Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources
15 Cleaning Tips For Allergy Sufferers That Will Minimise Triggers
For allergy sufferers, life can be severely affected by the tiniest of particles like dust, pollen, dog dander, mould spores, and dust mites. These allergens can trigger adverse reactions in the body of the allergy sufferer, causing skin rashes and irritation, swollen eyes, breathing problems, blocked or runny nose, headaches/migraines, and asthma attacks. While some individuals can grow out of it, many are forced to learn how to live with and work around these allergy triggers in order to maintain a healthy quality of life.
Where household cleaning is concerned, all allergy sufferers can relate to the bad reactions that come with cleaning up a little dust or even pet hair in the home. Nevertheless, if you’ve got chores to do, we are here to help you get through them with as few triggers as possible! Listed below are a range of cleaning tips that you can follow to help alleviate the allergen impact in your home life.
1. Use a Mask Whilst Cleaning
Many allergens or particles easily become airborne and trigger allergies while cleaning. Using a mask will help filter out those troublesome allergens, and prevent them from entering your body. If you are doing heavy-duty dusting, we advise changing your mask regularly to ensure that it works optimally.
2. Use a Damp Microfibre Cloth When Dusting
A dry cloth will result in the dust particles becoming airborne and settling down elsewhere in the room. Even worse, you may end up breathing them in which will lead to an allergic reaction. Damp microfibre cloths tend to be more adhesive, and will help dust stick to the material which can then be easily washed away.
3. Vacuum Up Dust Instead of Sweeping
Sweeping transfers the dirt and dust from one area to another. Just like dusting with a dry cloth, this results in the particles flying up into the air. Therefore, the better alternative is to use a vacuum cleaner that has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to help ensure that the vacuum cleaner collects and holds the dirt rather than throwing it back into the air.
4. Clean from Top to Bottom
The old age saying of cleaning from top to bottom has a strong connotation to it. When you clean higher space like cupboard tops or curtain rods, dust falls off and settles on surfaces below. To avoid having to clean twice, first clean the higher areas of your house, and then gradually move lower until you end at the floor.
5. Avoid Chemical Cleaning Agents
Most household cleaning products contain chemicals that can be toxic to our health, as well as strong fragrances/scents which commonly trigger allergies. Instead, make your own cleaning solutions at home using distilled white vinegar, water, baking soda, and essential oils. These are safe, natural, free of toxins, and smell great! You can also mix a few drops of essential oil in water as an air freshener. Essential oils have different properties that make them antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial; these help fight off bacteria, germs, and viruses.
6. Maintain Cleanliness
The best way to avoid triggering your allergies is to keep your house clean. Particularly the areas or rooms you spend the most time in. For this, it is advisable to clean your house on a regular basis, if not daily. At the very least, you should consider vacuuming and mopping 2-3 times a week.
7. Keep Your Kitchen Clean to Avoid Fumes and Pests
Reduce moisture in the kitchen by cleaning daily with a vinegar/water solution, and drying the areas around the counter, sink, and under the drying rack. Ensure all the kitchen dishcloths are clean and dry, too.
Store your food either in the fridge or in air-tight containers. Do not leave mouldy food in your fridge as the fungus spreads quickly, and can contaminate other foods. You can leave a bowl of baking soda in your fridge to reduce odours and moisture. Use a fan and open windows for ventilation to get rid of any cooking fumes.
Keep the lids of your garbage bins closed, and ensure that they are emptied regularly. This will deter pests like cockroaches and rodents from visiting your home. Be sure to clean your bin on a regular basis as well.
8. Store Items to Prevent Dust Buildup
Store items like games, toys, jewellery, and arts and crafts items in clear plastic tubs with lids, or in closed cupboards to keep them dust-free. This will make cleaning around the house a lot easier for you.
9. Regularly Wash Fabrics
Upholstered couches can accumulate plenty of dirt, bacteria, and allergens, too. One way to combat this problem is to use a couch cover that can be easily washed on a weekly basis. Wash your curtains, sheets, and stuffed animals regularly, and allow each item to fully dry before storing them away. If possible, avoid using curtains; instead, choose blinds/shades that hold less dust.
NOTE: Washing fabrics in 130-degree F or higher temperatures will help kill off dust mites.
10. Bathe Pets on Time
Urine, saliva and/or pet dander can trigger allergies when they come in contact with an allergy sufferer. Ensure that your pet is bathed and groomed regularly, and as much as possible, keep your bedroom a pet-free zone. Wash your hands after petting or playing with your beloved fur baby; avoid touching your face before you have washed your hands.
11. Steam Clean Your Carpets and Protect Your Mattress
Cover your mattress and pillows with an anti-allergen protector. If you suffer from allergies, it is best to avoid having carpets in your home or bedroom; however, if you do, steam clean the carpet routinely to kill dust mites.
12. Declutter Your Home
Our homes tend to be packed with plenty of unnecessary and unused items. Besides taking up precious space in our home, these cluttered items are dust collectors! One effective way to tackle this problem is to declutter your home every 3-6 months. Sell, donate, or give away items you no longer use or need. Consider hiring a professional spring cleaning service once a year to stay on top of things.
13. Clean the Air Inside Your Home
The indoor air quality of your home can be quite poor if you do not get the right air filtration system to clean and purify it. For a single room, consider getting a HEPA filter. Additionally, check that the filter has a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) depending on the size of the room.
14. Maintain a Mould-Free Bathroom
Try to keep your bathroom as dry as possible as moisture can create a breeding ground for mould. Regularly clean your tiles by spraying distilled white vinegar directly on the walls and letting them air-dry. After a shower, wipe the tiles dry with a microfibre cloth/squeegee. Also make sure to clean your shower curtain and allow it to dry thoroughly to prevent mould and mildew from developing. Use an exhaust fan and/or leave the door and windows open to ventilate and dry bathroom interiors. If you have leakages in the bathroom, get them fixed as soon as possible.
15. Keep Your Surroundings Clear and Clean
Regularly tidy and clean around your home to help reduce dust in your home. Before entering the house, consider leaving your shoes at the door to avoid tracking dirt inside. Encourage other household members to do the same.
Whilst it’s not possible to remove all allergens from one’s life, the tips above can help in reducing the triggers around your home, especially when cleaning. This, in turn, will aid in improving your quality of life with the added perk of a clean, clutter-free, and well-maintained home!
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