Chemical-free cleaning products
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a freshly cleaned and tidy home. However, for asthma and allergy sufferers, it’s a double-edged sword, as while cleaning the house reduces the amount of allergens, it can also aggravate symptoms.
The trick to avoiding itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, skin irritations, congestion and possible allergy and asthma attacks is to be careful about the cleaning products you use.
Common chemical culprits found in cleaning products include:
- Sodium lauryl sulphate
- Sodium hydroxide
These chemicals feature in many cleaning products, including:
- Laundry detergents
- Fabric softeners
- All-purpose cleaners
- Oven, drain and glass cleaners
A safer bet is to opt for products that are certified ‘green’ by an independent organisation such as Sensitive Choice, a community service program that aims to educate people about the importance of managing their asthma and allergies.
Nature to the rescue
The other alternative is to go back to basics and use natural cleaners like soap, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and water wherever possible. And a little elbow grease never goes astray.
You can easily make your own household cleansers that are allergy friendly. Simply invest in some BPA-free plastic spray bottles and small plastic containers. Here’s some ‘recipes’ you can use:
Mix two cups of vinegar and two cups of water to create an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. It can be used on most kitchen and bathroom surfaces (besides marble).
Mix 3/4 of a cup of baking soda and 1/4 of a cup of water to create a paste for cleaning toilets, sinks, ceramic, tubs, aluminium, silverware, chrome and stainless steel.
Alternatively, mix ¼ of a cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent and enough white vinegar to make a creamy texture. A squeeze of lemon into the paste will give it a delightfully fresh and clean aroma. (Here are 20 handy ways to use bicarb soda around the house.)
Mould and mildew cleaner
Spray vinegar on shower walls and curtains to clean and prevent mould and mildew. Wait 15 minutes, rinse and let dry thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.
After vacuuming the floor (ideally with a HEPA filter), add ¼ of a cup of vinegar to a bucket of warm water to clean tile or slate floors. Don’t use the mixture on marble or hardwood floors.
Using these homemade solutions will keep your home green and clean and allergy free. And your hip pocket (and nose, skin and lungs) will thank you too.
Check out this video for some extra home cleaning tips: