Whether you or someone in your family struggles with seasonal or year-round allergies or asthma, there are many cleaning methods to alleviate the symptoms. You don’t need to be a doctor to know that regular cleaning will contribute to keeping your allergies under control.
When you haven't cleaned for some time, cleaning will cause allergic reactions as all dust and allergens will become stirred up. Our guide is a great place to start if you don't know which products, methods, and even tools to clean your house to reduce allergic reactions. Using the proper techniques and tools can make all the difference.
Your allergies worsen when you're at home. Why is so?
If you've been coping with allergies for a while, you know that exposure to the allergen (the invader attacking your immune system) will cause an allergic response. Sometimes, your allergies get worse when you're inside your house. Here's what might trigger your allergies inside.
Dust mites represent the most common indoor allergens and they're typically present in beds and bedding, upholstered furniture, and any materials. It's common for people to believe that they're allergic to dust when, in fact, they're sensitive to dust mites. The waste particles and fragments of dust mites can be found in the dust as well.
Some people develop allergies to pets. Cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, and fur-bearing animals will cause these people symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and asthma. But it's not the animals' hair causing the allergy, but the substances in the animal's saliva, urine, and dander. Dander is similar to dandruff and it's a dead skin flake that falls from an animal/s skin. The allergens build upon the pet's hair/skin from urination or the pet licking/scratching. When dry, the allergens will spread into the room and stick to dust particles.
Cats and dogs make for the leading causes of an allergic reaction, but the cases of birds causing the allergic responses are also common. Amphibians, fish, and reptiles have a low risk to cause allergy symptoms. Any of the following can cause your allergic reaction:
- Being inside the house with the pet
- Being inside with a person whose clothes carry the allergen
- Being inside with carpets, furniture, clothing, bedding, drapes, animal cages or bed with animal allergens on them
- Cleaning animal cages, mattresses, or litter boxes
- Touching towels, bedding, toys, and other items that the pet has touched
Moulds represent a kind of fungus with no leaves, stems, or roots. They typically live outdoors but are typical for indoor environments as well. They can trigger asthma symptoms and hay fever.
Moulds will quickly get inside your house through doors and windows and settle in areas with excessive humidity and heat. When they grow, they produce mildew—it's the black spots in your shower.
Mould isn't always easy to notice and can grow in inconspicuous areas of your houses, such as behind walls and under flooring.
Mould needs water to thrive, which is why checking and fixing leaking pipes is mandatory. Since it's not picky, mould will grow pretty much on any surface, from wood and fabric to glass and plasterboard. When it grows, mould generates spores which stick to house dust. Moulds can cause allergic reactions, but they almost never cause severe health issues—people who undergo chemotherapy or are immunocompromised can, on the other hand, experience extreme allergic responses. Moulds will not be easy to remove, and you will need the services of professional mould removers followed by professional deep cleaners.
Cockroaches don't make for a fun topic for most of us. Should you live in an old multifamily dwelling, a crowded urban building, or a warm climate, the chances for you to have cockroaches are pretty high. Wherever there is food available, the risk for cockroaches to be there are high.
It makes perfect sense to find cockroaches in the kitchen and you can find them anywhere in your home. Their bodies dry and break apart after cockroaches die (typically in places you cannot see). The body pieces and the dried waste will become part of house dust and cause allergy symptoms.
Which tools should you need when cleaning to reduce allergens?
You don't need to work in the cleaning industry to know that you have numerous tools to use for cleaning. However, some will be more efficient than others when you try to control your allergies insides.
There are several vacuums out there, but we recommend you opt for a fine-particle HEPA filter vacuum. Since it’s important to collect as many duct particles as possible, we recommend you use a double bag.
You can also check out bagless vacuums that feature a sealed cleaning station that empties the cup automatically. If not, you can make a habit out of cleaning and washing the collection cup regularly.
Robotic vacuum and mop systems for continuous cleaning are also excellent choices when you struggle with allergies. The best part with these systems is that you don't need to be in the room while they're doing the cleaning for you.
Another effective type of vacuum when fighting against allergies is the fabric allergen sanitiser vacuum. It will kill bacteria and dust mites through the ultraviolet light and a dual filtration system. In the end, the system is able to eliminate 99% of the offenders from fabric surfaces.
