Allergies are absolutely everywhere these days. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t suffer from some sort of allergy symptoms, whether they be seasonal pollen irritations or chronic dust-induced respiratory issues.
Asthma is increasingly common, too. Its irritants include many common allergens. In fact, 1 in 15 Americans are thought to suffer from it and it’s the most common chronic condition among children.
Asthma and other allergic reactions can be triggered by all sorts of allergens: mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, mites, chemicals, and so on. The one thing all these things have in common: easy to resolve through steam cleaning!
Experts agree that using a steam cleaner as part of your cleaning routine is a very important thing to do if you want your home to be safe and healthy for people with allergies: https://compass.centralmethodist.edu/ics/icsfs/_13-1.html?target=f2b46e2f-e303-4426-adc4-9f491302e785
Why is steam cleaning so good for dealing with allergies?
Steam cleaning is chemical-free, so people with sensitivities to cleaning products and solutions will find it much more pleasant than traditional cleaning methods. Some of the chemicals in common household cleaners are irritating to those of us with no allergies whatsoever, so you can imagine what they’re like for folks with sensitivities!
It’s also a natural disinfectant, when applied for a reasonable amount of time at the required temperatures. You can use it to kill mold spores, and prevent the growth of mildew. It leaves far less moisture behind than mopping or traditional bucket/sponge cleaning methods, too. If you or a family member have allergies triggered by mold or some other bacterial presence, you should definitely make steam cleaning part of your routine.
It’s penetrative. Most things only treat the very top of a surface. For instance, when you vacuum a mattress, you’ll snag the dust mites and allergens on the surface, but you won’t be able to do anything about the critters and allergens lurking in the mattress itself. Steam will kill dust mites inside soft furnishings and between floorboards. It’s probably the best killer of dust mites we have! You’ll also find that it neutralizes the allergens they feed on. While you’ll need to pair steam cleaning with a strict vacuuming regimen, it’s a one-stop shop for dealing with common allergens.
As you can see, there are very few things you can’t do with a steam cleaner when it comes to allergies! If you or someone in your home suffers from them, we highly recommend getting a canister steam cleaner to cut down on triggers. Unlike steam mops or hand units, canister systems will clean absolutely everything you need them to.
Check out our reviews of the best models here!
Of course, steam cleaning alone isn’t a complete cleaning regimen. To control allergens and reduce symptoms, you’ll need to do a few other things. Here are our general cleaning tips and tricks to make your home allergy-free!
Vacuum at least once per week
To keep dust and other household allergens under control, you should stick to cleaning the entire place once a week. If you have pets or kids, you may find that twice-weekly cleanings are necessary.
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a sealing bag! Many microscopic particles will simply pass through standard vacuum filters. Bagless models release clouds of allergens into the air when you empty their compartments, so they’re no good for allergy sufferers.
Cut down on clutter
Clutter attracts dust, so the less you have the better! Try and eliminate nicknacks around the house. Be sure to clean those you keep regularly, as they’re magnets for all kinds of allergens.
Find ways to eliminate unreachable zones.
The idea here is to cut down on or eliminate areas of your house that you can’t easily reach with the vacuum. For instance, pull the futon 1 foot out from the wall, so you can easily vacuum behind it. Try to eliminate corners that are hard to reach. You want to be able to cover all your floorspace when you vacuum, or the dust from the uncleaned portions will simply spread onto the cleaned bits
Clean all fabrics thoroughly and regularly
Nothing traps allergens like a good piece of fabric! That’s why it’s important to launder all of the fabrics in your household as often as you can. Do the same with your bedding. Wash your shower curtain, kitchen towels, and other household linens every week. If you’re not using a washable shower curtain already, get one! They’re super easy to keep free of mildew and mold. Always use hot water and high-temp dryer settings to kill dust mites, germs, and mildew!
Use a mask when you clean, if you have allergies yourself.
You’ll find that it makes a big difference, especially when you tackle dusty areas.
Spray the shower down with vinegar to prevent mold between cleanings.
This is a surprisingly effective trick, and only takes 30 seconds a day. It makes grout last a lot longer, too.
A lot of people ignore their baseboards, or just wipe them down once a year. The air fins inside baseboard radiators collect dust like crazy, so you want to break that habit. At least every 6 months, you should take the front plates off your baseboard heaters and vacuum the pipes and fins thoroughly. You’ll eliminate lots of allergens, and you’ll make your heaters run more efficiently at the same time.
Avoid air-drying clothes unless you have a quite dry, warm house.
Air-drying in cold, damp spaces is a mildew risk, so only do so if you know things dry within a day. Avoid hanging things outside, too. That’s just an easy way of catching pollen.
Start cleaning entryways.
So many of us clean our living space, but not the walk, stairs, or mudroom. The cleaner you keep those entry spaces, especially where you’re taking shoes on and off, the fewer the allergens that will be tracked into your home.
Stop wearing shoes indoors!
A surprising number of Americans still wear shoes in the house, and it’s incredibly unhealthy. Think about just a few of the places you walk on a daily basis. Whether it’s the sticky subway car flooring or chewing gum on the sidewalk, you’re certain to be tracking around gross germs and filth on your shoes. Leave them outside! It’s much more sanitary, and you’ll track in much less pollen seasonally.
Try to eliminate allergen magnets in your home.
While a certain amount of dust and pollen is inevitable in any house, you can help yourself out by cutting down on places and materials in your house where allergens are likely to accumulate.
Get rid of rugs and carpets, to start. They just serve as a storage space for allergens. Stick to small, washable rugs that can go through your washer and dryer! Drapes and horizontal blinds are allergen magnets, too. Switch to roll shades and stacked blinds, preferably made from wood or another solid material.
The key thing is to avoid soft furnishings that can’t be washed. If you have a futon or couch, find a nice covering for it that you can run through the washer/dryer each week.