Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies?

My new fiance has a huge problem with allergies. I don't keep any windows open but he seems to still have wheezing, cough, tight chest, runny nose, and really itchy eyes. I don't know how to clean my house to get rid of it or what vacuum to buy for my Pergo floors. Please help! He is in so much pain! Thank you.

Kayla from NJ

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June 16, 20080 found this helpful

It really DEPENDS on EXACTLY WHAT his allergies ARE! ... For example, my oldest daughter has a fairly severe allergy to dust mites & a severe allergy to corn oil, but only when you cook with it, so we'd never buy or use corn oil & we'd have her leave the house when we vacuumed. We also surrounded her mattress in a plastic mattress bag & covered her pillow with a soft plastic bag, then a clean pillow case so she wouldn't breath in the dust mite dander all night... We'd also buy cars without soft fabric interiors, & instead buy simulated leather upholstery (& furniture) which can be washed & dust mites have a hard time getting in to. We took the draperies & the carpeting out of her bedroom too.... And, because she couldn't avoid dust mites everywhere she went, she also took an antihistamine 4 times a day & still does 25 years later. She'd rotate to a different antihistamine every month, then back again 3 months later so her body wouldn't get used to the same old antihistamine. (Which made them work better)

Each person is unique, & her cousin's allergies are mainly to mold, so he needs to live in newer apartments where it isn't damp & keep his fridge & his window sills super clean. He got immense relief from using "FLO-NASE"... He said that even though he tried EVERY kind of antihistamine out there, the flo-nase worked the best & sometimes he'd use an antihistamine that didn't cause drowsiness like Claritin.

-----> Your boyfriend needs to get allergy tested. The doctor will give him info & you can find more info online about what exactly to do about his allergies. But, the very first step is to get him allergy tested to find out exactly WHAT his allergies are to!

* I'll give you a starting place: Don't wear perfume around him & don't wear scented deodorants or hair-products. Use NATURAL cleaning products (for chemical allergies) when you clean your home & keep your house, fridge & window sills free of mold & get rid of your house plants or cover their dirt with stones or marbles (for mold allergies). Cover your mattress with a PLASTIC, zippered-on mattress pad that goes ALL around the mattress (front & back) & take down ALL your draperies or make sure they are washable) & take out your carpeting (for dust & dust-mite allergies) or at least, make sure he's not home when you vacuum & have a HEPA filter on your vacuum. Also, buy an air-conditioner with a HEPA filter (for pollen allergies), For food allergies (which can trigger other allergies) do a test where you only give him certain foods, one at a time... (read more on the web). The biggest food allergies are to: Wheat, Eggs, Milk & additives like MSG etc. Also, If you DO have a pet, you'll have to wash it EVERY WEEK, (even cats!) or find another home for it! (This greatly reduces the pet dander) Write me for more on teaching a kitten to love baths... ours did! (you have teach them young)

*** BUT, here's your problem! SEE WHAT A MAJOR HASSLE & expense all this stuff can be... THAT'S WHY he needs an ACTUAL ALLERGY TEST, from a doctor who's a specialist... THAT way you can find out EXACTLY WHAT to do, & what you DO NOT need to do... It will pay for itself over & over again... Like WHY pull out your draperies & carpets for dust mites, when you only need to buy a HEPA type air-conditioner? And, why worry about mold, or dust mites or perfume when his REAL allergy could be to something else entirely, (like pollen)???

---> In the mean time, JUST UNTIL he can get into an allergist for his test, he can take Claritin (a non-drowsy antihistamine) & also use Flo-nase for his nose & sinuses. Another important thing our allergy doctor told us, was to not wait until the allergy symptoms to actually start, it puts much less stress on your body to take the antihistamines all the time so the symptoms never do start. This way, his body won't be making histamines all the time. One last thing: Ask the allergist how many days before the test should he stop taking the antihistamines... (So the test will work properly)

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June 16, 20080 found this helpful

Recipes for homemade cleaners (from Michigan State University Extension) can be found here: Not only are they better for people with allergies, they're less expensive than cleaners you buy from the store and they are better for the environment.

Hard surfaces are best for the allergy sufferer. This means hard wood, marble or tile floors, for example. Use aluminum or wood blinds or roll-up shades instead of draperies.

Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week. Use mattress pads and pillow cases that help protect against allergens. Use perfume- and dye free products, and Borax or white vinegar to freshen laundry and lift stains.

"Wet" dusting will do a better job of keeping particles out of the air than "dry" dusting.

If you have central heating and/or air conditioning, change your filter. Use a pleated filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher. These help a lot with allergies but be sure to change the filter every month or two as they get dirtier more quickly than inexpensive Fiberglas filters.

Stay away from air fresheners and keep in mind that "clean" doesn't have a scent. Clean, simply, is. If you must have scent in your home, grind a lemon in the garbage disposal or simmer cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice in water.

Good luck!

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By Shannon (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

I have had sever asthma and allergies since I was a small child. Having grown up with them all of my life there are afew tips that I have learned. One of my most sever triggers have been cleaning products like ammonia. So, my advice is keep it simple. Vinegar, Borax, Baking Soda are all wonderful products for cleaning your home. You could try this link to find homemade cleaning products

Other then that make sure you always use a damp cloth when dusting, dry dusting just sends it back into the air. Sweep and vacuum your floors daily. (Have everyone remove their shoes before entering the house or try leaving them by the front door... this cuts down the allergens that you bring into the home.) Your furniture (beds, couches, anything with fabric) should be vacuumed at least once a week (and don't forget your box springs.

