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DIY Air Duct Cleaning

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Air duct with hair, dust and carpet fiber build-up

When needing a full air duct ventilation cleaning, you’ll want to contact a professional with the proper industrial grade – negative pressure equipment, extra long reach cleaning tools, wands, brushes, etc., (e.g. Rotobrush) for the most effective cleaning. There are however a few areas where a DIY air duct cleaning service is possible and don’t need specialized equipment. All you’ll need is a vacuum, damp rag, a few hand tools, and proper respirator.

NOTE: Air vents are important to keep clear, as not to impede air flow, or increase dust levels in the home.

Return Air Duct Cleaning

Return air vents on the lower portions of the wall (first floor), will accumulate all sorts of debris over time.

  • Pet hair, dust, carpet fibers, etc., will settle to the floor and be pulled into those duct boot area locations by the vacuum effect of the return air vents. Upper floors and high wall mounted return air locations won’t suffer the same excess debris of hair and carpet fibers.
  • The amount of scheduled cleaning will vary on household conditions and environment.
  • This will be a good time to make sure all return air grilles are unobstructed by furniture and able to work effectively.
  • The reality is, some room designs don’t allow a fully exposed grille, completely free of any nearby furniture. At the very least, keep couches, chairs, etc., several inches in front of a grille, as to not completely block airflow.

SEE ALSO: How to Remove and Install a Vent Cover

Wall Return Duct with Hair and Dust Build-up

Floor Vent Air Duct Cleaning

  • Many times during construction there can be left behind debris inside the ductwork: piles of sawdust, pieces of wood, electrical conduit and fittings, PVC plumbing, copper plumbing, and nails or screws (see below).
  • Many of the floor vents, especially on first floors, have a 90° fitting near the register, so the debris will collect there and be within arms reach. Second floors may not be so accessible. If the lower level furnace supplies the upper floors, the duct will run straight up walls, and not create the same 90° bends near the register to reach in and clean.

WARNING: Always wear protective eyewear and any additional gear to remain safe during projects.

Round Duct and Floor Boot Connection

Round Duct and Floor Boot Connection

Duct and Floor Boot Connection with Debris Collection

Duct and Floor Boot Connection with Debris Collection

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Maintain

Wood Utensil and Cutting Board Care

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Wood cutting board and wood kitchen utensil care

Three simple precautions will make all the difference in longevity for your: cutting boards, chopping blocks, spoons, spatulas, handles, and more.

  1. Don’t let soak in water – Like any other wood, long-term water penetration will cause degradation.
  2. Don’t put in a dishwasher – Hand clean with soap and water; then dry. The extreme heat from a dishwasher will excessively dry and eventually split the wood.
  3. Treat regularly – Use 100% mineral oil or other food safe wood creams and oils.

Why use mineral oil or wood cream?

Even when faithfully following steps 1 and 2 above, wood will naturally dry out and need rejuvenation. The mineral oil and creams treat and nourish the wood. Applying oil or cream regularly per manufacturers instructions will ensure your wood products remain in great condition. Each product will provide specific instructions on their labels.

  1. Add a liberal amount of mineral oil to all sides of your utensils and tops of your cutting boards with a paper towel or clean rag.
  2. Allow sufficient time for the oil to absorb into the wood.
  3. Wipe off any excess oil that may remain.
NOTE: Food-safe mineral oil won’t become rancid or spoil like some other oils, which makes it safe to consume.

Cutting Board Care by John Boos

Find John Boos & Co. at many retail locations, including; Sur la table, Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond

Renewing Wood Utensils

If regular oiling of wood kitchen utensils is not carried out a fuzzy haze may start to appear. No worries. This problem can be addressed by using 180-400 grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish before applying your oil or cream.

  • Using a sheet of sandpaper; tear off a size that works best for you when sanding utensils.
  • Start with a super fine (320 or 400) grit sandpaper and work your way to a more aggressive sandpaper (180-220) if need be. This will prevent removing too much wood material, which may not be necessary or wanted.

Wood utensils eventually show signs of degradation.

Dry and unmaintained wood kitchen spoon

Light sanding removes the rough patches.

Sanded wood kitchen spoon

Finally, treat with mineral oil to retain the woods integrity.

Wood kitchen utensil treated with mineral oil

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