This post was sponsored by Oreck. All opinions and content are my own. As you guys know, I won’t post about something unless I really love it and would buy it myself.
With white furniture and light colored rugs, I often get asked how I keep things clean, especially with 3 small children, all of whom have asthma, and a husband who is allergic to literally everything (hence the reason we don’t have pets). Today I’m going to share with you tips to keep your furniture and rugs clean and allergen free! It really is pretty simple but when you get in the right habits and you get others in your home to help, they take no time at all!
Ready for the tips?
Tip 1-Vacuum Every Day!
Well, I should clarify, I personally am not always the person vacuuming, as I’ve got my kids involved in this daily task this summer. However, the rugs get vacuumed every day and my couches get vacuumed about once a week. Something that has made my life so much easier is my new vacuum from Oreck, the Elevate Conquer Upright vacuum and the Ultimate Handheld cleaner.
We used to have an older vacuum that was ‘doing the job’ but it was heavy and cumbersome to move about. It didn’t go under furniture well, so we constantly had to move tables out of the way to clean the whole rug. My husband also couldn’t use our old vacuum because, while it sucked up dirt, the filtration system was pretty much non-existent and emptying the cup always left a big cloud of dust around the garbage can. Not only that, it was starting to make disconcerting noises.
When Oreck asked me if I would like to try out their new Elevate Conquer vacuum, I was thrilled. I first pulled it out and was shocked with how lightweight it was. (And how many lights there were!)
It weighs less than 10 pounds! If you have kids doing chores, you want a lightweight vacuum that is easy for them to maneuver so they can do the job without you feeling like you are going to have to re-do it afterward when they aren’t looking. 😉
My husband’s favorite part of this vacuum is the filtration system. I was surprised to learn that it captures 99.97% of particles (even those you can’t see). Because it maneuvers so easily, that means we don’t have to bother with moving furniture out of the way, it goes completely underneath them, even when we tilt it way back. And since I have hardwood floors throughout my house (except bedrooms), I love that I just flip the switch when moving between my rugs and hardwood.
As we have created this habit of vacuuming the rugs every day, I’ve found that those random little spots here or there are easier to remove (when you catch them right away). And even if the house gets cluttered with toys and games, it still feels clean, and I trust the 5 layer filtration system on this Elevate Conquer Vacuum to help my home be allergen free.
Tip 2- Empty Bag or Cup Outside BEFORE it Gets Full & Check Filter Regularly
Most people have the mentality, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, or if it’s not full, don’t empty it. I’ll admit I’m still guilty of this mentality for our kitchen trash can haha! However…. I’ve noticed a difference when we regularly change out the vacuum bag before it gets full, and we go outside to remove it. The bagless vacuums always cause that cloud of dust when you empty it in the trash and that works it’s way into the air (usually in the kitchen where the largest trash can is), and settles on cooking surfaces (even if it’s not visually noticeable) or even food that is out. Switching bags outside eliminates that possibility and doesn’t counter the time you spent vacuuming all the dust and pollen.
My oldest loves that he doesn’t have to empty a dirt cup anymore with this new vacuum. The bag is HUGE! It holds 4x that of normal bagless vacuums (that means changing it out every month or two instead of every other day and it is actually cleaner, since there is a smaller opening, when you remove the bag, dust particles don’t fly everywhere).
I think filters are often overlooked but high quality HEPA ones are so so important because they are the only thing that keeps pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from re-circulating in your air after vacuuming. The Oreck Elevate Conquer vacuum has 5 filtration layers and has a special seal that prevents anything from escaping when you dispose of the dust bag.
Additionally, Oreck has local repair shops that include up to 7 free vacuum tune ups per year for 7 years, just in case something goes wrong or gets clogged or just doesn’t seem to be running quite right.
Tip 3- Vacuum Cushions & Corners
Those of you who suffer from allergies or have a loved one who suffers, know how much work it can be to keep them from having a bad reaction or having asthma flare up (which is common among allergy sufferers). We lay on our furniture all the time, often with our faces right on the fabric of pillows and cushions that collect dust and pollen. I think most people forget how much our furniture collects, but I like that I can SEE what is being collected on white furniture, so I KNOW when it is clean. Dirt, crumbs, and dust collect on the backs part of the arms, in between cushions and behind pillows. Leaving it there means it starts to grind into the fabric and it gets dirty faster. Vacuuming them regularly with a vacuum that has a very good filter (like this Oreck Ultimate Hand-Held Cleaner) not only allows you to remove that dirt/dust right away, but you also notice any little spots that are easy to just scrub out quickly.
