Spring Cleaning Tames Allergies

The tradition of deep cleaning the home every spring goes back to the days when fireplaces provided heat in winter. Spring, then, was a time for airing out the house and wiping away the grime and soot. Although modern-day homes are heated centrally, spring still provides an opportunity to refresh the house. This refreshing is particularly important for allergy sufferers who need to rid their home of allergens, such as dust, mold and pet dander, that have accumulated during the winter. The trick, however, is that the very act of clearing away that dust can trigger allergies, according to WebMD.

Allergy sufferers must develop strategies for deep cleaning that rid the home of allergens while not aggravating their conditions. One such strategy, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to put a mite-proof encasement on pillows and mattresses to trap dust mites inside. Another strategy is to use bleach in basements and bathrooms to kill the allergens in mold.

Vacuuming with bagged vacuums instead of bagless will lessen exposure to dust. This is because bagless vacuums require regular filter cleaning to be effective; every time the filter is cleaned, according to Indoor Doctor, some dust is released back into the air. Vacuums with High Efficiency Particulate Air filters also trap more of the dirt, making them a better solution for some allergy sufferers. Wearing a mask, such as an N95 mask, while cleaning and switching to a gentler cleaning product may also help, Web MD says.

Cultivating a habit of performing some cleaning tasks weekly, such as dusting the furniture and washing the linens and throw rugs, prevents buildup of dust and pet dander throughout the year, according to Merry Maids. To prevent mold, bathroom surfaces should be rubbed down with a microfiber cloth every day after showering.

Allergy-proofing the home also helps many sufferers. The Mayo Clinic suggests replacing wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors or linoleum and switching out upholstered furniture in favor of leather, wood or metal.

The clinic also suggests replacing blinds with shades and wallpaper with tile and/or mold-resistant enamel paint. Hot, humid houses are breeding grounds for mold and dust mites, the clinic says. It recommends maintaining a temperature between 68F and 72F and a relative humidity of no more than 50 percent.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.