the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Twenty days of illness, what we’ve done to sanitize the house

Sick teddy bearFor the past twenty days everyone in my house has been ill. There was the attack of the Grunge, an unexpected appendectomy, allergies, what appeared to be a cold, something that also appeared to be a stomach bug, and plenty of otherwise diarrhea and snot-inducing little issues.

I don’t think the appendectomy is related as a note.

We tackled this the following ways:

Carpet cleaning

Baby, standing on the easy to clean hardwood floor, decided to projectile toss her cookies onto the carpet. A thin sheen of mucus and cheese-like substance was left that had to be scraped off.

I sprayed the area down after my attempts to clean, and then just went to town with the carpet cleaner and washed that corner of puke until it was clean. Repeat. Cleanest area ever.

While I don’t think that carpets contribute a huge amount to disease spread, I am dealing with two shorties who it’s not unreasonable to believe would transmit germs via the carpet. Also it cuts down on dust.


I’m allergic to dust mites. Like highly allergic to them. Had a run in with death feeling last year and determined that and an airborne weed pollen that’s out this month are nasal death. Combined with some pillow covers and an anti-allergenic fitted sheets.

Throw in one air purifier set to kill germs during the day, and a set of washable air filters that can handle two kids, a cat, and two adults living next to construction city (I have to wash them once a week with the amount of filth)

Bleach it till it’s dead!

Bleached the tub, several toys, anything that could take bleaching and not bleach out.

Ozone you din’t

Because I’m a tech nerd, I decided to dump enough ozone into my house to kill off any living thing. OK, not really, but enough to probably kill any norovirus and kill some mildew that had crept in.

I did an 8-hour run in the kid’s areas with a 20,000mg/h Ozone Shock Treatment Ozone Generator, then did a several hour venting of the house to remove the ozone. You can read a good (I’m assuming) list of things destroyed by ozone here.

Great thing about ozone is it just travels in the air and kills anything it comes into contact with. And as long as you vent the gasses it’s relatively harmless afterwards although you’ll still have that smell as though lightning struck nearby.

Kids/pets/plants were not home in case you’re wondering.

Wash all the things!

Anything their grubby little hands could touch was hit with a citrus and/or ammonia cleaner. Every handle in the house soaked in bleach, ozoned, wiped clean.

Plant air filtration

Plant Air FilterOne of the most interesting things I’ve seen at CES was a simple design that filters the air by pushing it through a plant’s root system up past the fronds.

You can see an example here, although this was not what I saw at CES.

Basically picture a fan mounted at the bottom of a planter that pushes air in and the dirt and the plant take out the impurities.

I’ve been way too tired to build my own but I got the idea while reading a NASA experiment that the primary reason you need so many plants in a house to purify the air is mostly that not all air is moving. If you can get a slight breeze of air across a plant you increase the CO2/grunge processing efficiency greatly.

Where is all the air in the house going? Yup – the clean air intakes to the furnace/AC.

I placed some plants around the intakes for a few days. Did it work? No idea. It was worth a shot. Plants required excessive watering as the air was drying them out.


Not a damned thing could have survived, however as we’ve got one kid in daycare, one in the Metro public schools, didn’t help one bit. We just transition the disease du jour from the grunge to a stomach bug to allergies to a cold and possibly the flu.

While the house is noticeably cleaner, power cleaning doesn’t do a demonstrable thing unless you get your kids at the entryway and transport them to the showers, burn their clothing, and put face masks on them.

Cleaner house though which is nice. Cleaning while sick and miserable not so much.

Allergies are managed/contained which is nice that now I can feel stuffed up and miserable just with the general funk.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.