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You Missed a Spot: Spring Cleaning Mistakes That May Impact Your Allergies

By DuPage Medical Group Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Spring is the perfect time to de-clutter your home and wash away the winter. Allergy sufferers who can’t resist the urge to open a window are advised to avoid doing so in the morning when pollen counts are highest. Learn more about the five other common cleaning mistakes that may be preventing you from enjoying a clean, allergy-free home.

Mistake #1: Not working your way down

All too often we work up a sweat cleaning only to glance up and spot a light fixture or ceiling fan sporting a thick layer of dust.  Wiping down the fixture kicks dust back into the air and onto the surfaces you just worked hard to clean. To avoid this frustrating mistake, always start from the top and evaluate which higher areas need to be cleaned before starting on lower surfaces. Other commonly overlooked high places include the tops of bookshelves, door frames, window ledges and crown molding.

Mistake #2: Neglecting the mattress

Your bed is one of the most frequently used pieces of furniture in your home, yet it is often the last thing we think of when cleaning. If they aren’t cleaned regularly, mattresses may become home to a countless number of dust mites. Dust mites trigger a wide range of respiratory symptoms including dry, itchy eyes, sneezing or a runny nose and skin irritation. For best results, protect your mattress and pillows with hypoallergenic covers. You should also clean sheets and blankets every 1-2 weeks. Other dust mite favorite hang outs include throw pillows, stuffed animals, curtains and throw rugs so be sure to wash those items regularly as well.

Mistake #3: Overusing harsh chemicals

Many common household cleaners contain chemicals that may aggravate allergies and asthma. To avoid this, try not to over-use cleaning products. Some areas, like mold building up in a bath tub for example, may warrant the use of bleach and other harsh chemicals. In general though, most of the surfaces in your home can be kept clean using a 50-50 mixture of water and vinegar.

Mistake #4: Avoiding hard-to-reach places

Cleaning away dust and debris under or between furniture doesn’t have to be a chore; just let your vacuum attachments do the work. The crevice tool and extension pieces can be used to clean behind your refrigerator, under the couch and along baseboards; all areas that would have been otherwise unreachable with an upright vacuum cleaner.

Mistake #5: Leaving the clutter

File away any loose paperwork, put books back on the shelf and toys back in the toy chest before you start to clean. Leaving clutter and loose items out prevents you from doing a thorough job cleaning and creates space for dust and pollen to hide.


It is important to remember to protect yourself before tackling a household cleaning project. Wear a mask and gloves and be sure to give yourself plenty of breaks. When you are finished, leave the house for a few hours in order to limit your exposure to allergens that may have been kicked up into the air. For other questions about managing your allergy or asthma symptoms, schedule an appointment with a DMG Allergist online at https://www.dupagemedicalgroup.com/services/asthma-allergy/.

Topics and Subtopics: Allergies & General Health

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Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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