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Spring Cleaning

Spring CleaningWith spring comes increased symptoms of allergy attacks. Allergy symptoms–including red, watery eyes, running noses, and sneezes–will affect many as trees and flowers pollinate, grass gets cut, and smog affects air quality more.

Of course, the home can be just as full of allergens, so before seeking relief from symptoms of allergy attacks inside, make sure you’ve done what you can to clear away allergens.

Mold, dust, and animal dander are the top offenders within the home for causing allergy symptoms. Following is a list of general spring cleaning tips that target these allergens, but be sure to look around your own home for hidden causes of allergy symptoms.

  • Wash removable fabrics. Drapes, bed skirts, and other decorative fabric can host dust and mites. At least once a year, throw them in the washing machine or have them dry cleaned, depending on the material and care instructions.
  • Vacuum fixed fabrics. Anything that can’t be removed or cleaned properly can be gone over with a vacuum attachment–this will help reduce the dust build up. Be gentle and follow care instructions.
  • Check for signs of mold in grout, corners, under the sink (in cabinets) and any other places that moisture might have slowly accumulated over the last year. Mold can be removed with a diluted mixture of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water, or even more water, depending on the severity of the mold). Make sure that you are working in a well ventilated area before using bleach, and wear protective gloves, at the least.
  • Look for dust in hidden places. When we clean, we tend to focus on spots that are at eye-level or frequently used (this is especially true of cleaning services). Look at high places, such as high corners, textured ceilings, on top of curios, valences, door bells, door frames, and other unusual/unexpected perches for dust.
  • Clean and replace vents, for you air system, for your appliances, anything that has one. If you are unsure how, check a manual or call a maintenance professional.

What unexpected places have you found needed to be cleaned of dust/mold? What tips do you have for reducing contact with allergens?

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