Springtime is here, bring with it the sun and some warm weather making it time to throw open the windows and start spring cleaning. However, if you suffer from allergies, spring can be the worst season to clean your home as the last thing you want to do is expose yourself to pests and particles that are sure to make you even more miserable.
But a thorough spring cleaning might be the very thing you need. Did you know that the air inside your home is about ten times dirtier than the air outside? Over the winter months, allergens have been accumulating inside your home, which might make the pollen outside seem tame compared to what’s lurking inside. Dust, dust mites, animal dander, mold, and mildew are some of the culprits that you’ll learn to tackle in order to leave your home clean and allergy-free.
The first thing to do is to try and determine what allergens bother you most – the best way to figure this out is by visiting an allergist who can determine which allergens affect your immune system with blood or in-office skin tests. This will be beneficial when it comes to keeping your house clean as it’ll allow you to target your allergy triggers.
If you are suffering from allergies, it’s a good idea to get yourself a dust mask before you start cleaning your home and taking on tasks such as sweeping or dusting. Without further ado, here are a few tips that will help with getting your home clean and reducing dust, mold, and other allergens:
- Start with your bedroom. Your bed will require the most attention; wash all bedding using hot water (130˚) along with detergents to kill off dust mites and other contaminants. The other option is to freeze your linens in the freezer for a day without detergent which can help kill dust mites also, but washes them afterward because dead mites can trigger allergies as well.
- You’ll also want to make sure to encase your bed and pillows with allergy relief casings and then apply your newly cleaned sheets. Don’t forget to clean any throw pillows or stuffed animals that you might keep on the bed.
- The next step is to tackle the clutter in your house. Empty out drawers, boxes, and closets, and organize shelves, to see what can be thrown away or donated. Getting rid of decorative knick-knacks will help cut down on dust accumulation. A clutter-free home is easier to clean and keep clean.
- Keep the house well ventilated while cleaning. If you can’t open the windows because of pollen, run the air conditioner and air purifiers to help keep the air clean.
- Be sure to use all-natural, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free products while cleaning. It may also help to wear an allergy relief mask, and rubber gloves while cleaning. Baking soda and vinegar are great natural cleansers.
- Dust everything using a vacuum attachment, or an electrostatically charged cloth or damp cloth, which will trap the dust.
- Vacuum every corner and under all the furniture using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Window blinds are dust collectors. If you have them, replace them with vertical blinds or washable drapes. If you have drapes, wash them!
- Destroy mold and mildew by cleaning under the refrigerator, washing and disinfecting garbage cans, thoroughly cleaning bathrooms, and shower curtains. If your shower curtain has mold on it, replace it. A solution of Borax and water inhibits mold growth. If you have a basement, inspect it thoroughly for mold, and use a dehumidifier.
- Change the filters on all air conditioners, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, windows, and vent registers.
- If you’re allergic to your pets, ban them from the rooms you spend the most time in, such as the bedroom.
Some people are allergic to roaches and other bugs, which may mean you’ll need to call in an exterminator.
Take a shower after cleaning, and leave a room after dusting if you start to feel symptoms.