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Cleaning for Allergies

Your 5-Point Checklist

as seen on The Lifestyle List and Daytime TV with Michelle Yarn!

Pollen season is early this year, but indoor air quality is a year-round problem for asthma and allergy sufferers. May is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month but people affected by asthma and allergies may benefit from following this checklist NOW.

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Reducing the amount of indoor dust, dust mites, pet dander and pollen is really important to control asthma and allergy attacks. But these microscopic particles can hide in plain sight. For a thorough asthma and allergy cleaning, here’s how to clean these five key areas:

Bedding - launder sheets weekly in hot water and dry on high heat. This will kill dust mites as well as remove tiny particles. Launder comforters every month. Wash pillows and vacuum mattresses every three months. Replace pillows annually and mattresses every seven years.

Carpeting - several times per week, use a vacuum that has the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval, for effective soil removal and minimum carpet wear. A closed canister model (as opposed to the ones with a cloth bag) with HEPA filtration is preferred. You may need to vacuum daily where pets hang out. If problems persist, consider replacing carpet with hard-surface flooring.

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Upholstery, drapes and plush toys - vacuum, dry clean or launder upholstery and drapes every three months. Wash plush toys at least monthly depending on use.

Books and bookcases - don’t just dust the tops of books and edges of shelves. Take all the books off and dust all 5 surfaces of each shelf opening. Then dust all six sides of each book and return to the shelf. (Check out our step-by-step guide to dusting books and bookcases.)

Don't have the time to do it yourself? Get a free estimate for one-time or regular house cleaning service.

TLC for your HVAC - be sure to change air filters monthly. Vacuum air vents and registers at least monthly using the brush attachment. If problems persist, consider having your HVAC vents cleaned by a professional.

Asthma and allergy sufferers should also be aware that the tools used for cleaning can impact asthma and allergies. Some tools are just no-no’s when it comes to cleaning away asthma and allergy triggers like pollen, dust, dust mites and pet dander. For example:

  • Harsh chemicals - they can trigger asthma and allergy attacks. Instead, look for green cleaning products (or make your own) OR a cleaning service that uses green cleaning products. Like Maid Brigade :)
  • Dusting with old t-shirts or paper towels - use microfiber dusting cloths instead. The specially formulated fibers in microfiber trap particles and hold on to them until you launder the cloth. Other cloths and paper towels can’t trap particles in this way, and many will recirculate in the air. Then, there is no health benefit AND it’s a waste of time.
  • Brooms - brooms kick up a lot of dust and don't effectively contain fine particles for removal. Use your vacuum instead.
  • Feather dusters - they cause similar problems as with cloth dust rags and brooms. You don't want to re-arrange or re-circulate fine particles, you want them gone! Either use a real ostrich feather duster or a microfiber feather duster. Both will act as magnets for dust and other fine particles, containing them until you physically remove them by laundering or giving them a firm shake OUTSIDE.

For more information on cleaning for asthma and allergies, read our Asthma and Allergy Green Guide to Relief.

You may also be interested in our Asthma & Allergy Awareness Infographic

To keep your home clean year-round, download Maid Brigade’s 2017 Cleaning Calendar for free, with weekly, monthly and quarterly checklists.

If you want help cleaning, we're the cleaning help you want:

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