In between vacuuming you can try febreeze allergy reducer (if your son has no reaction to it) to spray on your furniture once every other day or so. The dust mites that are trapped in your furniture could be a big factor in his health problems. You can buy special sheets and pillow cases for his bed, but they are expensive. Instead I have bought several thick shower curtains, wrapped my mattresses and box springs tapping it with heavy duty duck tape. (since doing this I have cut down my attacks by half) Also when you buy bedding it costs a little more, but keep in mind that the higher your thread count the more dust mites it keeps out. (Look for anything with a thread count of 300 or more)

Wash your bedding every week in hot water (about 110 degrees) with mild detergent (I use borax). Make sure your bedding is completely dry. Wash your windows weekly (I use plain vinegar). Don't forget to clean your blinds and window screens. If you use a air conditioner make sure you remove the filter and clean it using warm water... allowing it to fully dry at least once every two weeks and don't forget to dust the vents on it. Keep your fans blades clean. Steam clean your carpets every couple of months. In the long run it is cheaper to buy a steam cleaner if this is something your committed to doing.

Make sure that you buy a steam cleaner (kills the dust mites and cleans better) and not a shampooer. As for Vacuumes, it really doesn't matter what kind you use as long as you have the two key factors. One it has great suction (sorry my spelling is bad),and two, it is easy to empty into a trash bag and taken outside right away. Remember if using one with a filter that it is cleaned often.

These are all things that may help your son. Another one you might try is having him wear a dust mask (they are pretty cheap you can get them anywhere that sells paint or home improvement products normally for a couple of dollars depending on how many are in a pack) while your cleaning. My daughter also has bad allergies so something we did with her was to let her decorate hers, so it wasn't something scary to her. (she used markers, buttons, ect to make them look like masks) Then we both wore one around the house. It was something that made it less scary for her and helped me to keep control on her allergies. I hope that some of this information has helped you and I wish you the best of luck.

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June 16, 20080 found this helpful

First order of business...find out exactly what he's allergic to. This will help keep you focused on what to do. If he's undergone testing, his doctor can provide a complete list of all environmental and food allergies.

If it's trees and grasses and anything that's outside, get in the habit of changing your clothes when you come indoors. And especially, don't get into bed with those same clothes on.

Also, make sure he's on preventative medication (i.e., Singulair, etc). Taking it daily will prevent the madness.

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June 16, 20080 found this helpful

First order of business...find out exactly what he's allergic to. This will help keep you focused on what to do. If he's undergone testing, his doctor can provide a complete list of all environmental and food allergies.

If it's trees and grasses and anything that's outside, get in the habit of changing your clothes when you come indoors. And especially, don't get into bed with those same clothes on.

Also, make sure he's on preventative medication (i.e., Singulair, etc). Taking it daily will prevent the madness.

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By DEBRADJ. (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

Find out exactly what he's allergic to. He may be allergic to your dog, cat or your deodorant! Never never wash clothes and hang them outside. You are inviting all the allergens into your home if you do. Make sure you vaccum often and dust frequently using a cleaner made for allergens. I have terrible allergies not only to outside stuff but to my dog and cat as well as dust & molds. I have two air cleaners one large one for my living space and a smaller one for the bedroom. They are expensive (the good ones are) but if they are properly cleaned weekly they will get rid of most of the inside and outside allergens in your home.

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By crazyliblady (Guest Post)
June 21, 20080 found this helpful

First, figure out exactly what he allergic to. Having allergy testing done can be helpful, but honestly, the stuff I am most allergic to (milk, corn, and eggs) have never popped up on any skin or blood allergy test. What I did was to really pay attention to my body and when it seems to have asthmatic and allergy symptoms. He could do a symptom diary, recording what he eats, how much he sleeps, and how he feels each day.

I realized in 2001 that whenever I ate oatmeal, I would start coughing and had trouble breathing. Since my oatmeal had milk, cinnamon, and raisins on it, I decided to eliminate that food from my diet and record what happened for two weeks and see what happened. Within 1 week, most of my symptoms had disappeared. It has been a steady progression like this since and figuring out that while I am also allergic to mold, most of my allergies were to food.

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November 2, 20080 found this helpful

My daughter has allergies and cannot stand the odor of most cleaning agents. I use lightly scented baby wipes to wet dust her room and stuffed animals (but test a small area before you dust because baby wipes can strip finished wood). I also cover our living room furniture with throws and bed sheets and change and wash them frequently. This seems to cut down on her coughing spells.

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August 28, 20100 found this helpful

This may not apply to you, but stuffed animals that cannot be washed regularly, say once or twice a month in a washing machine, are full of millions of those dust mites. I don't know if lining them up outside and spraying the heck out of them with Lysol spray would help, but consider this before buying any more stuffed animals or pillows for your sofa etc!!

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August 28, 20100 found this helpful

If a person is allergic to trees, grasses etc, a tablespoon of local honey a day is very good to inoculate you! This has helped me.

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June 15, 2008

My son, who is 6, has terrible allergies and the Doctor told me to have someone come in and clean my house but I can't afford that. So I was wondering if anyone knew what I should be cleaning and what to use to clean it because some of the smells from the cleaning stuff trigger his allergies.

Thank you,


Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By Lynda

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By Melinda

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By Naderbug

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By Ann

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By Lois Kersti Brouillette

Cleaning a House for Someone With Allergies

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)

By gator10tx

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