This Ultimate Handheld cleaner has a little strap, a 20 foot cord, and that means anyone using it can move about vacuuming the couches, getting the room corners and edges, without having to push or pull something that the hose is attached to. And it only weighs about 5 pounds! You guysssss! I feel like Oreck is really listening to the consumer about what they want. My 5 year old can move this thing around with no problems, but honestly she loves the hand-held one more and using it is almost like a toy for her.
She’s in school now, so I didn’t get a chance to photograph her using it, but since I love it just as much, here’s some in-action shots.
The only thing I wish the handheld cleaner had was a little case or something to store the extra attachments that don’t fit on the side caddy. The dusting brush and crevice tool both fit on the actual hand-held cleaner, but the extension wand, hard surface tool, and the upholstery tool are the three that don’t fit, so I will probably keep the extension wand attached to the hose and then put the other two in one of those draw-string sport bags to keep them together, just so they don’t get lost.
Tip 4- Wash Covers Once Every 2 Weeks in the Spring and Once a Month Year Round
This is not just for my slipcovered sofas, but also pillow covers and throws. As I mentioned before, those fabrics trap in pollen (which seems to infiltrate everything in the spring), and dust, so washing them regularly in hot water is essential. That is part of the reason I LOVE slipcovered furniture— I don’t have to wait to have it professionally cleaned since I can just throw it in the wash. If you don’t have slipcovered furniture, make sure to have them professionally cleaned with a method that doesn’t use excessive amounts of water and whose solutions are hypo-allergenic at LEAST every 6 months if you have kids, but more like every 3 months if you have pets. That might seem like a lot, but take it from someone who grew up in a family who owned a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company for 15 years of her life–frequent cleaning will keep your home healthier. I was always shocked at how long people who wait to clean their carpet or furniture if they had kids and/or pets. It gets nastier the darker the furniture and contrary to the belief of some, the right cleaning method won’t wear down carpets or upholstery– it actually prolongs their life. Leaving the dirt there (a common tendency with darker furniture) wears down and deteriorates the fibers faster.
Tip 5- Keep Vacuum Accessible
Try to keep your vacuum, even if just a small one, handy, in a close, easy-to-access location. This makes it less cumbersome to pull it out for a quick clean up and you’re more likely to remember to stay on top of it every day. I keep the handheld one in the cabinet between our dining room and living room. Our old upright vacuum had to stay in the garage because of the size and the fact it was an eyesore. Not anymore. 😉
Let’s imagine a scenario for a minute, shall we?
A mom from school calls you up and says she wants to swing by real fast to chat about a class party, since she is close by your house and wants to drop something off. You agree of course, but you are mentally preparing the places you can stuff the toys and the fastest way to clean up the crafting remnants that your 5 year-old was just playing with. That means glue and scissors and little pieces of cut-up paper littering the rug. You grab a basket, shove the toys, opened mail, and random balled-up socks that seem to appear everywhere, and shove it in your room (you’ll sort through that later). Then after picking up the crafting supplies, you notice another child must have had a cookie while watching TV because there are crumbs all over the couch and rug. You grab the vacuum, start cleaning, and are just finishing when the doorbell rings. There isn’t time to stow the vacuum or even wrap the cord, so you just put it off to the side. Previously I would have rather had this mom wait at the door while I put the vacuum away, because hello… vacuums are always obnoxious colors! Even the spendy ones! Bright yellow! Purple! Neon orange!
I’m happy I now have a vacuum that I’m not embarrassed to leave out. haha!
Finally a vacuum company who cares about not only function (high quality suction, light-weight, maneuverability, HEPA filter), but a pretty and simple design! Can I get a round of applause from all the designers?! Just because it works well, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly!
Don’t you love how stylish it is? I’m smitten.
#ElevateyourClean #Cleanandhealthyhome #OreckElevate
Because fall is fast approaching, I went ahead and took out the aqua in my living room and replaced it with light greens and some bolder teal/navy accents.
If you loved my tips or like this post, I would love if you shared this image below!