Spring is in full force in Britain, and so is hay fever season. Some 10 million people around the UK are negatively affected by hay fever symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and discomfort, according to Met Office data.
Common dust mites, dead skin and even animal fur also often result in hay fever-like symptoms. Antihistamines and other over-the-counter pharmaceuticals come to the rescue when it comes to alleviating allergy symptoms, but it’s important to remove any triggers where possible.
This means tackling dust within your own home first and foremost, says Ivan Ivanov, spokesperson for cleaning company End of Tenancy London, who shared 10 simple cleaning tips to keep your house dust-free. Combining all these tips should result in a healthy home free from allergy irritants and just in time for the start of the warmer months.
READ MORE: The most common hayfever symptoms, causes, and treatments
Wash your sheets and dry them away from the floor
Microscopic dust mites love to nestle into the fibres of the sheets, causing unwanted irritation on the skin. Plus, with the close proximity of the duvet sheet to your mouth, you run the risk of breathing in the dust mites, which is unhygienic and a potential trigger point for allergies. Wash your sheets and dry them away from the floor, so as not to pick any dust up.
Vacuum dust from carpets to avoid build-up
Dust falls perfectly into carpet crevices, meaning the only way to avoid dust build-up is to vacuum frequently, with special attention being paid to thick carpets. Also consider transitioning to hardwood flooring, as it makes spotting dust a whole lot easier.
Mop hard floors
If you do have a hard floor already, then mopping is a super speedy and effective way of lowering the amount of allergy triggers in the home. A simple and cost-effective way of cleaning the floor is warm water with a couple splashes of vinegar, to ease some of the dirt off of the ground. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a clean shiny floor with no dust on.
Invest in an Air Purifier
If you’re someone that prefers tech over toil, a great addition to the home is an air purifier. Using extremely fine filters, they suck in air and cleanse it to remove any allergen particles. Whilst they aren’t infallible, they are extremely effective at removing dust. An air purifier is definitely something to consider.
Cover up cracks in the walls and ceiling
Dust can build up inside cracks, such as in the walls or in the ceiling. To stop the tide of dust building up and causing irritation, be sure to try and cover up all the cracks inside. Plus, eliminating cracks that lead to the outside also has a positive effect on your energy bills.
Dust with a damp cloth instead of a dry one
The most important facet of dusting is having a damp cloth over a dry one. A dry one just disperses dust particles into the air, which unfortunately makes allergies a whole lot worse. A damp cloth collects all the dust with ease. Don’t bother getting on all fours to reach tight corners and skirting boards, instead use the vacuum’s long attachment, it’ll save you some hassle.
Declutter as much as possible
Be wary of clutter. Dust loves to settle into cracks and crevices and can build up surprisingly quickly. Declutter your spaces, as a clean home is a clean mind. Consider donating your clutter to charity instead of throwing it out. If you simply can’t live without it, put the items in the attic or the garage.
Invest in lint rollers
If you have light fixtures or blinds that are made of a delicate material, put down the damp cloth or vacuum and instead invest in lint rollers. Designed primarily for clothing, lint rollers have a sticky outside that lends itself beautifully to removing dust. Just be cautious not to apply too much pressure to what you’re cleaning (such as a Venetian blind) or else you run the risk of breaking it.
Clean build-up on your keyboard
Have you ever noticed how your computer keyboard attracts dust? Typing removes microscopic amounts of dead skin, and eventually that forms into dust. When typing, all that settled dust comes up again into the air, becoming a potential irritant. To stop this happening, take a cotton bud and run it along the rows and columns of keys carefully, collecting all the build-up.
Try to make cleaning enjoyable
Cleaning can be a monotonous task, and therefore it can be easy to fall into the trap of doing the minimum work needed. Put music on in the background and work to a beat to maintain a rhythm, or let your mind wander as you listen to a podcast. It can make even the most menial cleaning task a whole lot more enjoyable!
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