We have shared a lot of cleaning tips as well as a lot of DIY cleaning recipes. I want to now share How To Clean Air Vents.
This past week, our family’s environmental allergies have started kicking in for the late summer/early fall allergens. This often prompts me to do a more rigorous “fall cleaning” than a “spring cleaning” due to us suffering from our allergies more in the fall than the spring.
There are a lot of things I do around my home and ways that we have naturally tried to prevent allergies from cleaning tricks, to having less carpet (currently only in the bedrooms and on the stairs going upstairs) and more laminate or wood throughout the house, wood blinds and a high powered air cleaner. Even this past summer, we made an upgrade to our heating/air conditioning unit with a RGF Reme Halo Purification system with ionized hydro-peroxides (in other words, purifying with hydrogen peroxide for a natural, healthful solution). I have had a goal of buying one of these and getting it installed for a while. We saved for it and finally got it! I do think it has kept our allergies at bay already this year. We installed it in May.
But another thing I do often during this season is wash all my curtains, and clean out my vents. It got me thinking that I haven’t shared what I like to do to clean inside my vents in my home. So I wanted to share how I get them clean on a dime and naturally!
I will share my tips, but I only snapped a few pics because I was wearing gloves and it was hard to take photos with cleaning gloves and too annoying to keep taking them off. But I will explain as much as possible.
I do want to state that I LOVE hydrogen peroxide for so many natural uses in cleaning and personal care. I simply love it. In fact, it is my natural, health-concious dad that has really got me excited about using hydrogen peroxide for so many things. He uses it for everything. He has it in a spray bottle and uses it for so many things around my parents home and personally. In fact, we like to think of my dad like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the Windex. That is my dad, but with hydrogen peroxide instead.
We use food-grade hydrogen peroxide for homemade personal care recipes, but the 3% solutions in the grocery store will work just fine for cleaning. You will see below that this is the main product I use in my natural vent cleaning (not to mention the hydrogen peroxide purifier we added to our air conditioning/heating unit in the spring).
How To Clean Air Vents
For the vents:
- I simply remove the register (cleaning tips for this below)
- Then I vacuum out loose debris, sticking the hose down the vents as far as I can to catch any remaining, unseen debris
- I then use an old toothbrush and hot, soapy water to “scrub” the inside as far as I can reach down the vent, but most of the caked on debris will pile up where there is a “neck” in the system, which is generally when the vent to the room and the vents throughout the house connect. That connection point tends to gather yucky dust, debris and gunk. This bend is where most of the scrubbing takes place.
- Then I wipe out the loosened debris with the rag and soapy water.
- I want it to get an overall wiping, dusting, cleansing, and purification of my vents so I actually buy the spray hydrogen peroxide bottles, they are around $1, but even cheaper if you buy bigger bottles and add it to a spray bottle. I show how I make Homemade Jet Dry on Facebook HERE with that same product, so you can see what I am talking about.
- But before I spray inside the vent with hydrogen peroxide, I open the bottle and add about 5 drops of my favorite essential oil. I love lavender or lemon for this purpose. I use THESE OILS and there is a great price on them right now.
That is my overall natural cleaning and purification of the vents and this really does wonders for our allergies and for the smells in my home.
The second part is cleaning the registers. I will first tell you that we replace any registers that are bent, paint chipped, etc. as the metal, white registers we have are around $7 at Lowe’s and Home Depot. So any that have to be replaced, just simply get replaced for that low price.
How to clean the registers effectively and break up the caked on ickiness:
- While I am cleaning out the vents, I collect all of the registers and put them in a bin in my shower.
- I add a few squirts of dish soap, plus 5 TBSP of Borax, and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. It’s very similar to my homemade Mr. Clean Magic Eraser recipe.
- The purpose of this mix is to break down the grease, grim and ickiness that collects on these registers (especially ones from the kitchen floor).
- Then I fill the bin with the hottest water I can muster from my shower faucet.
- Let this soak during the duration of cleaning the vents, which will probably be about an hour.
- Once I have the vents cleaned, I will get a bowl of soapy water with borax and baking soda (the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser recipe exactly) and pull out each soak register and scrub it clean with the mix and old toothbrush. This will remove it all beautifully and make them look brand new!
- Dry them off and place them back over the vents.
Now you can breathe easy because the dirt, grime, dust, debris and ickiness is gone, and you have cleaned with natural products and a bit of essential oils for a nice, yet natural, smell!
For “touch ups” between cleanings (I try to clean my vents once a year), just simply keep a bottle of the hydrogen peroxide spray on hand, add the essential oils and spray each vent and register periodically for that fresh smell.
I am determined to fight the environmental allergies in my home as much as possible. I hope this one method will help you, your family and your home as well.
How do you clean your vents?
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