticides, paints and solvents

3. Household cleansers, pesticides, paints and solvents
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To avoid potentially harmful chemicals, select detergent-based, biodegradable products on which the words “danger,” “caution” or “flammable” do not appear.

Stick to these 10 laws when cleaning any room and you’re golden.

4. Tightly closed windows

4. Tightly closed windows
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Keep a couple of windows open a crack year-round to let out fumes released by harsh cleaning products and chemical-laden furnishings, reduce mold-breeding moisture and lower levels of unsafe gases.

If you have allergies, consider buying a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) air cleanser.

For tobacco smoke, consider an air purifier that uses an activated carbon filter.

Good health can be enhanced and illness prevented or treated in simple ways that anyone can manage.

This mix of traditional wisdom and new scientific discoveries can help you stay fit and healthy for life.

5. Pressed-wood products such as plywood and particle board

5. Pressed-wood products such as plywood and particle board
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Construction materials, shelving, furniture, paneling, cabinets and other products made with these woods are assembled using urea-formaldehyde glues and adhesives, deemed probable human carcinogens.

Formaldehyde irritates the respiratory tract and can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions.

Opt for furniture and cabinets made with hardwood or metal.

Ever wondered no matter how pedantic you are towards cleaning house, you can never do as good of a job as the professionals? Find out what their tricks are.

6. Woodstoves or fireplaces

6. Woodstoves or fireplaces
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In addition to producing toxic and irritating combustion by-products, these may fill the air with dangerous particles of ash if you burn anything other than hardwood.

Burning damp firewood can release irritating mould spores.

Mould is an issue in every home, especially the bathroom. Here’s how to beat it.

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7. Air conditioners

7. Air conditioners
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Both central air-conditioning units and window models can harbour mould, especially when they’re not being used.

Empty the water trays and change the filters often.

Cleaning the air-conditioner should be part of your 10 step whole-house cleaning plan.

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