Throw out as much of the wall to wall carpeting as you can bear to part with. It is injurious to everyone’s health, even though it’s comforting to bare feet and looks pretty.
Carpets clean our shoes. Modern shoes, with their deep treads, bring in huge amounts of outdoor filth which settles deep down into the carpets. In spite of vacuuming every week, the filth accumulates.
Vacuum the carpets when the children, the sick and elderly are out of the house. The dust raised and distributed throughout the house isn’t just dirt, it’s infectious dirt. It lands on tables and counters. These get wiped with a cloth or sponge and then applied to dishes. The dust in the kitchen falls on open food and into open containers.
Clean carpets with a “steam cleaner”. When you see how much filth is in the water and realize how much dirt you were living with, you might be willing to trade in the “beauty” of carpets for the cleaner living of smooth floors. Don’t add chemicals (commercial cleaning solutions) to the steam cleaning machine; these chemicals leave a residue in the carpet which dries and flies up into the air to add to the dust. Popular stain resistance treatments contain arsenic. Cobalt, which adds “lustre” to carpets, causes skin and heart disease after it has built up in your organs. Use borax instead of detergent. Use boric acid to leave a residue that kills roaches and fleas (but not ants). Add vinegar that leaves a residue to repel ants. Nothing controls fleas reliably, except getting rid of the carpets and cloth furniture (keep pets out of bedrooms). Removing all the borax is what brings luster to the carpet. Use citric acid in the rinse water for this purpose. Adding lemon peel to the rinse also adds luster and ant deterrence. Just drop the whole lemon in the tank so it can’t block the hoses.
Fleas and other vermin in the carpet simply crawl below the wetness level when you wash the carpet. Spraying a grain alcohol solution with lemon peel in it (it needs to extract for a half hour) on the damp carpet will reach and kill a lot of these, together with the residual bacteria. The damp carpet lets it spread evenly and reach all the crevices.
We are trapped in our dwellings. Primitive peoples were mobile. This got them away from accumulations of filth and rubbish in their living space. Much living was done outdoors, the cleanest space of all.
Now, air conditioning has made indoor living more comfortable. But also has added new hazards. The strong currents of air blow the dust about continuously. Molds and bacteria that grow right on the air conditioning unit get blown about for all to inhale. Never, never use fiberglass as a filter or to insulate your air conditioner around the sides. It is a carcinogen. And the danger of freon escaping from a tiny leak is another major health hazard.
Forced air heating systems are undesirable, too. All dirt brought into the house by shoes gets circulated throughout the house by forced air systems of heating or cooling. Old fashioned radiant heat from radiators or a stove did not distribute the
dust so effectively. A return to linoleum floor covering for kitchen and bathroom and hardwood for other rooms would be a good step of progress for a health conscious society. Mopping, instead of the vacuum cleaner, keeps dirt to a minimum. Throw rugs at doors and bedside, easy to clean, would “catch the dirt” as was the original intention. Carpets were intended to help keep filth out of the air. These smaller rugs should be laundered weekly.
Furniture should be wood, cane, or plastic, with cushions to soften the impact. These can be washed weekly if the covers are removable. Modern cloth furniture with its foam interior is a repository of filth and fumes and a constant source of infectious dust.
This old fashioned setting is more progressive than our carpeted, modern homes.
Fig. 56 Smooth floors allow every bit of dust to be removed.
Dust your furniture with a damp paper towel. You are picking up and removing highly infectious filth (Ascaris and pinworm eggs, pet parasites, “dander” and house mites). Instead of
distributing these from room to room, throw the paper towel away after each room is done. use plain water or vinegar water (50%), not a chemical combination which further pollutes the air. Clean windows with vinegar water, too. Use a spray bottle. Keep your dishes in cupboards. This keeps them free of dust. This principle is ancient. It is tempting to leave some of them out. If you must keep the juicer or dishes outside of cupboards, keep them covered or placed upside down so they don’t catch dust. Even inside cupboards, store them upside down. When using the “good” dishes or glasses, that haven’t been used in a while, wash them first.