For people with serious allergies and respiratory problems, everyday substances in the home can cause serious problems. The likes of dust, pollen, pet dander and cleaning chemicals can all exacerbate symptoms — and make attacks far more serious.
But by changing your routines and cleaning habits, you can reduce pollutants in your home substantially. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Clean to a schedule
If you have breathing problems, the chances are you can’t clean for long periods. It’s therefore a good idea to break cleaning jobs into smaller chunks of no more than 15 minutes. Create a weekly schedule to ensure you keep on top of things.
Vacuum once a day
The majority of allergens in the average home reside in carpet and upholstery. With this in mind, vacuum your upholstered furniture and carpeted floors once a day — whether or not they look like they need it. You can find the best vacuum for allergies by performing an Internet search or asking for recommendations in discussion forums.
Note: Choose the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair if you have a dog or a cat.
Dust continually… in the right way
Try to make dusting something you do as you go about your day. Always have a dusting cloth at hand, and wipe surfaces as you walk by — particularly those that seem to attract the most dust. But make sure you scoop dust up, rather than flick it into the air. The last thing you want to do is send potentially harmful dust into the air you’re breathing.
And never use feather dusters.
Launder your bedding at least once a week
Bedding can harbour a huge range of allergens, including dust, mites and pollen. Strip your bed and clean all of your bedding once a week; however, if you can clean it twice, all the better. Be sure to clean and air your pillows too, and take the opportunity to clean your mattress with a steam cleaner. Spray it with a solution of vodka, water and essential oil to freshen things up.
Carefully clean curtains and blinds
It is important to clean blinds and curtains regularly (at least once a week). However, it’s equally as important to ensure you’re not sending dust, pollen and other allergens into the air. Use the longest extension on your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust.
Keep moisture in your home to a minimum
One of the worst substances for triggering respiratory problems is mould. Unfortunately, mould spores travel in the air all the time. And the damper your home is, the more of them there are. Keep your home well ventilated at all times, and remove mold with a steam cleaner as soon as you find it. If your home has a serious problem, consider investing in a dehumidifier.
And a few final tips
A great way to improve the air quality in your home is to replace chemical cleaning agents wherever possible. You can do this with a steam cleaner, vinegar, baking soda and a wide range of other natural substances and products. Here are a few final cleanliness tips that should help you to protect people in your home from allergic and respiratory reactions:
- Buy the best vacuum cleaner for allergens — this could be a HEPA model, or the equivalent.
- Don’t open windows on high-pollen days.
- Remove shoes before entering your home
- Avoid manufactured air-freshening agents — essential oils and baking soda work just as well
- Switch to hard floors and leather upholstery
- Keep dust-collecting clutter to a minimum
Cleaning can often make allergic and respiratory reactions more likely — either through the use of chemicals or the dispersing of dust and other allergens into the air. Go about your cleaning with care and the right tools, and you can at least minimise the effect of allergens in your home.