I'm allergic to dust and have a 7 yr old daughter with asthma. I have found it helpful to use Swiffer dusters when I dust as they attract and hold dust particles. Also, I use the Clorox Redi-mop on all my hard floors and bought a hepa-filter vacuum. The vacuum wasn't cheap, but is a godsend! I have ceiling fan blade attachments for it, also. I have noticed that if I clean in the late evening or overnight hours, the dust doesn't seem to bother me hardly at all, but with a 6 yr old I can see where that wouldn't be an option for you. I'm a stay-at-home mom. If you work, this wouldn't be feasible, but try cleaning when he leaves for school and by the time the big yellow thing spits him out later on, the dust will have settled! (09/06/2005)
My son is 7 and has asthma and allergies mostly from oranges pears and the smells from cleaning products. In Australia we have boxes for $1.20 of Bicarbonate Soda I use it in place of many cleaners. Make a paste with a little water it will clean just about anything. Disinfectant doesn't seem to bother him. When he was little I used mould removers and oven cleaners we had a trip in the ambulance thanks to those products trust me don't even try them. We use ammonia and water in a pan in the oven heat up on a low heat them leave it in to cool over night with oven off in morning ready to wipe clean. everyone around me uses the new products but I would rather use a little elbow grease and have a healthy son. Good luck. (09/07/2005)
Use vinegar for cleaning everything. It does not leave a smell and will clean anything. My brother was allergic to everything and mom washed is clothes in baking soda and rinsed with vinegar in the rinse. No smells no allergies to react. susan (09/07/2005)
By Susan from Hamilton
Absolutely the most important -- and sometimes the sadest -- thing you can do is get rid of your pets. My brother had horrible asthma-related allergies, and we were forced to get rid of all our pets. Pet dander is very bad for someone with extreme allergies.
Also, carpets catch all the dirt you could possibly have in your house. If you have carpet, it's time for it to go. (09/08/2005)
You can clean your entire house with vinegar and baking soda (and a little liquid lysol). It will be better for you too! I've heard that vinegar is a disinfectant but they don't list that on the bottle since it would have to go thru EPA approval (or something like that). I use a little lysol for things that need heavy disinfecting. I have vinegar in spray bottles in my kitchen and bathrooms for cleaning. (09/11/2005)
It doesn't sound like you have a lot of time, but one solution may be to use those steam cleaners, you don't need any chemical and it disinfects hard surfaces, cleans floors, etc. with controlled steam. They seem to be pretty inexpensive now, sometimes $30.00 or under. There are several brands. Maybe you could put it on your wish list for Christmas.God bless, it's hard to go through. My Grandson has eczema, and allergies, and asthma.The cute little guy gets red and scratches, not fun for anyone and sometimes has to have asthma treatments, etc. I am blessed, he calls me Bamma, other grandma's name is Pam, she get's called Bamma Bam. (Sorry I just thought you could use a giggle at the end of the advice.) (12/01/2005)
When growing up, I was the oddball of the extended family 'cause I was allergic to most everything, even pet dander. In childhood I had asthma. My grandmother lived with us. She would wait for me to leave for school then would clean the house in the morning. Things had settled down by the time school was over.
When we lived on unpaved roads, back in the early 1950s, she would take a garden hose and spray/wet down the dust on all the roads around our home, several times during the day on weekends. This helped a lot. After learning which plants to avoid, i'd stay away from yards w/Timothy grass and other allergens.
Pets have been a part of my family for over 50 yrs; I've managed to keep them while keeping allergic reactions to a minimum; their love is important to me so they're accommodated to reduce allergic reactions. When playing with the dog or cat, it's only touched w/my hands unless i'm wearing clothes that can be quickly changed. Afterwards, my hands are washed thoroughly or twice. My pets have also learned how to enjoy being 'rubbed' by my passing my foot across their fur. A person learns the finer art of gentle movements when caressing the head of a cat or dog this way. Usually i'm wearing shoes. For the times when I'm in socks, then the socks are changed soon after or dusted w/a clothes brush. When pets jump up on me, a mental note is taken of where my pets touch. Afterwards, any exposed skin is washed and clothes are brushed.
After being outdoors, any place something has touched my skin is cleaned; clothes are changed.
Cleaning my home is very stressful on my allergies so it's avoided sometimes. I've been known to wear an allergy mask while dusting, and definitely while mowing the yard.
The vacuum cleaner bags that are triple-bagged, to trap more allergens, have been a great improvement for me.
For dusting, I use damp cloth or a spray-on so the dust adheres to the cloth. Feather dusters are out. Those disposable dusting 'wands' work wonders.
Cleaning w/vinegar, ammonia and other 'basics' has been my preference for 35+ yrs. Some of the prepared cleansers cause allergic reactions, so why spend more to get a product that will give me an allergic reaction? SInce some scents cause an allergic reaction, all perfumes, soaps, scented candles, etc have to be pre-tested in the store... just a whiff is enough to cause reactions.
Here's something surprising... as long as dust is not disturbed, allergens in it do not produce any reactions. Also, there's fewer allergic reactions if I stand as far away as possible while cleaning something.
There are people who are very allergic to many things. All this is written in case something written might help you or your loved ones. (01/07/2006)
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