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Five Sneeze-Free Ways to Spring Clean Your House
Spring cleaning? It can be a hazardous undertaking for allergy sufferers. Here, some tips from an environmental specialist.
Phoenix environmental consultancy Champion Indoors, founded by Stacy Champion, is in the business of improving indoor surroundings. Champion’s emphasis is education, and prevention and problem solving for both businesses and private residences. After all, she says, “It’s no secret that our indoors are anywhere from 10 to 100 times more polluted than the outdoor air we breathe.” Dust mites, pets, molds and even pollen blowing through windows can contribute to allergy suffering. With allergies and other respiratory problems on the rise, “it’s time to improve your surroundings by looking at the synergistic effects of everything you’ve put into your air-tight box.” Here are Champion’s top tips on cleaning yours:
Use natural cleaning products whenever possible
There are many brands sold in regular stores these days. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, reconsider using them in your home. You can also search “natural cleaning product recipes” to make your own.
Don’t kick up dust – absorb it
Invest in some good washable micro-fiber cleaning cloths, and get them slightly damp before using to minimize kicking dust up into the air. If your home is mostly hard-surfaced flooring, use a micro-fiber push sweeper instead of a broom prior to damp mopping.
Take care with carpet
If you have any carpet in your home, invest in a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Try to vacuum in all four directions to clean as thoroughly as possible.
Don’t forget the filters
Replace your home's air intake filters on a regular basis and upgrade to HEPA filters (sold in most hardware stores) to minimize allergens. Consider investing in portable air cleaners or a whole house HEPA filtration system to decrease airborne particulates, which exacerbate allergies.
Check, and check again
When cleaning, make it a habit to do weekly home checks to ensure there are no visible leaks or moisture intrusion issues which could lead to mold growth problems - a huge allergen for most people.