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Allergy awareness and spring cleaning

We spend the majority of our time indoors, especially through winter, so it’s vital for our health to have good air quality. This is particularly important for vulnerable groups such as babies, children, elderly and those living with respiratory and allergic diseases. Air pollution sources in the home can come from:

  •         Heating and cooking

  •         Mould

  •         Burning items such solid fuel in stoves, open fires and candles

  •         High VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in building products such as paints, varnishes, carpets and sofas

  •         Fumes from cleaning products and personal care products


Poor ventilation and high humidity can cause dust mites and mould to develop in our home. Indoor humidity should be between 30% and 50% and if necessary, a dehumidifier should be used, always ensuring you have clean air around you.

Mites can be found in our beds, clothing, soft furnishing and carpets. Dust mite allergy is common and can be associated with asthma, eczema and perennial allergic rhinitis. The spores from mould can also cause runny or itchy nose, itchy eyes, eczema, asthma and respiratory symptoms.  


Sound a bit daunting? Well this is where your spring clean can help! The spring clean is dated back to the 1800’s where after the winter months and all that dust and soot building up from open fires it was now time to clean all that away, and warm enough to open doors and windows to air out the house. Keeping the house clean is also a way of looking after your health so here’s a few pointers to help you get going.


Cleaning products

Before you begin your spring clean consider the products you will be using aiming for non-toxic products or a reduced chemical content. The Allergy UK website has a number of approved cleaning products for people with sensitive skin and reduced allergen / chemical content – click here to view.



Try to start your cleaning by decluttering, removing and putting away items. Consider if you need the items and when you last used it, could it be donated to charity or does it need throwing away. Things like ornaments being left out can collect dust and be difficult to clean, try keeping these in a glass cabinet and dust with a damp cloth.

For bedding and clothes think about how you are storing these items. For spare bedding utilise breathable plastic bags, keep wardrobe doors closed to avoid items collecting dust and do not put damp clothes away in the wardrobe.


Vinegar can be a great cleaning product.

  • To clean drains mix a solution of ⅓ of a cup vinegar and ⅓ of a cup baking soda, pouring this directly into the drain. Leave this for 10 minutes then run the hot water tap to clear the debris away.

  • Boil a cup of water and add a tablespoon of vinegar, leaving this in the kitchen to remove cooking smells.

  • Vinegar can also be used to treat hard water deposits in the bathroom, breaking down and removing the build-up of limescale. Simple spray the vinegar on and leave this for a couple of hours to do its job. Remember when you use vinegar to clean with, ensure you have adequate ventilation.


How clean are the walls in your house?

As we are cleaning we often look to objects around us and physical items added to the house so cleaning our walls often gets overlooked. Dust can cling to the surface of walls and it can be hard to see this build up. Using a sponge and hand wash detergent ensuring you don't have too much water. A mop can help to get to those hard to reach areas and wash away cobwebs that might build up near the ceiling.


Moving furniture

Furniture such as our beds and sofas are not the easiest to move so we generally clean around them week by week, use this spring clean as a chance to move the items out. So to avoid scratching floors try putting a clean towel under the furniture and then dragging them out. Hoover and washing these areas spending a little longer than you normally would as it's not a job that gets done often.

Curtains can also gather dust so should be taken down occasionally and washed, always reading the labels to use the right wash powder or dry cleaning.


Cleaning can have so many benefits for our health from improving the air quality to removing germs but also keeping us active and giving us a sense of achievement once complete. If you have any concerns over your allergies or want to find the right help to manage your allergies pop into your local Whitworth pharmacy or give one of our branches a call for more information.

Our website also has hay fever and allergy products available you can buy online - click here to shop our store.