If you’re one of the 50 million people in the United States that suffer from allergies, you most likely have been prepping for Spring, when allergy symptoms can be at their worst. Keeping your home clean and free of irritants is a necessity, but it’s important to pay attention to how you’re choosing to clean–it turns out some of the most common ways to clean your home can actually trigger your allergies or make them worse.
How could cleaning possibly make your allergies worse? The answer lies in how certain cleaning methods affect your indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is affected by a variety of factors, but specific ones–such as dust, chemicals, and humidity–have been known to make your allergies significantly worse.
While many cleaning methods are effective at alleviating certain allergies, they’re equally effective at triggering others, simply because they’re harming your indoor air quality. To help keep you healthy this allergy season, we’ve put together a list of the most common allergy-causing cleaning methods, and the small changes you can make so your air quality isn’t affected:
While vacuuming is great for keeping out any pollen you may have dragged into the house, the act of vacuuming itself can cause your allergies to spike. When you vacuum, dust and mold that has settled in your carpet will be uprooted and blown around your house–and can take more than two hours to settle back down. Try to wear a mask when you vacuum, and look into buying vacuums with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter built in to catch dust and mold.
You may be tempted to scrub your entire house at the first sign of a sneeze, but pay attention to the products you are using to disinfect. Many common household cleaners contain VOCs–-chemicals that evaporate into your air that can cause eczema flare-ups, allergies, asthma, and headaches. This is especially true for scented cleansers and detergents. Check the ingredients list on your cleaning products, or opt for all-natural cleaning techniques.
Dusting is incredibly helpful for reducing allergies. How you choose to dust, however, will determine how effective the dusting is. Avoid using dry dusters, because they’ll spread dust into your air instead of eliminating it. Instead, use a damp cloth to trap your dust on the spot.
Washing Rugs and Carpets
If you shampoo your carpets to get rid of pet dander and other irritants, do so with caution. Damp carpets are a breeding ground for dust mites and mold growth. Take extra steps to make sure your carpets are thoroughly dried after a wash.
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