My really good friend, Alanna, recently broke up with her boyfriend. It was one of those relationships where they spent way too much time together and every little thing became an argument. However, it was still tough for her to get over their breakup. They were dating for three years, so for her to become totally independent wasn’t easy. You know the ancient saying “To get over a boy, you need a new one”? Well in her case, to get over her boyfriend, she bought a puppy. Alanna found him on Craigslist for a mere price of $300 and brought him home from the mall. He is a mutt with a mix of a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. At least, that’s what we think he is. His coat is black with a white spot on his chin and stomach, in a way he’s quite similar to a penguin. Alanna named him Taco, and thus began a loving, loyal friendship.
During Taco’s first few weeks of living with us, Alanna trained him to sit, lay, and learn the meaning of the word “no”. The word “no” was regularly being used by Alanna and myself, and it became irritating. Taco misbehaved constantly by biting our skin, jumping on our faces while we were laying down, chewing on shoes, and biting pant-legs. He specifically loved the pant-legs and shoes while we were walking. He’s lucky we never accidently stepped on him. Even though he had just eaten, he would bother Alanna and me as we ate. He also had a horrible habit of stealing our socks from our bedroom floor to add to his collection of toys. He barked loudly and continuously, especially when Alanna left the apartment. Taco had some sort of separation anxiety that reminded me quite a lot of Alanna’s old boyfriend. I remember thinking Taco would never make it out on the streets alone nor be domestically independent. But now he is about six months old, and it amazes me how smart he has become. He was really stupid two months ago. The barking has stopped, he’s a lot calmer, and bites less. He just nibbles these days. The only dreadful thing he still does though is go through the bathroom trash can. He knocks it down, picks out his favorite items, and brings them, along with their germs, into the living room. Gross, I know.
We made the decision to have the bathroom door closed at all times to prevent Taco from going through the trash. Every time we had to use the bathroom or take a shower, we made sure to close the door behind us. However, this led to a different problem. Bathrooms collect a ton of moisture from tubs, showers, and lack of ventilation. Alanna and I take very warm and hot showers, so the room fills up with steam quickly. The walls and ceiling are wet, dripping with water to the floor, and the mirror is foggy. With so much moisture being trapped inside the bathroom after our showers, the bathroom ceiling, wall cracks, and shower curtain started to grow an ample amount of mold.
My first thought to reduce the amount of mold was to buy a shelf. It would be high enough to place our trash can on, and Taco wouldn’t be able to get to it. We would then be able to leave the bathroom door open. I knew it would somewhat help, but it would not be enough. I started researching ways to get rid of bathroom mold, and one of the options was using a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers reduce the amount of moisture in the air that can lead to mold and mildew. Not only is it bad for your health, but also for your home structure. Floors will creak, furnishings will damage, and musty odors will come arise. After one of our showers, the bathroom has excessive moisture. A dehumidifier sucks in moisture from the air, moves it over cold ice tubes to drip into a bucket, and pushes dry air out. The dry air will mix with the moist air making it drier and drier. We live in Southern California, so the general air in our apartment is already dry. However, homes suffering with high humidity levels can find relief in dehumidifiers instead of living uncomfortably.
I found that there are five items to consider when purchasing a dehumidifier:
- Why do I need one? Because my bathroom smells and the ceiling is starting to grow moldy friends.
- What size is the space I need to dehumidify? 50-100 sq ft.
- What is the humidity level? Humidity of 50%+
- How will I have to maintain it? Does it include a washable and removable tank? How will I have to drain the water?
- Do I require any special features? Portability, automatic shut-off, size of water storage tank, price, and brand.
Our bathroom is very small so a mini, portable dehumidifier would work best. Other dehumidifiers would simply not fit into our bathroom. Small dehumidifiers are less expensive to purchase, but still get the job done of pushing out the growth of pests. Dehumidifiers can also be wireless so they don’t need run on power, which is great in case we accidentally leave it running. We hope to be mold free by the summer!