Safe Spring Cleaning

It is that time of year again – the annual deep clean inside and out. Spring cleaning, as it has come to be known, is a great opportunity to clear your house of dust and debris that has collected over the cooler winter months, while also helping to reduce the effects of indoor and outdoor allergies. Removing these allergens from the home can help you and your family enjoy the best spring has to offer. Before you get started, however, make sure you do so safely.

Safe Spring Cleaning 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these tips to help you safely clean your home:
Keep cleaning products in their original bottles or containers. Don't store them in cups, bottles or jars. Never sniff containers to determine what's inside.
Keep cleaning products locked up and out of sight and reach of children.
Read the label before you use a cleaning product. And never mix products together; doing so could create a dangerous gas.
Spray product away from people or pets.
Open windows and turn on fans when using cleaners or other chemicals. Also, wear protective clothing -- long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes and gloves -- if you're spraying pesticides or other chemicals. Stay away from newly sprayed areas for at least an hour, or until the spray has dried.
If you clean out your medicine cabinet, keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children while you're working.
If a poisoning occurs, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
On-going Cleaning
Indoor allergens can be bothersome throughout the year. Help eliminate these allergens by staying on top of regular cleaning throughout the year. This includes washing your bed sheets, mopping or vacuuming the floors, dusting counters and furniture, cleaning bathrooms to reduce moisture and mold, and changing air filters at least once every three months. If you have pets, make sure they are bathed and groomed on a regular basis. Vacuum and clean any furniture they lay down on, including their own bed. Try not to allow pets in your bedroom to help reduce the amount of fur, dander and saliva in the room where you sleep.
Deep Cleaning
Once a year, deep clean areas of your home, which may not be cleaned through regular home maintenance. This includes the areas under furniture, drapes and upholstery, air duct vents, baseboards, ceiling fans, and blinds. Once cleaned, avoid bringing allergens back in the house. Launder clothes and wash your hair to help reduce allergens transferring to surfaces like your sofa or bed. Keep windows and doors closed on days when the pollen count is high. Leave shoes by the door or in a mudroom.
Researchers have found the air quality in our homes can be more polluted than the air outside. Help allergy and asthma sufferers breathe better and live healthier by keeping your home a “clean air zone” with a good spring-cleaning, in addition to your weekly home maintenance.
If you suffer from allergies, you may need to talk with a health care provider about medications to help manage your symptoms. Find a provider online or call 918-579-DOCS.