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Home Cleaning & Repairs


Cleaning a home that has lead paint

3M LeadCheck lead paint test
Duct tape
Wet paper towels

If your home was built before 1978, you could have lead paint. Where it’s chipping or peeling, it can build up in house dust, stick to children’s hands, and be a dangerous source of lead for your family. Use a 3M LeadCheck kit to learn if you have lead paint. Use wet paper towels to regularly clean windowsills and other problem areas. And use duct tape to cover any chipping paint that you can’t get repaired right away.

Pregnant or planning a pregnancy? Avoid all DIY remodeling projects that involve lead paint, including the nursery. See more lead-safe tips from EPA.

Don't Use
Dry dust cloth (not microfiber)

If you have lead paint, chances are there is lead in your house dust, too. It’s the number one source of lead poisoning for children. Dry dust cloths (non-microfiber) can make it worse – they kick dust up into the air, and also leave it behind on the surfaces you’re cleaning.

Cleaning your floors

Vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter
Wet mop

Vacuums with HEPA filters reduce dust emissions from the exhaust. Vacuum at least once or twice a week for best results. For hard floors, vacuuming followed by wet (damp) mopping gets most of the dirt. For carpets, a dry steam cleaner used once a year captures the deep, sticky dust that vacuums leave behind.

Don't Use

Brooms kick dirt up into the air and leave a lot of dirt behind.

Getting rid of house dust

Microfiber dust cloth
Indoor slippers

Dusting is about as glamorous as changing diapers. But it’s a surprisingly important way to protect your family’s health. House dust sticks to hands and toys and contains over 100 toxic chemicals, like lead and arsenic. Infants and young children swallow dust-bound pollutants when they put hands and objects in their mouths. Their dust exposures are 20 times higher than an adult's, pound for pound. Use microfiber dust cloths and a high-quality doormat to tackle the dust in your home. And leave your shoes (and their dirt) at the door.

Don't Use
Dry dust cloth (not microfiber)

Use a doormat to trap dirt before it enters your home. One-third of the dust in your home comes from outdoor soil. Wiping feet twice can be 75% as effective as removing your shoes at the door. Use mats both outside and inside your doorways. Choose brands designed to trap dirt and water, preferably commercial grade.