06 Tips for Cleaning with Your Allergies in Mind

After holing up in our homes this winter, it’s a great time to roll up those sleeves and put some elbow grease into deep cleaning your home. While this can be a welcoming activity for some, for those with allergies, it can be more of a necessary evil. Cleaning stirs up all kinds of allergens like dust, dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and animal dander, which can cause allergy symptoms to worsen.
If you feel that looming cleaning dread, here are ten tips for cleaning with your allergies in mind!

. Clean high to low

Start cleaning the highest spots and work your way down. Cleaning of any kind stirs up dust and particles into the air. Cleaning from high to low will help make sure you catch more of the dust and don’t leave any behind.

Tip: Clean your floors last.

2. Wear a mask when you clean

Masks are a highly effective way to keep allergens from entering your body. The mask will help filter out those particles that you would naturally breathe in as you clean. They can also help decrease the inhalation of chemicals. As you pull out cleaning solutions like bleach, masks will help protect your lungs from any harmful fumes.

Tip: Try an N-95 mask.

3. Don’t use scented cleaners

The heavy fragrances in some cleaners can trigger allergy or asthma symptoms, irritating your airways. Look for fragrance free cleaners and products.

Tip: A natural way to fill your home with a fresh aroma is by simmering sliced lemons or crushing mint leaves. You get the freshness without the irritation.

4. Use a damp cloth when cleaning

Using a dry cloth is a less effective way of cleaning. However, a cloth dampened with water or furniture polish will help trap that dust instead of brushing it into the air or onto the floor.

Tip: Try using a microfiber cloth. Microfiber attracts dust much better than a regular cloth or paper towel, plus the fabric is non-abrasive so it won’t scratch your surfaces.

5. Use a vacuum instead of a broom

Using a broom kicks up more dust than it removes. If you want to capture the allergens instead of pushing them around, a vacuum is your best option. The dust and allergens won’t float through the air if they are sucked up.

Tip: Make sure you’re using a central vacuum or a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter. These filters are made to trap allergens so they don’t make it back into the air.

6. Clean the air

Filtering the air that circulates in your home is a good way to get rid of airborne allergens. Make sure you replace your air filters every 3-6 months with an allergy-friendly filter. Check out the ACAAI’s filter recommendations to find the right fit for you. Portable air cleaners can also help keep allergens down while cleaning.