6 tips for cleaning without wheezing

Cleaning can really do a number on you and your family – especially if you have asthma. That's because you can stir up dust or other fine particles that irritate your lungs and make it hard to breathe. Getting rid of the dust mites, mold, pet dander and pests this spring is an important part of asthma management. But don't worry; you shouldn't have anything to sneeze about if you take these simple steps:

  1. Wear a mask and keep an inhaler handy if you have a history of flare-ups from stirring up dust and heavy chemicals.
  2. Use fewer chemicals — baking soda instead of air fresheners or vinegar in place of fabric softener. Research the cleaners you're using today to ensure that they are asthma-friendly. You could change them or make your own cleaners.
  3. Clear the air. Use exhaust fans as much as possible, and change your air filters every three months. Clean air coming into your home is as important to keeping your home allergen-free as it is to constantly clean.
  4. Dust everything from top to bottom. This ensures mites and dust that fall from the tops of cabinets and doors to your tables and floors get cleaned up as you make your way through each room. Use a damp cloth to avoid flicking dust into the air.
  5. Leave the windows open while vacuuming and for at least 30 minutes after. Cover or wash bedding to remove any allergens that may have settled after vacuuming or dusting.
  6. Wash your kids' stuffed animals in hot water. This keeps the dust mites and pet dander away and their favorite teddy bear clean and huggable.

As a member, Priority Health offers programs and information that can help support you or a family member with asthma.