After 19 years of my countertops, linolium floor and other various things emitting volatile organic compound vapors into the kitchen, I could feel the build up from behind the appliances and between the countertops and cabinets.
We came up with a plan to get those nasty VOCs outside. First we vacuumed the entire downstairs with extra concentration on the kitchen area. We put the exhaust tube out the window to prevent it from just blowing from one end of the house to the other.
Touching the rubbery orange tube, I could feel my hands swell. I tried to only touch the harder plastic handle. Harder plastic is always less harsh.
We placed fans blowing air outside at one end of the kitchen and had a fire going in the wood stove. The heat of the stove caused a chimney effect and prevented dust and VOCs from getting into the rest of the house. By keeping the rooms we were working in warmer than the rest of the house, it pulled air to the kitchen and sucked it outside.
Exhaust fan blowing air out.
Second exhaust fan blowing air out next to the lit wood stove.
On the opposite end, we have two doors leading to the family room and the living room. We closed them both and started our clean-up at this end, furthest from the exhaust.
With a leaf blower on the lowest setting we blew out the cabinets being careful not to blow the dishes out onto the floor.
We blew air into the drawers and under the sink.
We also blew out the downstairs bathroom which is right off of the kitchen.
Then on the higher, more powerful setting we blue out the cracks and crevices where the VOCs were build up.
And in all the cracks between the counter and the cabinets and behind appliances.
Making our way down to the corner that had the fans blowing outside.
We used a hand vacuum to clean up the dirt that was left.
It's been a few days since our big clean-up and I can definitely confirm it made a huge difference in the kitchen's overall air quality.