I admit it. I am not an avid house cleaner. My asthmatic cat necessitates that I try to keep the dust levels down though, so I do the dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming when I need to. I do have air purifiers in two rooms to help decrease my workload.
Divide and Conquer!
Due to my schedule of “avoidance to housework” activities and my back problems, the house cleaning falls into the “do it when you can’t put it off any longer” category. I learned to do the necessary things as the Roman philosophy teaches: “Divide and Conquer.” So I do the dusting one day, when I feel inspired and the floor sweeping and carpet vacuuming on another day.
Ceiling Fans Need Cleaning too.
Once while cleaning ceiling fan blades with a long handled duster I learned a lesson. Do not stand under a ceiling fan while using a long handled duster. Why? The normal behavior of looking up to see where you are dusting without goggles or glasses, will bring a shower of dust into your eyes!! The duster part doesn’t get all of the particles.
Another potential complication involves the reflexive opening of the mouth that takes place when one is looking up. This is not a good reflex to allow when the duster loosens dust and the dust drifts into one’s waiting open mouth!
Long Handled Disposable Dusters
Today I was suddenly overcome with the passionate desire to clean the ceiling fans and the four light fixtures within each one. I love to use the wonderful inventions with a changeable angle, movable duster on the end of a long, extendable handle that reaches most ceilings. With this marvelous invention I could reach the high places where dust lives along with those pesky dust mites. No telling how many of them had been breeding and for how long!
Kept My Mouth Shut
In my energetic mode I gleefully cleaned the ceiling fan blades (keeping my mouth shut!) in the living room, then my bedroom. I angled the handy duster handle to clean inside the globe that shielded the bulbs from whatever projectiles might do damage to them. Happily I noticed a clump of dust or cat hair and artfully caught it with the duster. I left the light on and went on to the guest room to clean its fan blades and globe.
I Smelled Smoke!
Suddenly I noted a smell I quickly recognized as smoke. I went through each room sniffing, clearing my nose and sniffing again in the next room. I returned to the bedroom and began sniffing. This was the room where something was burning!!! The only thing that had been touched in there was the light fixture. I looked at the light to see what might be the problem.
But What Do I Do?
There from the area of one of the light bulbs was a small stream of smoke!! I turned off the light first and rushed to the kitchen trying to decide what to do next! There was no flame but I did know that there are smoke detectors in every room. I did not want to set off a fire alarm which could set off a flurry of activity in my condo or possibly summon the fire department!! I visualized what could happen if the room’s temperature got too hot. The red liquid in the glass vials near the ceiling would explode and turn on the sprinkler system that would send showers of water all over the place!! So what do I do?
The Fire Extinguisher Would Be Overkill.
I couldn’t use the fire extinguisher because it would make a mess in my bedroom when there was not even a fire. I moistened a swifter duster with water, wrung it out and went back to the now cooled off and not smoking bulb. After carefully swabbing the fixture and bulbs with the duster I saw soot from one of the bulbs. Whew! So it was just a bulb instead of wiring or something else worse!
What Caused the Smoke?
I walked the tall ladder out of the storage room on the porch into the bedroom, removed the light bulbs and was shocked to see something black burned onto two of the four bulbs. I believe the chemical on the duster or maybe a piece of dust or a piece of the duster got too hot and burned onto the bulbs!
So I rushed out to get new bulbs, came home and carefully screwed in four nice new bulbs, returned the ladder and began to breathe calmly again!
So for future reference in case you are a new house wife, housekeeper or never cleaned a ceiling fan light fixture before and might not know these things here are the guidelines:
1. Keep your mouth closed if you are standing beneath a ceiling fan and dusting its blades with a long handled duster. (Also wear glasses or goggles.)
2. Do not use a long handled duster on the inside of a ceiling fan light globe with hot bulbs! Turn off the light, allow it to cool and if possible remove the globe, wipe it out and return it safely.
I figure why not pass along the “wisdom” I learned from my mistakes. You’re welcome.