We all know the obvious dirty places to clean up on the regular; the toilet, sink, garbage cans, floors, counter tops, but there are many places in our homes that we don’t think to clean when we are making our chore rounds. Dust build up indoors can cause you even more suffering during the already tough spring allergy season. Dust allergies make it difficult to breath and can trigger other symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and asthma. There’s not much you can do about the allergens present outside your home, but inside is a different story. We love getting into the spring-cleaning spirit this time of year, but we may only be scratching the surface of the dirty and dusty areas that really make a difference for our air quality.
Deeper cleans every once and awhile can cleanse your living space of even more dust and germs and can have more of a positive impact on your indoor quality of life than you may think. Studies show that eight out of ten people are exposed to dust mites, and six out of ten are exposed to pet dander while indoors. You can’t really avoid these build-ups, it’s just part of life, but just a few more aggressive cleans, more often, can drastically improve your indoor breathing and help relieve asthma and allergy symptoms.
There may be a little silver lining when it comes to having chronic allergies; studies have shown that people experiencing allergy symptoms often have a slightly lower risk of developing cancer. Luckily, there are many natural remedies, like these from Wellness Mama, helping to relieve our terrible allergy woes, but cleaning out these commonly used nooks and crannies can help even more! Here’s your Spring Cleaning Checklist.
Drip Coffee Machine
We clean out the parts we use every day, but the water that runs through isn’t hot enough to kill all the bacteria and mold that can thrive in those wet and dark environments. All you have to do is pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water through the machine once a month, let it sit for about an hour and then continue the brewing cycle.
Pillows are a huge factor for avoiding indoor allergy symptoms and it has been discovered that most fungal exposure happens at home from bedding. It doesn’t help that we spend all night every night drooling and sweating and shedding skin on our pillows, which dust mites seem to love. All you have to do is regularly wash your bedding to keep conditions less attractive to those mighty dust mites.
Anything we bring from the outside world can track bacteria and allergens, but studies have shown that shoes can carry large amounts of bacteria that can infect clean floors and bring more pollen and dander in your home. There isn’t a perfect way to deal with this, but washing shoes that are washable is a good idea and also having a no shoes indoors policy. Those moms who made us leave our shoes at the door had it right all along!
The books we leave on the bookshelf look great, but they often collect a lot of dust. If you’re just dusting around the books on the bookshelf than you could be missing a lot of dust on top of the books. The easiest way to get rid of that pesky dust is to use a vacuum attachment and vacuum the tops of the books, or remove them for a deep clean.
Have you checked your lampshades out lately? They can collect dust and dander faster than you can sneeze. You can use a vacuum cleaner just like the books to take care of this or Apartment Therapy has some easy ways to take care of this without one.
Toothbrush & Toothbrush Holder
Aside from our toothbrushes cleaning all the bacteria in our mouths, it lives in one of the germiest parts of the house, the bathroom. Bacteria build-up in your toothbrush holder can contaminate your toothbrush and should be cleaned regularly. The ADA suggests that we keep our toothbrushes in a cabinet where they are out of reach from fecal contaminates in the air and to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months. To clean your toothbrush holder, simply soak in three parts water and one part vinegar for an hour.
Similar to the coffee maker, we often use this every day and probably don’t give it the deep cleaning it needs often enough. It stays on our stove for easy access, but that causes it to accumulate dust, grime and grease from cooking. Soak the tea pot inside with 50/50 white vinegar and water and use an all-purpose spray to scrub down the outside once a month to keep your tea only full of yummy health benefits and absent of bacteria build-up.
By simply cleaning these few things in your every day life, you can cut down on allergen and bacteria significantly, helping you stay healthier and happier during the months with high allergy struggs. Check out the essential ingredients, you may already have, to make your own super non toxic and bacteria fighting DIY cleaning products.