Along with the joy that the Spring air brings come allergies that can make us miserable – especially now that we're all spending more time indoors. So, if you're finding that you are more aware of the bacteria, pollen and dust mite allergens which consume your home, read on to find out how to minimise them (and possibly to be a little disgusted, sorry).
House dust mites, and their faeces, which contain microscopic enzymes, are common in house dust. They feed on moulds, as well as animal and human skin flakes, and flourish in textiles, such as bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture like sofas and carpets. There are a lot of misconceptions about how to best remove dust, and the allergens found in said dust, from your home, but, without a doubt, the best vacuum cleaner you can afford is essential.
A quality vac will pick up dust, tame the pet dander (tiny flecks of skin) that can cause allergic reactions and – this is crucial – the best models come with an Allergy UK-approved HEPA AirClean filter which means that only clean air is released back into the air (those without the filter can release those allergens into the air again).
Keep scrolling for our pick of cordless vacuums to remove dust and allergens from your home, plus a weekly spring cleaning plan from Gem McLuckie, Advanced Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson (opens in new tab) (you'll be surprised at how much a vacuum cleaner can do!).
Spring cleaning week plan to banish allergies
Where to buy a vacuum cleaner
- Vacuum mattresses, on both sides, on a regular basis to remove dust mite allergen and skin flakes which dust mites feed on.
- Wash bedding on a 60°C or 90°C wash will help to break down allergen (proteins) and reduce the amount to cause allergies.
- Wash or replace duvets and pillows to reduce the amount of dust mite allergen and skin flakes present in your bed.
- Remove dust from kitchen cupboard tops using a vacuum with an advanced filtration system or by dusting with a clean damp cloth or cleaning wipes.
- Clear kitchen counters and cupboards to deep clean using a vacuum to remove dust and debris, and warm water and detergent.
- Empty the fridge freezer and clean all surfaces with warm water and detergent. Vacuum round the back and under the fridge freezer.
- Vacuum the places not regularly vacuumed, such as under the furniture.
- Vacuum the sofa and chairs regularly; these can harbour not only large debris but also dust mites, skin flakes and other allergens such as pollen and food allergens. Wash any coverings and cushions to reduce the level of dust caught within them.
- A lot of dust can gather in curtains and blinds. Make sure you vacuum them regularly or launder them, if possible and practical.
- Remove dust from walls by dusting with a damp cloth or cleaning wipes, or using a HEPA filtered vacuum. Dust on certain wall types can contribute toward the growth of mould; if the room is humid and not well ventilated the dust can act as the nutrient source for the growing mould.
- Dust lights and light fittings. A lot of dust can gather in lampshades and light fittings which can burn on hot bulbs producing VOCs and odour, or be moved round the room by the production of warm air round the bulbs.
- Dust behind radiators; a hidden place often missed during normal cleaning. Significant dust collects behind the radiator and this can be distributed round the room by the air flow produced by the warm air from the radiator. The radiator is not hot enough to prevent bacteria from surviving and can be maintained viable in the dust contained behind the radiator.