It may surprise you as to how easily an allergic reaction can be triggered. For those of us who do not suffer from allergies, it’s all too easy to overlook the potential risks that can be found in our homes. Risks that, if left ignored, can turn a relaxing home atmosphere into one devoid of comfort for the afflicted person.
If you or a close family member suffers from allergies you’ll understand the necessity of maintaining a clean, clear and trigger free home. Fortunately, achieving such an environment is achievable with just a little diligence, attention and work.
When you are cleaning your home, please remember to steer clear of chemical cleaners with a strong scent. Whilst they may be very successful in removing offending articles, the chemical itself can also act as a trigger. Where possible, stick to using a clean cloth or mop that is only dampened with warm water.
Carpets can hold a surprising amount of dust and irritants, vacuuming once to twice a week will make a huge difference in reducing the possibility of a reaction. Ideally you want to be using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Without one you could spread particles that can pass through a regular filter throughout the room.
Many people opt for wooden floors instead of carpet which will dramatically reduce the chances of trigger and allergen retention. Wooden floors will need to be mopped, just remember to stay away from cleaners with a strong scent. If you’ve removed the carpet for wooden floors but have a few rugs, treat them the same as you would a carpet. If you're beating them, do it outside and away from the house.
Avoid shampooing carpets and rugs if possible as the extra moisture may increase the number of dust mites.
Curtains and Upholstery Covers
Curtains and blinds pose a double risk as they will not only collect dust from inside the house but potentially pollen from outside when windows are opened. Blinds should be regularly wiped down with a wet cloth using no chemical cleaners. Curtains, drapes and upholstery covers should be removed and put through a hot wash no less than every two to three months.
Bath and Shower
Without consistent checks wet rooms are likely to spawn mould which even in small amounts can release spores causing a reaction. Make sure that tiles are regularly scrubbed clean to reduce the chances of mould growth. You can also wipe down the bath or shower with a clean dry towel after use to remove moisture and reduce the risk of mould growth.
When cleaning the bathroom, be sure to also check the shower curtain, the folds are an ideal place for mould to grow. Regularly remove the curtain to give it a proper clean with a clean, damp cloth.
If you have an extraction fan in the bathroom, turn it on whenever someone is using the bath or shower to reduce moisture.
Once a week give all worktops, backboards and appliances a clean with a damp cloth as well as mopping the floor. You’ll have to be extra vigilant in the kitchen as food will increase the chances of mould. Be sure to throw out any food which has started to show signs of mould growth.
Make sure that your fridge is kept clear of unnecessary moisture and once again, use an extraction fan when cooking to reduce moisture and allergen build up.
Bed sheets pose a large risk as we’re in very close proximity to them for approximately 8 hours per day. As such, they deserve a thorough clean once a week, preferably using your machines hot wash cycle.
For storing clean sheets consider placing them in ziplock plastic bags or plastic sealable boxes. This should help keep dust away whilst they are being stored making certain they’re fresh when you come to use them.
These cleaning tips should help cut down on the potential for triggers to be retained in your home. If you're cleaning for a family member try to do so when they are out as sometimes cleaning can cause triggers to become airborne. If you yourself are the person with allergies, ask if a family member can help you complete these tasks, if not, ensure a mask is worn when completing chores.