Follow these tips for allergy- and asthma-free spring cleaning:
- Clean early in the season so you ventilate without letting pollen in
- Use a wet mop on smooth surfaces. (Dry sweeping raises dust.)
- Look for EPA’s Design for the Environment logo on cleaners.
- Leave bedroom windows open at night, when many types of pollen are released.
- Mix cleaning products. (It can create toxic fumes that irritate the eyes, nose and throat.)
- Shake dirt out of disposable vacuum bags.
Ease Pet Allergies
Spring cleaning may be stirring up more pet irritants than usual. To combat allergies:
- Keep your pet off of your bed. In fact, it’s wise to prohibit access to the entire bedroom—it’s where you spend the most hours each day.
- Pull up carpeting and opt for washable throw rugs instead. If you must have carpeting—which traps pet dander—choose one with a low pile and steam clean frequently.
- Wear a dust mask to vacuum and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Dust masks are inexpensive and easy to find at hardware stores.
- Get help with brushing and cleaning. Have someone else brush pets, change litter boxes and clean cages. These tasks should be done outside.
Adapted from our sister publications, Diabetes Focus and Remedy's Healthy Living (Spring 2012)