Cloths and mops
Microfiber cloths are more effective at collecting dust than paper or cotton towels. We recommend you buy cleaning tools with removable heads for effortless washing in the washing machine. To attract as much dust as possible, you should lightly dampen mops and cleaning cloths.
Masks and gloves
Look for disposable or easy to wash masks and gloves to put on before cleaning. You want to reduce the risk for skin irritation, so stay away from latex gloves and cotton-lined rubber gloves.
Disposable dust wipes
Synthetic wands and dusting wipes will collect dust and produce static cling. Therefore, the dust will hold on to the tools until you throw them away in the trash.
Pick detergent and stain removal products that have no dyes and no fragrances. Many studies revealed that skin irritation could occur from the paint.
Which cleaning products should you avoid? Do you have less harmful alternatives?
Unfortunately, some cleaning products are formulated with agents that cause symptoms similar to allergens. Always opt for cleaning products with few chemical agents. Try your best to reduce the exposure to products made with:
- Sodium hypochlorite
These chemical agents can irritate and we recommend you read the labels of each laundry product you use. We encourage you to try any of the following natural agents when cleaning:
- White vinegar (distilled)
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
Get rid of the allergens inside by following the tips down below!
Fighting against allergies is a complex process and there are many things to take care of. We recommend you always begin with reducing the number of allergens throughout the entire house:
Make sure that mice and insects are nowhere near your home. Call a professional exterminator or use traps to seal cracks that pests will use to enter your home.
Control humidity and indoor temperature
Mould spores and dust mites thrive in heat and humidity. Make sure to have the temperature between 68f and 72 f degrees. The humidity level shouldn't be more than 50% to stop mould and dust mites from growing.
Get rid of clutter and dust catchers
Carpets, upholstered furniture, pillows, and decorative items made with fabric are surfaces where dust mites and dander will collect. Avoid the intricate and complex decorative pieces or opt for those requiring less cleaning.
Upgrade the filters in your HVAC
If you struggle with allergies, small-particle filters in the HVAC system and air conditioners are the most adequate filters to use. Make sure you stick to replacing the filters every month.
Keep pets outside
Pets and allergies are never a good combination. If possible, keep your pets outside the house. Otherwise, it's best to bathe your indoor pets weekly. Washing the pet’s bedding once a week seems like an overkill, but it’s crucial if you want to keep your allergies under control.
You shouldn't allow smoking inside your house. Cigarette smoke will worsen allergic reactions.
How do you get rid of your house of allergens? Here's the plan room by room
For cleaning, paying attention to the most minute detail is essential for the best cleaning results. We recommend you clean every room and don't move to the next one until finishing.
Cleaning the bedroom every week is essential because we spend too much time here. Start b washing the bed and bedding and continue with the blankets, sheets, and pillowcases. always use hot water and never hang them outside to dry—they will only catch outdoor pollens.
we recommend you opt for bedspreads/comforters that are easy to wash. pillow cases that are dust-mite proof are excellent choices. remember the clean the pillows from time to time as well.
As always, we recommend you begin at the top and work your way down when cleaning the bedroom. Begin with dusting the light fixtures, ceiling fans, and blinds. Some curtains require washing—dust all pieces of furniture and vacuum the upholstered pieces with the upholstery attachments. Vacuuming the floors, spaces under the bed and furniture, is the last step in your cleaning. When you want an allergen-free bedroom, remove wall-to-wall carpeting and switch to solid tile/hardwood flooring. Opt for area rugs that are easy to wash too.
If you deal with allergies, try your best not to allow your pets in the bedroom, let alone on your bed. We recommend you stop allergens travelling from clothing to your bedroom, so keep the closet doors closed. Store the items you don't use in covered plastic bins.
Mould and mildew pose the highest risks for allergies in the bathroom. Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, and commercial mildew cleaners are excellent choices to remove mildew growth. Don't mix cleaning products unless you're sure.
Add one part bleach to three parts water. Protect your hands with rubber gloves and don’t start until you’re sure that the ventilation is excellent. Scrub the areas with a stiff brush to get rid of mildew build-up. You can dampen some paper towels in the cleaning solution for tight corners and place them on the moulded areas. Let the paper towels work for 15 minutes or so. Afterwards, scrub and rinse.
Preventing is always easier than treating, and preventing mildew growth doesn't make an exception. Make a habit and run the exhaust fan when you shower or bathe. After you're done, towel-dry the shower enclosure or the tub. Examine the showerhead, sink, tub, and toilet fixtures from time to time. If you find any leaks, ask a professional or repair them on your own.
