Anti-Allergy Cleaning Tips

Experts figure that anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from allergies and asthma, and their conditions are exacerbated by the tiny dry particles floating around our homes – skins cells and dust. The natural response to this fact is to keep our homes fastidiously clean, but, unfortunately, some of the very products we use to rid our home of allergens contain irritating ingredients themselves. The dust mites, mold, and pet dander are major issues for allergy sufferers, but chemical fumes from cleaning products and spray air fresheners can be major detriments to your household’s air quality, too. Read on for the best anti-allergy cleaning tips and solutions.

Clean like a grandma. Baking soda and vinegar are the wonder twins of the natural cleaning world. Your grandparents and great-grandparents used homemade solutions made from these products to keep their homes spotlessly clean for a minimal cost and at minimal hazard. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, add some drops of lemon juice to your solution, or simply try to wait it out. The smell dissipates naturally after an hour or so.

  • Toilet cleaning: Most toilet cleaners use very strong chemicals like hydrochloric acid or chlorine. Undiluted vinegar works just as well and won’t put a bunch of harsh chemicals in the air.
  • Cleaning surfaces: Use a spray bottle that contains one part vinegar and one part water to naturally disinfect countertops and other surfaces. Note: do not use on marble; specific cleaning products are required for marble surfaces.
  • Fight nasty odors: Mix some baking soda and water and apply to a microfiber cloth for scrubbing dirt and stains.
  • When you can, avoid using cleaning products altogether. For example, all that’s needed for efficient dusting is a good, clean microfiber cloth.
  • If you have to use a cleaning product with strong, chemical ingredients, wipe down with water afterwards.

Relentlessly clean carpets and upholstered surfaces. Many modern homes contain wall to wall carpeting, and while it may be pretty and pleasant to bare feet, carpet is a haven for allergens. If you can, lose the carpet. If you can’t, or don’t want to, you will have to aggressively clean your floors to reduce the amount of dust mites and other allergens who call carpet home.

  • To reduce the amount of pollen coming into your home and sticking into the carpet, mandate a no shoes indoors policy for all, including visitors.
  • Each day, vacuum high traffic areas with a specialized allergen busting vacuum. Vacuum other areas every few days at least. Do not neglect bath mats or area rugs.
  • If you do a deep clean of your carpets, dry them as quickly as possible afterwards.
  • Dust mites love the steady supply of sloughed off skin cells found in bedding. Wash bedding at least once a week to control the dust mite population in your pillows and sheets.
  • Keep pets off of the furniture and out of your beds, especially overnight.
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5 Comments

  1. Posted March 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see you specify that vinegar (and really any other common chemical) should not be used on marble. While everything you say is true about vinegar and it’s wonderful cleaning capabilities and low cost, it will damage marble, travertine, limestone and any stone containing calcite in seconds.

    Why? Vinegar is acidic and acids react with marble leaving dull and discolored spots.

    Very often online you read about using vinegar or ammonia and that these chemicals are “harmless”. Many people read such incorrect information and end up damaging their stone. Well, it all depends on what type of material you are cleaning.

    So, you are absolutely correct… to clean marble (and all stone really) you should use only products safe for cleaning marble & granite.

    Regards,
    Ryan
    CountertopSpecialty.com

  2. Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Hi, just visited your blog first time, and found it quite interesting. Nice post indeed. Thanks for sharing it to all
    Regards
    Prabhat
    Furniture Cleaning New York

  3. Posted May 4, 2010 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Hi, just visited your blog first time, and found it quite interesting. Nice post indeed. Thanks for sharing it to all
    Regards
    Pravin singh
    Dry Carpet Cleaning NY

  4. jennyk
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for the great information. Do you happen to know what is the key ingredient in the anti allergen wash that helps with removing dust and dander from clothing and bedding? All the products I’ve saw online claim they are safe and contain all natural ingredients so it must be something pretty common but I can’t figure out what the big secret is. These prepared washes are expensive and aside from washing everything in hot water and damaging things, I need a solution. Thanks, Jenny

  5. Mark
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    thanks for the great tips. i’ll be sure to utilize them in my own home and office!

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