Along with the warmer weather and the beautiful scenery in spring and summer come the springtime allergens and irritants that affect 1 in 3 Australians each year. While this number can be frightening, the good news is that a little bit of preparation can help you make your home allergy-proof so you can avoid suffering the pain and stress of allergies.
Pet dander, pollen, dust, mould and mildew are some of the prevailing airborne particles that cause the most common allergies. They are present everywhere in our environment and can be found in our home as well. That’s why to protect yourself from these and other common allergens this summer, you need to make sure to allergy-proof your home.
In this article, you’ll be able to find some of the most straightforward cleaning tips you can incorporate in your cleaning routine so that you can avoid suffering from the common symptoms of allergies.
The good thing about this whole process is that with the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to easily make any room of the house allergy-free.
All you’ll need to have to properly clean your home are the following tools and supplies:
The most crucial tool you’ll need to have in your possession so that you can clean your home properly is a vacuum cleaner with a fine particle HEPA filter or a double-bagged vacuum. If you’re using a bagless vacuum, make sure to clean and wash the collection cup regularly. If your budget allows it, you can also get a UV sanitizing HEPA allergen vacuum, which removes 99.9% of germs and allergens from any of your home’s surfaces and effectively kills bacteria and dust mites using UV light.
Protective Mask and Gloves
It’s important to make sure you wear a protective mask and gloves while you do the cleaning, especially if you’re the one that’s suffering from allergies.
A Mop and Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
You’ll need to have a washable mop and a microfiber cleaning cloth which is best for grabbing onto dust and dirt.
When it comes to the products that you’ll be using, make sure to choose ones that contain less chemicals, and limit your use of products that have:
Sodium lauryl sulphate
To avoid unnecessary irritations, it’s always best to stick to natural products such as lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda, which are not only cheap and safe but are also products that can be found in almost any home.
Once you have your equipment and cleaning supplies ready, it’s time to start cleaning your home room by room, until your whole house is allergy-proof.
Let’s begin by showing you the main steps you’ll need to take to make sure each area is clear of allergens so you can prevent or reduce allergic reactions and symptoms as much as you can this summer.
Let’s start with the entry to your home since that’s the first area you’ll walk into as you enter your home.
What most people don’t realise when it comes to allergy prevention is that as soon as we enter the house, we drag all sorts of allergens right in with us. Thankfully there are a few steps you can follow to minimise the amount of allergens you bring into your home.
Get an abrasive doormat with a rough texture so you can wipe your feet on it, making sure you get most of the particles off your shoes
Clean your doormat regularly, or even replace it every 6-12 months
Take your shoes off before you enter your home and store them outside the house
While hardwood floors are your best option when it comes to allergy-proofing your home, if you do want to have some carpeting, the least you can do is swap your plush carpets for sisal or seagrass.
This goes for any area of your home, not just your living room.
We all love our soft carpeting in our home, but so do dust mites, pet fur, pollen and dander. These types of carpeting are much easier to clean and do not attract as many allergens as plush carpets do.
When it comes to cleaning your living areas, all you need to do is follow these few simple steps, and you’re good to go:
Start by cleaning the top areas of your living areas. This way, all the dust and allergens will drift down, so it will be easier for you to catch everything with your vacuum or mop.
Dust all light fixtures and ceiling fans
Wash all drapes
Clean the windows and window sills
Keep your windows closed during peak pollen levels
Empty the fireplace and get rid of any ashes or residue
Wipe down all the furniture and vacuum upholstery
Vacuum the carpets and mop the floors
Avoid using scented cleaners, air fresheners and candles and use natural ways to freshen up the air, such as orange peels and so on
Use plants that are particularly good at purifying the air, such as English ivy, dracaena, pothos, peace lily and so on
Use decorative rocks to cover the plants’ soil in order to contain mould, and do not overwater your plants
Make sure to vacuum and mop once a week during the whole year, and increase it to every other day during allergy season. You should clean all living areas at least once a week so you can stay allergy-free all season long.
Cleaning your entire bedroom on a weekly basis is an essential part of keeping your home allergy-proof.
The first step to cleaning your bedroom would be to take all the bedding and linens out and wash everything in hot water once a week. This includes sheets, pillowcases, and other types of bedding. You should wash your blankets, comforters and bedspreads regularly as well. You can even do this every other week, especially during allergy season.
Don’t forget to wash your pillows as well. According to a 2017 survey by Canstar Blue, 29 per cent of Australians admitted to never washing their pillows at all. Although you might think that the pillowcase is there to protect your pillow, the truth is that dust, dead skin cells and sweat can still make it onto your pillow, which is why it’s essential to wash your pillows twice a year.
When it comes to dusting and cleaning, you should start by cleaning the top areas of your bedroom first and work your way down, the same as you did with your living areas.
Dust, vacuum and mop every week, making sure you cover the whole area, including fixtures, lighting, furniture and under the furniture.
If you can, try to keep your pets out of the bedroom and off the bed. Keep them outside as much as possible. If that’s not an option for you, make sure to bath them every other week, and wash their bedding every 5-7 days.
Mould and mildew are the prime suspects that you’ll have to pay close attention to when allergy-proofing your kitchen. To reduce mould and mildew and prevent them from forming, you’ll need to follow these few simple yet effective steps:
Keep your kitchen ventilated so you can reduce moisture
Do regular check-ups for leaks and make sure you repair them on time
Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Either wash them after every meal or put them in the dishwasher
Clean the sink daily
Store all foods properly and don’t leave any open containers out and finally
Empty the trash regularly
To avoid pest infestations, make sure you clean out all cabinets regularly, dispose of any unwanted leftovers right away, and never leave any food unattended.
Same as with the kitchen, the most common and most dangerous allergens found in the bathroom are mould and mildew.
To prevent mould and mildew from forming, you can install an exhaust fan which you can use during baths and showers.
You should always keep your bathroom floor dry, and do regular check-ups for leaks. If you locate a leak under the tub, the sink or other toilet fixtures, make sure to repair them right away, so they don’t cause a bigger problem.
You can use a store-bought mildew cleaner to get rid of mildew and halt its growth. Other options include using chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Whichever option you choose will work well, just make sure not to mix different solutions together, as that can cause poisonous toxins to be released and harm your health.
Do not leave any wet towels, rugs and bathmats in your bathroom. Hang your towels to dry after each use, and make sure to wash your rugs and bathmats regularly so you can prevent mould from forming.
If you incorporate all of these straightforward steps in your weekly cleaning routine, you will have an allergy-proof home during the entire season.