No matter if you or anyone in your family suffer from asthma or an allergy all year long or just seasonally, there are many ways to reduce the symptoms by appropriate cleaning.
If you want to prevent allergy symptoms, it is essential that you clean your house on regular basis. The cleaning process itself might trigger symptoms of allergy as dust and other allergens are floating in the air.
If you haven’t cleaned your place for weeks, you’d better put on a protective mask. Use appropriate tools and cleaning agents to remove the allergens and at the same time reduce exposure to chemicals as they can also cause allergic reactions.
Make friends with essential oils
The best cleaning equipment to clean and remove allergens:
If you don’t have a Hepa filter, use a double bag. It will stop more duct particles and allergens.
In case of bagless hoovers, clean and wash the dust container.
#Anti-allergic hoover with a UV lamp
These hoovers use ultraviolet light to kill dust mites and bacteria. Thanks to the double filtration system they are capable of eliminating 99.9% of allergens from fabrics surface.
# Multiple use cloths
Mops and clothes of microfiber attract more dust than standard cotton or paper ones.
Choose tools where the cleaning elements can be taken off and washed.
Always soak the mop or cloth before use so that they won’t spread the dust while cleaning.
# Disposable cloths
Synthetic cloths and feather dusters also collect dust effectively. Their advantage is that once you finish cleaning, you simple throw them away.
# Protective masks and gloves
Go for disposable or washable masks
Avoid latex gloves. Choose the rubber ones with cotton layer that prevents skin irritation.
# Washing products
Choose washing agents and other products that remove stains that do not contain colouring agents and are scentless. Any substances that add colour or smell, may cause skin irritation.
The best cleaning products to reduce allergens
Unfortunately, some cleaning products might cause irritations and the same reactions as the allergens they are supposed to eliminate.
Make sure you avoid products containing:
– Ammoniac (NH3)
– D-limonene (a solvent)
– Formaldehyde (E240)
– Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)
– sodium laurilsulfate (SDS, SLS)
Look for scentless cleaning agents and use natural products, for example distilled white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.
Reduce the amount of allergens at home
1. Control the temperature and air humidity inside. Dust mites and mould spores prefer warm and humid environments. Keeping temperature between 18- 23 degrees C and humidity at approximately 50%, you can inhibit their growth.
2. Fix small particle filters in central heating systems and indoor air-conditioners. Clean or replace the filters once a month.
3. Watch out for pests, including insects and mice. Use traps and seal any cracks and gaps the pests might use to get inside.
4. Clean up the place and get rid of all ‘dust traps’.
5. Never allow smoking inside.
6. Keep the animals outside as much as possible. If you can’t, give them a bath at least once a week and clean their beds.
This is where we spend long hours wrapped up with soft, dust absorbing materials.
Keeping everything clean is more than obligatory then.
1. Beds and bed linen
Bedsheets, pillowcases and blankets have to be washed once a week in hot water.
If you are allergic, never dry the linen outside. They might ‘catch’ too much pollen.
Always choose washable bedcovers. Buy pillowcases and mattresses resistant to pollen.
Clean the pillows regularly.
Tidy your bedroom every week, starting with the higher places moving on to lower spots.
Clean the fans and ceiling lamps.
Wash roller blinds and/ or curtains.
Dust the shelves and upholstered furniture..
Finally dust the floor, especially spaces under the beds and other furniture.
Remove fitted carpets. Choose a floor covering that cleans easily.
Get bedroom rugs that can be washed.
Never let in any pets inside your bedroom.
Keep the wardrobe door closed at all times so that allergens do not sit on the clothes kept in there. Use sealed plastic containers to store items that you don’t use.
The most dangerous allergens there are molds. You can remove them with chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide or any available mold –removing agents. Always read the manuals and never mix the chemicals.
2. Mold-removing agents
To remove mold residue, mix water with bleach in 3:1 ratio.
Using rubber gloves and airing the room all the times, scrub the moldy spots with a hard brush. In case of places that are barely accessible, soak paper towels with the solution of bleach and apply onto the spots. Leave them there for 10 – 15 minutes, then scrub and wash.
3. A few hints more
To prevent further growth of mold, mount an extracting fan and use it whenever you have a bath or a shower. After each bath and shower use a towel to wipe the bathtub or shower cabin dry.
Watch out for any leakage in or around bathtub, shower, washbasin or toilet. If you notice any, fix them immediately.
4. Towel and rugs
Always hang the towels to dry after you use them. Wash the rugs, mats and shower curtains on regular basis to inhibit the growth of mould.
Living rooms should be cleaned at least once a week. Carpets ought to be hoovered every two days to collect as many allergens as possible.
Just like in case of bedrooms, start cleaning with higher spots so that any dust particles fall onto the floor where you will pick them up with a moist mop or hoover.
First clean or dust ceiling fans and lamps.
Then clean the blinds.
Wash or dust the curtains.
Don’t forget to clean window sills and other horizontal surfaces.
Remove ash and other stuff from the fireplace
Wipe wooden furniture to remove the dust. Dust the upholstery.
Finally hoover the carpet and mop the floors.
Wash the rugs.
2. Potted plants
If you have potted plants, cover the top layers with some decorative gravel to stop the growth of mold on the pot soil.
Artificial plants have to be dusted once a week and give them a shower from time to time to remove the dust.
3. Air refreshers
Instead of using chemicals air refreshers, consider stewing citrus fruit and such spices as cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves to refresh the air.
Kitchen is the perfect environment for the growth of mold.
To reduce air humidity, use an extracting fan.
Check the sink, fridge and refrigerators regularly for any leaks. If you spot any, fix them immediately.
Every week clean your fridge and throw away moldy and stale food.
Clean the door, remove any leaks or moist.
Clean the sink and kitchen tops every day.
After the meals wash the dishes or put them into the dishwasher.
Store all food in closed containers.
Take out the rubbish as often as possible so that insects won’t get attracted to food leftovers.
Mop the floors regularly and wash the rugs.
At least four times a year empty and clean all cabinets and drawers to clean them well.
The hall and other rooms
Preventing the allergens from getting inside is naturally a good way of reducing their level inside.
1. The entrance
At least once a week clean the entrance by sweeping it. All family members should take off their shoes before entering.
Keep the outerwear near the entrance so that the pollen collected outside does not spread, for example in the bedroom.
2. Laundry room
Check this room regularly for leaks.
Clean the clothes dryer filter every time you use it.
Empty the dustbin.
At least once a quarter check if the air hole is clean and the ventilation works properly.
3. The basement
Basements happen to be dump. If you store there some of your belongings, use plastic containers with lids. They keep the contents free from dust and mould spores.
If you realise that the place is going dump, use an air dryer.
Check the foundation and windows for any leaks and fix them as soon as possible.