There’s almost nothing more upsetting than a sick child when there’s nothing you can do about it, and it’s even worse when your child isn’t actually sick. Allergies are something personal, everyone has a different set and what you’re allergic to has more to do with your environment than genetics. This means a home you have lived in comfortably for years might suddenly start setting off your child’s allergies something fierce. When your baby (even if they’re in middle school) is afflicted with constant sneezing, runny eyes, burning throat, and that grogginess that occurs when your head is full of mucus, as a parent you’ll do anything at all to help. When you’ve tried all the child-safe antihistamines, tried the vapor-rub, installed an air filter or humidifier, and set them in a hot shower for as long as the water lasts and your child is still sniffling and sneezing, it’s time to get drastic.
At this point, you’ve probably already vacuumed every room and stick of furniture in the house, dusted everything you can see, and washed every piece of loose clothing and fabric but those allergens are still hiding in your home right out of sight. When you’ve tried everything, here are three truly deep-cleaning tasks that can eradicate those allergens and may finally give your child some peace.
1) Filters, Vents, and Ducts
Usually, the culprit to any pervasive allergy problem is floating in the air. Little particles of pollen, pet dander, microorganisms, and itchy little specks of dust can all cause the endless sneezing problem. The question is: where does your home’s air come from and how long has it been since that source was cleaned? The vents, air ducts, and AC/heater filters in a home often collect dust and allergens for decades and release it every time you turn on the air. You can change your filters and even pull down and clean your vents on your own and there are services that offer professional air duct cleaning. This should not only clear out all those ancient allergens and improve the air quality of your home, it will also boost your AC efficiency and save a little on the monthly power bill.
2) All the Unused Spaces
You may think you’ve dusted every inch of the house, but think again. There are always hiding spaces for dust and allergens to hide. Utility closets, for instance, along with your attic, any unused rooms, spaces behind and under furniture and especially around any built-in shelves and cabinetry. Take some time to walk your home, dust cloth in hand, and look at it with new eyes. If your upper kitchen cabinets don’t attach to the ceiling, you can bet there’s a thick blanket of dust hiding in those few inches of darkened space. Look for any nooks and crannies that might be hiding dust and remember to clean from top to bottom so that any dust you knock down will get picked up in a lower phase.
3) Don’t Just Vacuum, Steam Clean
The vacuum is a marvel of modern home cleaning technology, but it’s not perfect. Suction can only do so much and anything that has ‘stuck’ with any moisture or natural stickiness is still in your carpets, on your drapes, and embedded in your furniture upholstery. Steam cleaning, on the other hand, first injects hot carpet and fabric cleaning solution to break down all those unwanted dirt, food, and allergen particles, then sucks it up into the gray water tank. As your final mega cleaning task, try to steam clean everything with a soft surface. Don’t be surprised if you need two or three rounds with a rented steam cleaner before the solution comes out sudsy-clean instead of gray and packed with grit. If you can, get a model with an attachment so you can steam clean every stationary stitch of fabric in your home.
When your child can’t stop sneezing, it’s time to do a pogrom on every speck of lingering dust in your home. Consider organising your home and home cleaning while your child is at school or even on a sleepover with the grandparents, as knocking all this dust clear will make the home dust content worse before it gets better. It’s best to do things in order. First clear the vents, then dust everything in sight, then wipe, vacuum and steam clean until all that old dust is completely removed. With a clean, fresh homemade as dust-free as humanly possible, your child should have a much easier time breathing, sleeping, and living a happy normal life.