Written by Stacey Kelleher. Reviewed by Sean Busch.
Most of us are thrilled with the arrival of spring, but for millions of Americans, blooming plant life and warmer weather bring sniffles and sneezes. Worse yet, allergens in cleaning supplies can exacerbate those symptoms.
One of the best ways to help alleviate allergies involve adjusting your regular home cleaning routine – and making sure that you use the best cleaning products for allergies.
Common Indoor Allergens
You clean to get rid of dust throughout your home, but do you know what’s in dust? You might be surprised to discover that it can include some of the most common allergens:
- Dead bugs
- Dust mites
- Fabric fibers
- Skin cells
Research by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology determined that 99% of homes had at least one detectable allergen – and nearly 75% had between 3-6 detected allergen levels.
12 Easy Indoor Allergy Solutions
Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce indoor allergens with these simple, natural cleaning tips.
1. Stick to a Cleaning Schedule
As Puracy co-founder, Sean Busch, likes to say, “Frequent care is easy care.” Decluttering, cleaning, and disinfecting your home can seem like a daunting job. By breaking it down into a few daily tasks, you’ll make it far more manageable and ensure that you haven’t overlooked a room or a surface. Download our cleaning checklist to help keep yourself organized.
2. Cover Your Face
Whenever you’re cleaning, wear a mask to avoid breathing in airborne dust and dirt. A breathable cotton bandana or old t-shirt is perfect as long as it covers your nose and mouth. Be sure to wash your face mask after you’re finished.
Don’t touch your face while cleaning and take a shower afterwards to remove dust from your skin and hair. We also recommend throwing your clothes in the washing machine.
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3. Vacuum Often
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends vacuuming once or twice a week to remove indoor allergens on furniture and floors. But during allergy season, you may find yourself vacuuming more frequently. Use attachments to target curtains, blinds, corners, and other less-obvious areas where dust tends to collect.
4. Choose the Right Vacuum
A good vacuum is a necessary investment for allergy sufferers. One that’s poorly-designed (and might spew out dust) can actually do more harm than good.
To reduce allergens on carpets and other soft surfaces, look for a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA). HEPA filters are mechanical air filters that remove at least 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. For perspective, a single human hair measures around 80 microns.
Allergy sufferers should also look for a vacuum that collects debris in a bag or bin. Emptying bagless models creates a dirt cloud that can be incredibly tough to contain.
Our Favorite Vacuums for Allergies
- Canister: Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner: The Miele’s sophisticated filter system traps 99.9 % of fine dust and offers six suction settings, making it ideal for all types of floors.
- Upright: Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floors: The Shark Rotator contains a HEPA filter and Anti-Allergy Seal Technology to keep allergens contained. This model is easy to maneuver around corners and works well on both carpet and hard floors.
- Robot: GOOVI HEPA 1600PA Robotic Vacuum Cleaner: The GOOVI offers powerful suction, and remote or auto cleaning modes. Set it to clean at the same time every day and it’ll automatically return to the base when it needs charging.
- Cordless: The Dyson V10 holds a powerful charge for upwards of 35 minutes, functions on hardwood and carpets, and its fully-sealed filtration system traps 99.99% of particles.
5. Shampoo Carpets for A Deeper Clean
At some point, your carpets are going to need a deeper clean to remove pollen, dust, and grime, but there are plenty of people who have allergic reactions to carpet cleaner. That’s why our Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo is hypoallergenic and free of ingredients like sulfates, bleach, petrochemicals, perfumes, and dyes.
At least once per year, shampoo washable surfaces by hand or a carpet cleaning machine. To avoid mold growth, take extra care to ensure that the water is fully dried.
Pro tip: If you or someone in your home suffers from serious allergies, it might be worth investing in a carpet shampooer. The Bissell ProHeat Upright Carpet Cleaner is a good starter model that offers a professional deep clean at a budget-friendly price.
6. Dust the Right Way
Allergy sufferers should be dusting at least once per week, but your cleaning tools matter: Dry-dusting with dry rags and feather dusters end up spreading particles throughout your home.
To collect and remove dust effectively, spray Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner on the surface with one trigger pull per 2’ x 2’ area. Next, use a clean, folded microfiber towel to wipe using a “Z” pattern.
7. Keep Dust Mites out of Your Bed
It sounds like a sci-fi movie, but your bed is actually an ideal spot for microscopic invaders to hang out. Dust mites are tiny little creatures (arthropods, technically) that thrive in warm, humid places, like pillows, mattresses, and other upholstered surfaces. They live and breed deep down in these areas, living off discarded flakes of human skin. Both their bodies and waste are allergens, causing reactions in people with dust mite allergies.
