Spring Cleaning Tips to Reduce Allergies
If you suffer from allergies, a good spring cleaning can help.
Spring is my favorite season of the year. The days get longer and in the Pacific Northwest I am so energized with more of that blessed sunshine! Trees bud and flowers bloom, Easter arrives, and I am in hog heaven ?
But as much as I love it I, and many others in my home, suffer from allergies. And beautiful spring is a peak season for irritants. So while opening the doors and letting the fresh, warmer air inside, you could also be letting airborne allergens from budding and blooming trees and plants into the home. This can be compounded with allergens from factors inside the home itself: pet dander, dust mites, mold and mildew.
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If you or any of your family suffer with sneezing, red, itchy eyes or other sinus issues, it’s a good time to give your home a thorough cleaning.
So here are some spring-cleaning tips to help reduce your allergy load so you can enjoy the season!
Dust and Vacuum thoroughly.
Follow up with 1-2 times per week as maintenance.
Some of the areas of your home are sneaky places for pet hair, dust insect dropping and pollen.
A good rule of thumb is to work from the top down, mopping or vacuuming the floors last.
Ceiling fans, light fixtures, ceiling corners for cobwebs, crown molding, window treatments and blinds, tops of cabinets and bookcases, shelves and picture frames, the leaves of your plants (lie and silk), furniture (remember to get behind and underneath), baseboards and floors.
Vacuum and steam cleaning your upholstery.
This can help kill bacteria and mites and the organic matter that feeds them.
Start with a good vacuuming and use your attachments to get into all the cracks and crevices. Be sure to take care to care to avoid damage and snags.
Next, spot clean as needed. You can use an approved upholstery cleaner, or in many cases the steam cleaner will be enough. But for grease-based stains you might need the extra help of a commercial cleaner.
Before using a steam cleaner, check the tag on your furniture to be sure that water treatment will not damage your fabric. If the tag lists a specific cleaning method, then steam is likely not the way to go for that piece of furniture. Defer to the cleaning instructions in that situation.
Use a steam cleaner that is suitable or upholstery cleaning, with attachments. Several are available for purchase at local stores or online. Check user reviews.
Wash your bed linens.
Give your bed a deeper than usual clean. A thorough clean will include pillows and comforters. Wash these in a hot cycle, and use allergy free covers for your mattress, box spring and pillows.
You can also purchase hypoallergenic pillows, cover and bedding that will greatly help reduce allergy issues.
I don’t want to tell you how gross the stuff is that can live in the bed, so just trust me and keep it clean every week. My mother started every Saturday with clean beds. It was a pain to me then, but I am thankful now.
Attack mold and dust in the bathrooms.
Wash your shower curtain and liner. Replace any plastic liners for mold and mildew resistant fabric liners.
Dust can also accumulate in the bathroom so be sure to wipe down surfaces weekly.
Mold and mildew can be your biggest chore in any damp areas, so it is important to stay on top of it. Reducing moisture is the first chore to avoiding this problem. Staying ahead of it by keeping your bathroom dry and clean is the key.
Start by not running your showers for a long time before you bathe. Use fans and dehumidifiers to reduce mold and dust mites. Check for leaks and fix any causes for damp areas. As soon as you see mold clean it right away. Wear a mask and gloves and clean the surface and continue to watch and clean that area weekly. You can use white distilled vinegar, bleach, tea tree oil or ammonia and dilute with water. Make sure your surface can handle the solution with the appropriate liquid. Marble will etch. Spray the area and let sit for two hours and wipe clean. If the area is large, call for proper removal from a professional as you can release mold spores into the air.
Make sure you have a properly installed and operating vent for the size of your room and clean as is required for your unit.
Clean your washing machine.
Mold likes to hide in all sorts of places in your machine.
Start with wiping out the door and gasket and remove any debris. Then run the cleaning cycle on your machine. You can use a detergent made for washing machines or simple white distilled vinegar should do the trick. Be sure to check your drains, filters and detergent receptacles as well. Schedule your clean cycle monthly to stay ahead of any problem.
Check with your manufacturer suggested instructions.
Get your HVAC system serviced.
Servicing your HVAC system should happen twice a year. Be sure to get a thorough vent cleaning, including your dryer vent. Also, replace your filters. Call a professional in your area and be sure they use a sealed system. This is also good to do after any construction project. Groupon will frequently have a good deal from your local providers, especially in the spring. Check the reviews from customers in your area.
Address your pets.
Pet dander affects many allergy sufferers, though many of us are in denial that the furry members of our family are a problem for our health. But there are ways to mitigate it.
Keep them bathed and groomed regularly and wipe them down with lightly damp towels every time they come in from the outside as they can carry pollen in with them.
It will help if your allergies are particularly troublesome to keep the animals out of the bedroom and to avoid carpets if possible.
Check attics and crawl spaces.
These forgotten areas of the home can harbor lots of irritants. Call a professional for an inspection.
You can access further information online at the asthma and allergy foundation of America https://www.aafa.org/
I hope you will find these tips will help you be more sneeze-free this season!
Happy Spring Cleaning ?