Oh, spring is in the air, and part of me can’t resist the urge to throw open the windows and let the breeze blow through my whole house. But I know I will regret it, because my allergies will be killing me if I don’t take a lot of precautions first. If you have allergies, you probably deal with a lot of the same issues I face when wanting to engage in spring cleaning but fearing the consequences all the dust, pollen and mold may bring.
There are ways, though, to minimize the effects of allergies and sensitivities when spring cleaning your home. At least, there are some solutions I have found effective when working on my own house. Here are some tips I’ve found most helpful.
Dope yourself up
If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, and medications like Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec and others help your symptoms, make sure you start taking them several days before you open up your house, so they are working at full effect. Benadryl might be the most effective allergy medication I can take, but it leaves me drowsy and unmotivated to actually work, so for spring cleaning, I choose a non-drowsy option.
Wear a mask when opening windows
A mask can help prevent you from breathing in all the dust and pollen that may have collected on your curtains, blinds or window screens when you raise your windows and let that first strong breeze billow in. Put on your mask, open the windows, and then retreat, if possible, to a closed room. Run the fan in your central air unit, to draw allergens to the filters, and allow some of the accumulated window dust to settle down before tackling chores.
Cover your skin
If you have allergies or sensitivities to cleaning chemicals or other substances, you could suffer quite a case of contact dermatitis just from leaving too much skin exposed while you clean. I have a hard time with many cleaners turning my skin red and inflamed if I don’t wear protective gloves and long sleeves. My son has similar issues with the grass if he fails to wear long pants when he helps to tidy the yard.
Keep rescue meds handy
If you have severe allergies or asthma, make sure to keep your Epi-Pen or rescue inhaler handy at all times. You might not think you’ll need them while working inside, but with the house opened up they could make all the difference.
Stop often and evaluate yourself
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a chore and really push yourself to finish, even when you are starting to feel worn down and weak from your allergies. It’s better to stop and finish the next day than to make yourself really sick. Make sure to stop often and check yourself, evaluate your breathing and pulse rate, look over your skin, etc. If your allergies are getting the best of you, take a break or quit for the day. It will still be spring tomorrow.
More by Tavia:
Clean Up Stinky Messes Without Gagging
Battling the Home Entertainment Dust Bunnies
Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Benadryl