While it’s nearly impossible to remove or prevent all dust mites, there are things you can do to reduce their numbers:
- Use zippered, allergen-proof pillow protectors and mattress protectors.
- Wash blankets, sheets, and pillow and mattress covers in hot water once a week.
- Even if you use a mattress protector, clean your mattress twice a year with your vacuum and a carpet cleaner.
- Manage the humidity in your home to make it less habitable for dust mites. Aim for less than 50%.
8. Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Every home surface can collect allergens, and if those allergens are alive (like dust mites), they can thrive. Reducing clutter works for multiple reasons: Not only will you keep your space tidier, you’ll also help shorten your cleaning routine. Try these simple decluttering tips:
- Give everything a place.
- During weekly cleanings, “rehome” misplaced items as you go (we like to keep a basket handy to speed up the process).
- Donate or sell unused items before bringing new ones into the home.
9. Watch out for Mold
Mold generally thrives in warm, damp places like the shower, under the kitchen sink, and in HVAC units. There are thousands of varieties of mold which can cause breathing problems and can trigger asthma attacks.
Mold is less likely to grow when indoor moisture is controlled. Mop up spills immediately, use humidifiers if you notice high humidity levels, and turn on exhaust fans in damp areas (like bathrooms after showers).
What Should I Do If I See Mold?
Mold requires a heavy-duty approach. After cleaning the area with non-toxic surface spray (to remove surface dirt), follow-up with a diluted bleach solution or commercial product that’s designed to kill fungus. Always follow usage instructions and ventilate the area before cleaning.
No one should attempt to remove black mold, especially individuals with severe mold allergies. Immediately consult a professional if you spot large areas of mold and/or black mold.
10. Keep the Outside Outside
A little fresh air is nice, but it might be best to keep windows closed during allergy season – especially in high-pollen areas. If you can’t resist, consider leaving just one window open at a time to reduce the flow of outdoor contaminants coming into your home.
Other easy pollen-reducing tips include:
- Machine-drying clothes and bedding instead of line-drying them outside.
- Keeping shoes, coats, backpacks, and bags in a separate mudroom or storage area.
- When washing windows, keeping only one open at a time to limit exposure to pollen and other outside allergens.
- If you’re doing yard work or are spending time outside during peak pollen times, take your clothes off at the door and immediately take a shower.
11. Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers improve indoor air quality by removing small particles from the air. From commercials air sanitizers to smaller, portable models, there’s one to fit every budget. We suggest asthma- and allergy-friendly models since they’re tested and proven to meet strict indoor health standards.
Note: We suggest using MERV-10 (or better) air filters in your HVAC systems. Consult the owner’s manual to select the right one.
12. Switch to the Best Cleaning Products for Allergy Sufferers
According to the AAAAI, asthma and allergic reactions to cleaning products are more common than people think. To reduce indoor allergens. get rid of toxic cleaning products and replace them with cleaning products for allergy sufferers.
5 Common Allergens in Cleaning Supplies
It’s not just dust and pollen that can cause sniffling and sneezing. Certain chemicals and fragrances can aggravate allergies and other respiratory issues, including:
Often found in glass cleaners and liquid dish soaps, high concentrations of ammonia exposure can lead to burning of the throat, nose, and respiratory tract.
3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is found in many detergents, soaps, shampoos, and other foaming personal care items. There’s still more research to be done to assess the health risks of SLS exposure, but it may increase the risk of coughing, sore throat, and skin irritation.
4. Synthetic Fragrances
We equate floral or citrus smells with cleanness, but synthetic fragrances used in cleaning products can result in respiratory problems and skin irritation. The FDA considers fragrance a “trade secret,” so companies aren’t required to disclose these ingredients. That means you won’t necessarily know what’s in your cleaning products.
Bleach is commonly found in disinfectants, laundry detergents, and various other cleaning products. In addition to skin irritation and poisoning, bleach inhalation can cause respiratory issues, resulting in throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
Puracy: The Best Cleaning Products for Allergy Sufferers
You can try everything to keep indoor allergens at bay, but these won’t work if your cleaning products cause allergic reactions. Instead, opt for cleaners that won’t irritate your senses.
Puracy harnesses the cleaning power of plant enzymes, foaming properties of coconut-based cleansers, and the refreshing scent of organic essential oils. You won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals either, since every Puracy product is free of:
A regular cleaning routine and natural cleaning products will do wonders to minimize the misery of allergies. And you’ll also feel good, knowing you’re keeping toxic chemicals out of your home. We’d say that’s a win-win.