If you are anything like me you’ll find yourself unable to stop going on a bit of a Spring cleaning frenzy this time of year. Its all part of my attempts to declutter and change our home environment so its just a bit nicer all around. Being a domestic novice I’ve been looking into all of this and it seems that you need to be a little bit careful incase you inadvertantly cause someone to have an asthma attack! I’ve been give some information on how to prevent such problems and I thought it would be worth sharing them with you.
1. Preparing your cleaning ritual
Many cleaning products, though wonderfully efficient, may trigger some allergies, not just asthma but also rashes (this seems to happen to my daughter all the time). Therefore its worth investing in some disposable gloves to protect your hands. Companies such as Brosch Direct supply a large range of gloves and paper products that will help you in your task. Where possible, also try to use ‘Green’ products as these are likely to contain ingredients that won’t set off an allergic reaction. Baking soda or vinegar can also be used as effective cleaning agents around the home. In fact I can show you here on my YouTube Channel
2. Allergies hate dust
Whenever you are cleaning, you are likely to stir up dust before you can eliminate it. This is a real problem in our house and I must admit I often need to have a shower after I’ve attempted dusting as it seems to collect on top of curtain poles and then fall down onto me! An article in The Daily Mail carries advice from the British Allergy Foundation that suggests that ‘house dust mites are one of the three most common triggers for allergies.’ The only thing you can do really is to either use a damp cloth or the attachment on the vacuum cleaner. Its also worth making sure that the vacuum cleaner you use has good suction as well as a filtered exhaust, so the dust isn’t simply redistributed around the room. Dust mites adore carpets, and if possible, use your cleaning session to think about replacing the carpets with either bare boards or laminate. I hope the husband has just read that last paragraph…
3. Cleaning your linen
If you have some linen that’s been sitting in the airing cupboard for too long, then now’s the time to clean it. Its also a great idea to take this opportunity to give your mattress a quick treatment before the onset of summer. I tend to try to give mine a really good vacuum clean. You should also take this opportunity to invest in some barrier covers that will fit over your mattress. The British Allergy Foundation recommends any sheets that have a fibre called Amicor woven into them. This fibre has helped allergy sufferers in trials across the UK. Also make sure you wash your bedding on a very hot temperature (60 C) to eradicate any dust mites and bacteria.
4. Watch out for mould
One of the things I’ve noticed around our UPVC windows in particular and in the bathroom is mould. I try hard to keep on top of this because its a real problem and if your house is at all damp and you suffer from asthma, then you could be in serious trouble. Mould spores can be deadly, so if you are trying to spring clean your home, try not to disturb any damp patches or spores that might be present in your walls. If at all possible, hire a professional cleaner to help you with the particularly bad damp parts of your house. Once the mould has been eradicated, make sure it doesn’t return. The charity Asthma UK recommends that you air your rooms on a frequent basis and use an extractor fan if necessary, when showering or drying clothes. I for one am going to make a concerted effort to make sure people open the window in the bathroom particularly when people have showers.
5. Children’s toys can harbour allergy triggers
In our house the boys in particular have their own soft toys which they adore. All of the children also have a lot of toys on their shelves collecting dust. Unfortunately these can also harbour allergy triggers. Use the spring-cleaning session to give teddy a good wash at a high temperature. Strange though it may sound, freezing soft toys on a regular basis can also help kill allergens and other creepy crawlies such as carpet beetles which love soft toys. Just make sure that your child doesn’t notice that his/her favourite toy is occupying the same space as the frozen peas!