For many people, spring cleaning is a time to open the windows and let fresh air inside. It’s a time to chase out the winter blues along with the dust. For allergy sufferers, however, it’s a challenge when dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping disturbs the very allergens you hope to eliminate. If this is you, then there are precautions you can take to limit the effect allergens have on you while you clean. Either way, spring cleaning and allergies go hand in hand this time of year, and getting rid of allergens that have built up over the winter is important to your health.
9 Tips for Spring Cleaning and Allergies
The following tips will help you limit the effect of allergies while spring cleaning. Doing as many as you can reduces allergy symptoms.
1. Keep Windows Closed When Spring Cleaning
It’s tempting to take advantage of that spring breeze, but keep the windows closed during the allergy season. With that breeze also comes pollen which is a sure way to trigger spring allergies. Allergens from the backyard and garden can enter through windows, but they can also travel on your clothing and skin. Wear gloves when working outside and wash your hands as soon as you reenter the home.
2. Clean From High To Low
The irony about spring cleaning and allergies is that cleaning actually triggers allergies. When dust travels into the air as a result of cleaning, it enters the respiratory system of whoever is in the home. That’s why it’s recommended that you start with the highest spots in the room and work your way down. This way the dust is settling further down where it can eventually be vacuumed up off of the floor. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and you’ve added another line of defense against allergens.
3. Wash and Change Bedding Frequently
Dust mites feed on household dust of course, and they find a home in mattresses and box springs. This means they get onto sheets, comforters, and pillows too. Wash bedding every week in hot water and use the highest temperature setting on the dryer. This will kill the mites and allergens. Using linen made with hypoallergenic material and sealing pillows and mattresses in airtight plastic covers is also effective.
4. Control Pet Dander Allergies
We love our pets but sometimes their pet dander triggers our allergy symptoms. To reduce this risk, keep pets well-groomed and wash their bedding and toys frequently. If your child suffers from allergies, pets should be kept out of their rooms while they sleep.
5. Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers make a difference in the lives of those affected by spring cleaning and allergies. Air-cleaning devices reduce airborne particles. It’s important to buy a machine that is powerful enough for the room you wish to use it in. For example, a device like the AeraMax Pro 3 cleans rooms from 300 square feet up to 700 square feet. The device uses bipolar ionization as well as a built-in hybrid HEPA filtration system to trap and remove allergens.
6. Reduce Moisture
Mold is a sure way to trigger allergies. It’s important to be proactive with mold so that it never has a chance to develop. This means keeping the humidity level in your home below 50 percent. Repair leaks around doors and windows to prevent water from collecting. Adding a vent to rooms with higher humidity, such as bathrooms and the kitchen, is also recommended.
7. Better Spring Cleaning, Less Often for Allergies
The presence of allergens in the home doesn’t mean the home isn’t clean. It’s better to do a thorough spring cleaning of allergy triggers than to dust and vacuum every day. The more you clean the more you kick up dust and dander. When vacuuming, use the machine’s attachments to get into crevices of the furniture as well as corners and under sofas, tables, bookshelves, et cetera.
8. Test for Allergens
Testing is a great way to determine the presence of specific allergens. It provides homeowners with the information needed to take action. DIY tests kits are available for dust mites, mycotoxins, fiberglass, and volatile organic compounds.
9. Clear Out the Clutter
The less stuff you have filling bookshelves and stacked up in the corners of closets and storage areas, the fewer surfaces dust has to settle on. Getting rid of clutter also makes the home easier to clean. Throw out or donate unwanted items. Replace cardboard storage boxes with plastic containers. This will reduce the chance of mold developing and will also take away a favorite hiding place for cockroaches and other bugs.
Learn More About Allergies and Spring Cleaning
For more information on how to deal with spring cleaning and allergies, give us a call today at 727-572-4550.