Keep in mind to always hang the towels to dry after use. Reduce the risk of mildew growth to a minimum by washing bathmats, rugs, and shower curtains as often as possible.
We recommend you clean the living areas the same way you did in the bathroom: cleaning at the top and trapping the allergens and dust with a damp mop or vacuum.
Start by dusting the light fixtures, ceiling fans, blinds, and drapes. Washing the drapes will be necessary from time to time. Clean the window sills and mantles and horizontal surfaces. If you have a fireplace, take care of it as well by removing any ashes and residues.
You also have to wipe down furniture and vacuum the upholstery pieces. Finish by vacuuming the carpet and/or mopping the floors. If you have throw rugs, wash them as often as necessary.
If you have pets, we recommend you vacuum carpets every day. Otherwise, you can follow a weekly cleaning schedule for your living areas.
Plants inside the house have many benefits and improving indoor air quality is one to name. On the other hand, plants can be dangerous natural moulds can grow in damp soil. To avoid such an effect, you should cover the soil with marbles or decorative rocks. If you're not a fan of natural plants and have artificial ones, you need to dust and even shower them to get rid of dust.
Instead of using chemical air fresheners, we encourage you to use essential oils in a diffuser. You can also place some strongly-scented spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) or simmered citrus peels.
The kitchen is the place where insect droppings and mould growth happen the most. Use the vented exhaust as often as necessary to decrease moisture in the kitchen. Check out the refrigerator, sink, and freezer for leaks and never postpone repairs.
Don’t skip weekly cleaning of the refrigerator and throwing in the trash mouldy and expired food. Clean drip pans, wipe down door seals and mop up excess moisture and spills. Wash the throw rugs and mop the floors whenever necessary.
Remember to clean the sink and countertop every day and wash the dishes after each meal-- at least put them in the dishwasher! Store your food in appropriate recipients and empty the trash as necessary. It's an effective method to make your house less attractive to rodents and cockroaches.
Last but not least, make sure to empty and deep clean all drawers and cabinets to remove crumbs four times per year.
Entry and storage areas
Stopping allergens from getting inside your house is the very first step to take when you want to get in control of your indoor allergies. Sweep or hose away pollen outside your home at least once a week. Make sure that everyone in your home takes off their shoes before getting inside the house. It's not a good idea to take the outerwear in your closet; store it in an entry area instead
Seek that mould doesn't grow in the laundry room by inspecting the washer for leaks every week. After each dryer load, make sure to clean the lint filter and empty the wastebasket. Keep the outside dryer vent clean and make sure it works properly. Never have the vent dryer moisture inside your house.
Don't forget that the risk for dampness and dust is relatively high in storage areas and basements. When you use these spaces for storage, turn to plastic bins with lids so that you reduce the risk of mildew and dust growth. Should you suspect dampness, set up a dehumidifier to extract moisture from the air. Examine foundations and windows for leaks and don't postpone fixing. Don't opt for wall-to-wall carpet, but install hard-surface flooring instead—it's easy to clean and less likely to collect dust.
Why are my allergies so bad in my room?
As we’ve mentioned, there are many allergens lying in your house, with dust mites, pet dander, and pollen as the most common. Pet dander (skin, saliva and urine) and not fur can stick to your bedding and clothing and cause your allergy symptoms.
How can you tell if there are dust mites inside your house?
Allergy to dust mites will show in a runny itchy nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. If you struggle with asthma, dust mites can cause wheezing and you will require more effective asthma medicine. Additionally, the risk to have more asthma symptoms at night than during the day is high because you simply lay in a bed covered in dust mites.
Are air purifier efficient at alleviating your allergy symptoms?
Air purifiers will filter most of the particles that aggravate your allergies. They also filter tiny pollutants that have collected on walls, furniture, and floors.
Will a dust allergy be cured?
Even if there is no cure for dust allergy, you can always manage and alleviate your symptoms. Please scroll up to go over the best methods to put your allergies under control.
Are all people allergic to dust?
Even if most people experience irritation when exposed to large amounts of dust, only some will develop an allergic reaction to house dust. Allergy to dust is real and just as particular as an allergy to cat dander, tree pollen, or ragweed. Eye inflammation, nasal symptoms, asthma, and eczema are some of the symptoms to name.