Fall is a tricky time for allergies. Seasonal pollen combined with dirty, dusty leaves can make for a hazardous environment for anyone who’s sensitive to these irritants. Keeping your home clean will give you a safe, comfortable haven to retreat to during peak allergy season. We’ve rounded up some handy tips to help you maintain a healthy, sparkling home.
Use the Right Vacuum
Vacuuming is a great way to remove irritants from the home provided that you’re using the right vacuum. Allergy sufferers should always use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. HEPA filters capture at least 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. A true HEPA filter will have a serial number printed on it proving its authenticity.
It’s important to use the right filter because a lesser product may not capture all of the allergens in your home. If your vacuum isn’t properly equipped, it could do more harm than good by simply stirring up irritants and sending them into the air. Vacuum your home twice a week to keep dust, dander, mold, mildew, and other allergens to a minimum.
Capture Dust Effectively
Dusting is another activity that can stir up allergens more than it captures them. To make sure that your efforts are effective, you should dust with a damp cloth and not a feather duster or other dry product. You can then remove large clumps of dust from the cloth by hand and take care of the rest by laundering your dusting cloths as soon as you’re finished. In the fall months, plan to dust the home at least once a week to help combat seasonal allergies.
Launder Everything You Can
Regularly laundering household items is a great way to get rid of the pollen, dander, and microbial growths that may cling to them. There are a number of potentially hazardous items around the house that can harbor these troublesome irritants. If you suffer from serious allergies, you may want to clean these as often as once a week. Some household fabrics that you need to routinely wash include:
- Curtains and drapes
- Throw pillow covers
- Throw blankets
- Shower curtains
- Plush toys
Dry these items in the dryer when you’re finished. Don’t put them outside on a clothesline as this will simply allow them to pick up more allergens. Remember to regularly launder coats, hats, scarves, and other outerwear throughout the autumn months as well. These items will pick up plenty of allergens while you’re out and about and bring them back into the home.
Banish Fallen Leaves Promptly
Autumn leaves are one of the most troublesome culprits when it comes to fall allergies. Fallen leaves provide the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. Children who jump in the leaves outside will come in covered in these tiny invaders that will likely cause your allergy symptoms to flare up. As soon as leaves fall, you should rake them up and remove them from your landscaping. Bagging the leaves for removal is the best option for allergy sufferers, as leaving them to compost will invite more potential allergens to your landscape.
Make sure you’re cleaning the gutters regularly in the fall as well. Gutters provide a great place for leaves to hide and grow mold or mildew that can rain down around the home when the wind blows. Routine gutter cleanings will keep leaves at bay and ensure proper drainage through autumn storms and into melting winter snowfall.
Be Careful With Your Cleaning Attire
While you’re cleaning, you should wear a face mask to protect yourself from some of the allergens that you will inevitably stir up. When you finish the job, either dispose of your face mask or wash it if you’re using a reusable product. Take off and launder your clothing when you’re finished cleaning as well. This way, you can remove any accumulated irritants from the home as soon as possible and avoid scattering them through the home as you walk about.
Bonus Tips for Families
If you have children in the home, you can get them involved in the fall cleaning routine as well. Try these tips:
- Give the kids more active time outdoors by enlisting them to help rake leaves and pick up sticks
- Work together to clean out kids’ closets seasonally so you’ll have less clutter where allergens can hide
- Assign sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming to children as these are easy tasks at nearly any age
- Have children soap up and rinse down outdoor furniture to get rid of mold and mildew
If your allergies make it difficult to do these tasks yourself, consider hiring help. For professional assistance with your fall cleaning, contact our team at Kingdom Keepers. We can assist with your seasonal cleaning or come to your home on a recurring schedule to help you maintain the fresh, comfortable home that you want.