A change of season means blossoming flowers and pollen in the air, but for some of us it means the onset of blossoming allergies. Even if you're inspired by the longer days and sunshine to attack every last piece of dust but, it’s a little harder to do so when the dust has started to attack your respiratory system.
Have no fear! We have some hot tips on cleaning for families with allergies.
Before you start cleaning it’s important to set yourself up with some good protection against allergens.
- Get yourself some protective medical masks (dust masks).They will filter out and trap pollutants and dust particles before they enter your airways.
- Glove up! Minimise contact with allergens and cleaning products that may irritate your skin. There are latex free gloves on the market too.
- Long clothing that covers the skin. Wear something light as you’ll be working up a sweat.
Cleaning Allergens From Your Home
Floors and Fabrics
- Wooden Floors: Great choice! It’s harder for allergens to settle and grow here, plus they are easy to clean and it’s more noticeable when dust and pet hair collects. Use a mop rather than a broom to minimise allergens from becoming airborne.
- Carpet and Furniture: You can extract toxins, allergens and grime out of the fabrics of your home with a Rug Doctor. Your carpet and furniture are rife with dust, dander and dirt. Head down to your local supermarket and hire one out for a weekend. Once your carpet is clean from the roots, it will be a lot easier to maintain. Vacuum daily to minimise allergens!
Bedding and Clothing:
- Wash ‘em! Get that low allergy laundry powder and give everything a good wash in hot water. Put your clothes through another rinse cycle to remove excess detergent for good measure.
- Vacuum-pack winter clothing and bedding that isn’t being used. Ensure everything is clean and dry so it’ll be dust and moisture free next time you need to use it.
- Dry clothing and bedding in a dryer if possible, as hanging outside may attract pollen, and hanging inside may make your house damp. If you can’t access a dryer hang linen in your laundry or garage this is preferable.
Be Bold Like Mould
Mould thrives in damp, humid and warm environments. If your house is damp then you will need to take extra precaution. If possible, move. A house which breeds mould is going to have long term effects on your health, causing breathing issues and skin problems. If you can’t move, make sure to:
- Air your house as often as possible. Open your curtains and let the sun stream through. Open windows when the weather is warm and dry and let some moisture escape your home.
- Throw out anything riddled with mould - it’s not worth keeping it. This includes mattresses, pillows and clothing.
- Get your hands on a dehumidifier and make sure to use and empty daily.
- Damp towels need to be hung up, preferably over a warm towel rail to dry.
- Air out sports gear.
- Paint over your walls with a mould-preventing paint. This will not only kill any remaining spores but rapidly slow down the growth of any pesky mould lingering in your home. Available from hardware and paint stores.
- Replace and wash your bathmat weekly.
Cleaning your home for Pets
- Limit their access to your bedroom, furniture and carpeted areas.
- Bathe pets weekly to remove fur and dander
- Wash their bedding weekly
Taking Care of Bedroom Cleaning
You spend one third of your life in bed, so try and keep bedrooms a place where your family can rest, free of irritants and allergens.
- Deck beds out in hypoallergenic gear. Pillows, duvet-inner, mattress topper, and your mattress.
- Wash your bedding weekly.
- Don’t make your bed. Dust mites love a moist environment, so keeping those sheets peeled back allows your bed to dry and therefore kill mites living in your sheets.
- Open your curtains. Let sunlight in.
- If you live in a low pollen area, open your windows.
- Pet-free zone (unless you’re not allergic to your pet!)
- Damp laundry is a no-go! Get it out of your bedroom and leave it in the laundry, garage or bathroom.
How to Avoid Dust Traps
- Minimise stirring up dust. Use a damp cloth to wipe things down rather than a duster which will just displace dust across your house, rather than getting rid of it.
- De-clutter! If you have a love of trinkets, models or collectors items, then consider containing them in a glass cabinet, so they will still be visible but you’re cleaning one smooth clear surface rather than being demotivated by working around a bunch of little pieces.
- Check the electronics regularly. That means heaters, fans, computers, stereos, and televisions -unplug them and give them a light vacuum.
- Bed frames, skirting boards and, door frames will collect dust like you sprinkled it there on purpose. A quick wipe with a damp cloth will sort these spots out.
- Musical instruments. The ultimate dust collectors. Even if you regularly use them they love to collect dust. Try and throw a sheet over any large instrument, or put your smaller instruments in a case so dust stays out of their nooks and crannies.
- Take out your frustrations by beating your rugs outdoors, weekly.
The Long Game
You’ve cleaned your house and now you need to keep it on top of it. Make it a rule to dust with a damp cloth, vacuum the floors, shake out rugs, and replace bath mats once per week.
Check out our handy Home Maintenance Seasonal Checklist to keep your house clean and healthy all year around.