December 5, 2023

HealthWatch: Ahhh Choo! Home Cleaning Mistakes That Make Allergies Worse | WFRV Local 5

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – It’s that time of year again! Winter has passed, flowers are blooming and dust and pollen are in the air. Keeping a clean home can go a long way in controlling your allergies, but the way you clean can make them worse. Many allergenic particles are hiding in your home. A vacuum cleaner can keep carpets clean of these allergens, but if you don’t use a HEPA filter, you could be doing more harm than good. Regular vacuum filters allow small allergens to pass through and back into the air, where you breathe them in. Carpet shampoo is also a faux pas. The remaining moisture can cause mold growth or increase dust mites. While air-drying your clothes can be eco-friendly, clothes left outside can pick up pollen and mold that can be brought indoors. A few other cleaning mistakes to avoid using scented cleaners and detergents, not wearing a mask while cleaning, and not cleaning exterior entrances. A clean entrance can limit the amount of dust, dirt and pollen that shoes carry into the house.

Thad Tarkington, CEO and co-founder of Second Nature, told Ivanhoe, “A recent study from the University of Arizona actually found that the average shoe contains nine or ten different bacteria.”

Another mistake is to use cleaning products containing ammonia, d-limonene, formaldehyde, sodium hypochlorite and sodium lauryl sulfate. These chemicals can trigger allergies. Instead, use natural products or make your own clean solution. And be sure to leave your home after a thorough cleaning, as allergens that have been kicked up after cleaning can linger in the air for a few hours.

Contributors to this report include: Milvionne Chery, producer; Roque Correa Editor and videographer.