It's estimated that one out of four people in the UK suffers from allergies, some of which only experience allergic reactions (sneezing, coughing, nose snot) during certain parts of the year. The rest, however, experience health issues much more often. Why? Because of harmful allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, mould, grass and tree pollen. All of which can be found outside, and in our homes, so it's best to learn how to deal with them.

To put it in layman's terms, allergies cause an aggressive reaction of your body's immune system when in contact with you. This can range from a rash to bloody gashes, and other stuff out of a horror film. Allergies are split into two types - ones you're born with, and ones that you acquire (for example, food allergies).

But who says you have to suffer allergies and a dirty home all at once? Definitely not your friendly neighbourhood cleaning company, that’s for sure. In today’s article, we’re going to tell you all about:

How do you clean your house if you have allergies?

As you’re probably aware, cleaning isn’t exactly the same as rocket science in terms of complexity. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park either, as there are nuances to it like every other thing. In the event you have allergies, or your family members do, you’ll have to change your cleaning strategy. This means excluding certain cleaning tools and products that may aggravate your allergic symptoms instead of remediate them.

For starters, get rid of your duster, and don’t use a broom to dust the floor. You may think you’re cleaning the dust off, but you’re actually kicking up more dust in the air than you can ever pick up with either. And if you have allergies, the last thing you want to do is spread the allergens in dust all around and inhale them. Instead of moving allergens around, remove them altogether with your hoover.

How do you clean your house if you have allergies
Vacuum cleaner with a HEPA

Is it worth paying more for a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter?

If you don’t know what an allergy is, you can still benefit from a HEPA filter hoover. And if you’re allergic, it is absolutely necessary to own a filter vacuum cleaner. Should you be on a budget, an alternative is to use a bag hoover and equip a double bag. This lets you catch as many particles as the hoover can in one go.

If you have a heavy allergic reaction to dust mites or certain germs, you need a fabric allergen sanitizer hoover. These are also known as UV light vacuum cleaners, and they excel at removing allergens from carpet and hard flooring. And almost all of them come with a HEPA filter to catch the dead bacteria and disinfect your floor.

For hoovering in general, filter or no, you need to do it more often if you or a family member has allergies. While most people hoover once a week, or once every other week, you should do it 3 to 4 times a week. On that end, a robot hoover (commonly known as a Roomba, though that’s just a brand name) would be a good investment.

Anyway, back to effective dusting – don’t do it with paper towels or cotton cloths. Your go-to dusting tool for the non-floor surfaces is a microfibre cloth. If you quickly dip it in water (not too wet, just damp), it will soak dust like you wouldn’t believe. Get many of them, so you can just toss them in the washing machine once you’re done cleaning.

Detergent for clothes

What detergent should I use for clothes if I’m allergic?

Speaking of washing machine, did you know that some people are allergic to dyes and odours? Trust me, most of them didn’t know either until they put on the wrong shirt. Unfortunately, this extends to more than just clothing, as most cleaning products also have dyes and aromas. In fact, it’s hard to think of a scentless laundry detergent – but they exist.

In terms of why you want to avoid cleaning solutions with fragrances, it’s quite simple. Almost all of them are not natural, and the synthetics placed in there can cause a myriad of issues to your skin and lungs. If you have issues with either, stay away from anything with a scent which isn’t organic.

Back to the laundry we go, as there’s something that’s quite easily overlooked even by allergic people. You need to periodically clean the laundry basket, as well as the actual washer, to prevent any allergens from remaining there. A quick way to do it is to run the shortest program without anything but detergent in the machine.

Yet the most important tip about laundry for allergic people – hot water, please. It is proven that almost all germ or bacteria allergens cannot withstand high temperatures. So if you want to be rid of dust mites, and other similar problems, wash everything with hot water. It is advisory to put your bedding, clothes, etc. in a dryer instead of hanging them on a clothesline afterwards. Then again, who doesn’t have a dryer in the UK?

How effective is a mask at keeping seasonal allergies at bay?

We probably should’ve told you sooner, but a mask is mandatory if you have allergies and want to clean your home. Not only does a mask filter the tiny dust particles and other allergens, it also protects you from toxic fumes. You can wear a normal surgical mask, but for the highest safety, get an N95 mask.

N95 face masks come in with a respirator, which is tight-fitting to your face, and filters out over 95% of all airborne particles. This limits your exposure to a bare minimum, and greatly lessens the risk of an allergic reaction. However, be mindful if you have chronic respiratory or cardiac (lung or heart) issues, and consult with a medical specialist first.

Funnily enough, N95 masks do not achieve a tight fit if you have a beard, sorry guys. Regardless, they are your go-to if you want total sterility while cleaning. There’s even models with exhalation valves for easier breathing, but those protect less, so keep that in mind.

