Not everyone is rejoicing at the warmer weather and lighter evenings. For many, spring and summertime also means streaming noses and itchy eyes. If you suffer from hay fever, there are things you can do to help reduce the dust and pollen buildup in the home.
"Hay fever season is well under way and can be difficult for those who suffer from allergies. While you may think you’re safer indoors from the pesky pollen, studies have shown that over half of the dust in our homes is actually due to dust outside that’s brought in with us," explains Ivan Ivanov, spokesperson from End of Tenancy Cleaning London. Read on for Ivan's top tips to remove dust and allergens effectively and efficiently.
1. Vacuum and mop floors weekly
Ideally, you'd replace carpets with a hard flooring where dust has nowhere to hide, but if you're stuck with carpets for now, reduce the buildup of dust and pollen by hoovering regularly.
"Vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, to dislodge dust from your carpets," says Ivan. You'll find our top options in our best vacuum cleaner guide. For an even more thorough clean, Ivan suggests also shampooing your carpets regularly.
In the areas where you have laminate, tile, wooden or general hard flooring, you want to mop regularly instead. Ivan suggests using warm water with a splash of vinegar.
2. Dust with a damp cloth
For other surfaces, you'll need to get dusting. Ivan recommends using a damp sponge or cloth to stop dispersing particles into the air and making the situation worse. Alternatively, if your vacuum has a smaller brush attachment, this is great to use on places like skirting boards and window frames.
In general, Ivan suggests caution when choosing cleaning products. "Toxic cleaning products encourage harmful airborne particles in the home," he says. "Always check the labels when purchasing cleaning items to ensure they’re non-toxic. There’s an increasing choice of friendly products out there now."
3. Invest in an air filter
"Filtering the air in your home is another great trick. As they are specifically designed to remove dust and airborne particles, an air filter will make general living much more manageable," says Ivan. Head to our best air purifier ranking for our reviews of the top models.
4. Clean your bedding
"Bed linen is a prime nesting place for dust and dust mites," says Ivan. To allergy-proof your home, it's recommended you cleaning sheets at least once a week at at temperature of 54 C or above to remove unwanted critters and dust. A lot of bedding nowadays will come with anti-dust mite certifications – you'll find more info on what to look for in our guide to choosing the best duvet for allergies. You'll also find plenty of handy tips in our handy guides to how to clean pillows and how to clean a mattress.
5. Cut down on clutter
The more 'stuff' you have in your home, the more places there are for dust to hide and gather. So if you want to lessen your dusting job, you'll need to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle – or at least get better at putting things away. "Remove or store non-essential items that collect dust, such as tabletop ornaments, books and knickknacks," suggests Ivan. "You can also always donate anything you don’t need!"
6. Say no to pot plants (and pets)
Bad news: "Another surprising culprit of hay fever flare ups is plants and animals – they are living things prone to dander and by-products." You might want to consider rehoming your pot plants, and, if you do have pets, bathing them (or attempting to) once a week.
These tips come for Ivan Ivanov at End of Tenancy Cleaning London (opens in new tab).