If the word “spring” makes you cringe at the thought of sneezing and a stuffy nose, you’re not alone. Allergies wreck havoc on millions every year. However, reducing allergens and toxins in your home is as easy as doing a little spring cleaning. Then, your home becomes a safe haven where you breathe easier.
Before you grab a duster and start slinging dust everywhere, keep yourself safer. When you’re spring cleaning, it’s easy to breathe in dust, chemicals, pet dander, and more. Get a face mask and a pair of gloves. The gloves are especially important if you’re cleaning with any type of chemicals or have moldy or mildew spots in your home.
Dust Everything From The Top to Bottom
Dust builds up quickly and it’s made up of bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and other nasties you don’t want to breathe in. To make dusting more effective, do the following:
- Always dust from the top to the bottom – Start with ceilings and high shelves so if dust falls, you don’t have to re-dust bottom area.
- Use microfiber cloths or special dusting cloths to avoid just pushing around the dust – Microfiber cloths are reusable (just wash and reuse). Try these Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths or Amazon Basics Dry Floor Cloths (cheaper Swiffer alternative)
- Clean all nooks and crannies – Move things off of shelves and dust each item along with each corner
- Dust on top of cabinets, around vents, on ceiling fan blades, inside fans, etc.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture, curtains, rugs, and carpets to remove dust and allergens
Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning. It’s also about clearing things out you don’t need. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep everything clean. For instance, if you have a bunch of boxes under your bed, it’s difficult to take everything out and vacuum under the bed regularly.
Take some time to go through each room and get rid of things you no longer want or need. If things are still in decent shape, consider donating them to local thrift shops or even selling gently used item (such as clothing) to consignment shops. Use these tips to declutter and reorganize your closet.
Choose Natural Cleaners
Chemical cleaners might do a great job of getting rid of dust, mold, and mildew, but they’re not always people or pet friendly. You can create your own dusting and cleaning solution using a mixture of white vinegar and water, a scrubbing solution with vinegar, water, and baking soda, or a more fragrant cleaner of white vinegar, water, and lemon. When cleaning with vinegar, only use it on non-porous surfaces.
If trying to get the mixture just right or the scent of vinegar bothers you, there are several great natural cleaners you can buy to spring clean while reducing allergens and toxins:
- CleanSmart Daily Surface Cleaner – An all natural cleaner and disinfectant that breaks down to a saline solution on surfaces as it dries
- Better Life All Purpose Cleaner – Natural and fragrant cleaning spray for most surfaces, including your child’s toys
- Bon Ami All Natural Powder Cleanser – A natural and hypoallergenic powder cleanser for kitchens and bathrooms that won’t scratch surfaces
- Seventh Generation Lemongrass Citrus Disinfectant – Natural disinfectant for most surfaces
If you do use chemical cleaners, open up the windows and turn on a fan to help ventilate the area.
Wash Bedding and Curtains in Hot Water
You get all types of dirt, dander, dust, and even toxins in your bed every day. When you’re spending 6-9 hours a night wrapped in your blankets with your face on a pillow, you want the area to be clean. Get rid of allergens and toxins by washing your bedding in hot water weekly. It’s also good to wash your curtains often as well.
During your spring cleaning routine, it’s also a good time to add dust mite, bed bug, and allergen-proof pillow cases and mattress covers to your bed. AllerEase’s Mattress Protector and Maximum Allergy Pillow Protectors are effective options.
Clean All Mold and Mildew
Cracks and crevices in your kitchen and bathroom are often home to mold and mildew. These can increase your allergy symptoms and mold leads to harmful toxins. While wearing gloves and a face mask, use your favorite cleaner and hot water to eliminate the problem.
If you’ve had a leak and you can’t remove everything yourself, call in a professional cleaning team to handle the mold removal.
Move Furniture Around
Dust and even mildew build up under and behind furniture. For instance, when was the last time you thought to pull out the dress in your bedroom or move your couch away from the wall to clean? Thoroughly clean under and behind all your furniture to remove all the hidden allergens.
While you have your furniture out, vacuum and dust it thoroughly. If you want a deeper clean, consider a steam mop like the Bissel PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop, which works on floors, furniture, and other surfaces. For spot cleaning, try the Bissel Little Green Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner.
In addition to vacuuming, sanitize your floors each spring with a deep clean. You can use a steam mop for hardwood floors and a carpet cleaner like the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner. If you don’t want to deal with shampooing your carpets yourself, hire a professional carpet cleaner to do it for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my allergies worse during spring cleaning?
While vacuuming and dusting, dust particles get in the air. If you’re not wearing a mask to filter these particles, your allergies will likely flair up worse for several days after you’re finished.
How often should I vacuum and dust to reduce allergens and toxins?
At least once per week. If you have pets, vacuum flooring and furniture twice a week for best results. If you don’t have time to do the entire house weekly, focus on your most used rooms weekly and your lesser used rooms monthly. Use this guide to help you learn how often to clean things in your home.
Image credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya via Unsplash
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