How do air purifiers help people with allergies?

If the name wasn’t self-explanatory enough, air purifiers take the tiny allergen particles out of your room and out of your life. They come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from affordable to luxury models. For those of you struggling with asthma, there are specifically built ones to tackle just about anything in the air.

The best air purifiers according to health specialists are the ones with HEPA filters built in. That’s right, get one for your hoover and another for your air purifier for twice the protection from allergens. With the right arrangements, you can even get one installed at your office, for maximum health and safety measures.

Cleaning products

Can you have an allergy to cleaning products?

In a way, yes, but really, you’re having an allergic reaction not to the whole mixture, but a few particular chemicals in it. Here’s a neat list of them for you:

  • Ammonia (common in liquid dish soap or window cleaning products)
  • D-limonene (usually present in citrus, and any cleaning solutions with that aroma)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate /SLS/ (present in lots of cleaning products, e.g. shampoos and other foam)
  • Formaldehyde (present in store-brand cleaning products and shampoos)
  • Bleach (common in laundry detergents, sanitisers and other store-brand cleaning products)

Take a quick glance at your cleaning product shelf, will you? Alright, now let me know which of the products you currently own contain none of the above. Sort of like looking for a unicorn, isn’t it?

Yet unlike unicorns, cleaning products for allergic people exist, and are quite common today. When you look up detergents online, go for ones that have no fragrances or dye. For your convenience, most of them are marked as hypoallergenic somewhere on the container. Remember that you need to purchase products for any type of cleaning – laundry, hard surfaces, and even spot cleaners for the occasional spillage.

Professional cleaning and disinfection

And speaking of cleaners, let’s not ignore the most effective way of reducing allergens – professional cleaning services. The best way to deal with any dust mites, germs and other problems is to book a company offering hot water extraction services. Read all about it below:

What type of carpet cleaning is best for allergies?

There are multiple types of carpet cleaning services on the professional cleaning market. Some involve products doing the heavy lifting, while others rely more on the machine itself. However, the most effective one, which gets rid of all allergens and dirt at once, is steam carpet cleaning.

This cleaning method is professionally known as hot water extraction, and most people call it simply “steam cleaning”. The equipment involved allows for deep disinfection, as it removes the allergens from your carpet fibres, reaching all the way to the underlay. As a result, the carpet is left completely sanitised, and all you should do is allow for some brief drying.

Sofa Cleaning

Why is sofa cleaning important?

Sofas are quite comfortable, and without them, your sitting room is just a space, as there’s not quite somewhere to sit on. But all that softness under you goes awry when you realise sofas are also grand dust collectors. Try as you might, even with three HEPA filters, your hoover won’t get it all out, and you need something deeper.

Luckily for you, professional sofa cleaning services are there to help you out. Having the sofas done by specialists ensures they’ll be free from any dust, dust mites, germs and other allergens thriving inside. It’s not just the power of steam cleaning that kills the bacteria, as the companies also offer disinfectants and other products to deal with particular issues. If you’re allergic, look for experts who do the cleaning with eco-friendly solutions, as those are always hypoallergenic.

How can mattress cleaning reduce allergies?

From 24 hours out of every single day, about 8 are spent in bed. Respectively, this leads to lots of dead skin falling off your body and onto the bedding. Unfortunately, this is what dust mites feed on in order to survive and breed. Should you not have the mattress regularly deep cleaned, you may experience unpleasant and severe allergic reactions in bed.

The same method mentioned above can also be used on mattresses by specialists, and to great effect. Any dust mite colonies inhabiting your mattress will be terminated by the cleaning method. And the best part is, it removes them as well, so you don’t have to sleep on their bodies or eggs.

Bonus tips for living comfortably while allergic

Bonus tips for living comfortably while allergic:

In no particular order, here is some general advice you can follow to minimise your allergic reactions.

  • Invest in anti-dust mite covers for your bedding
  • Have your curtains cleaned at least once per season
  • Avoid opening windows in spring, when pollen from trees and plants is commonly flying around everywhere
  • Keep anything that collects dust off shelves and in boxes
  • If you have pets, bathe them once a week
  • Wash your bedding in hot water every week
  • Always use cleaning products with gloves and a mask on
  • Ask your non-allergic relatives to do certain tasks you may struggle with
  • Regularly clean your air conditioner filters, so they don't spread allergens throughout the air your breathe at home

In conclusion, we hope our article helps you in alleviating your allergic maladies at least a little bit. And remember, if you are physically unable to clean your carpet, you can always get in touch with our specialists. We’ll make it allergen-free in no time at all!