Spring has sprung and the cleaning has begun. It is important to clean your home to reduce or eliminate triggers that cause allergies and asthma, but doing so shouldn’t make your asthma and allergies worse. One question we always get asked is, “What types of cleaning products should I use if I have asthma or allergies?” As an asthmatic, it’s important to be careful what commercial products you use, most products have harsh cleaning agents in them that can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. There are two ways to protect your family from these harsh cleaning agent triggers—mixing your own cleaning solutions or utilizing allergy and asthma-approved commercial cleaning supplies.
Mixing your own products is simple and can utilize items that can already be found in most homes. Acids like vinegar and lemon juice help to kill bacteria, while baking soda can be used as a scrubbing agent. These safe, non-toxic mixtures can be mixed in a spray bottle and kept for daily use. The simplest multipurpose cleaner to have on-hand is a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water which can be stored in a spray bottle.
If you don’t want to make your own products, seek out allergy-free commercial cleaners. More and more companies are taking the plunge and creating products that are safe for people with allergies and asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) certifies products annually that are recommended for individuals who struggle with allergies and asthma. Look for the special logo on their products. Also, products labeled “free and clear” are a good option to try. Free and clear products are non-toxic and do not have a harsh scent. Companies like Seventh Generation, ECOS, and Earth Friendly products are a few choices to look for.
Using approved products can help minimize the risk of having an attack while cleaning. Replacing harsh chemicals with asthma- and allergy-friendly cleansers will help you protect yourself and your home by making it safer for you and your family.