Allergy Control With Steam This Spring

As we move towards Spring we know what those warming temperatures, blooming flowers and flourishing plants all bring – allergies.  If you dread that first “achoo,” and the sniffles, sneezing, water eyes and more, you are not alone.  WebMD notes that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. suffer from allergy or asthma symptoms.  Additionally, not only is it aggravating and uncomfortable to suffer from allergies but according to WebMD it is also costly, “One estimate of the annual cost of allergies to the health care system and businesses in the U.S.: $7.9 billion.”  While there are a wide variety of over-the-counter medications designed to treat allergies, as well as precautions that individuals can take to avoid common allergens, it seems that allergies are often hard to avoid.  One important place to properly clean with the goal of ridding allergens is the home.  Often, allergens have made their way inside your home on skin, clothing, shoes, backpacks and more.  They get transferred and moved around the house, they can be found on the floor, counters, furniture and even bedding.  Once they have permeated your home, no matter how much medication you take, you will likely suffer from allergy symptoms.

Steam cleaning with powerful steam cleaners and vacuums can help you disinfect and sanitize your home, removing common allergens so that you can breathe more easily.  Steam cleaning is more effective than many common chemical cleaning products and it will not leave any harmful residue.  While chemical cleaners can clean the surface they cannot achieve the deep cleaning the steam can.  Steam permeates a surface, penetrating deeply to lift dirt and allergens up and out so that a better level of clean is achieved.  Any carpet, rug or upholstered surface in your home is like a magnet for allergens but they can be difficult to clean but steam can permeate deeply, as mentioned, to remove allergens without causing damage to the carpet or upholstery.  Steam cleaning to reduce and prevent allergies is also less expensive in the long run for two reasons.  First, it reduces the need to constantly buy more cleaning products as you run out of them because steam cleaning simply requires water.  Second, it will help save money on allergy medication because you will be able to breathe more easily in the comfort of your own home.  These may sound like hefty claims but, in fact, research has shown steam to be an incredibly effective cleaning tool that reduces allergens in the home.  The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported the research that supports the use of steam cleaning for allergy reduction, “Control of dust mites using extremes of temperature is an alternative to the use of acaricides. In the past we have attempted control by freezing with liquid nitrogen. The present paper deals with the opposite extreme, the use of steam… A domestic steam cleaner was used to treat carpet squares that had been seeded in the laboratory with known numbers of dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus). The number of live mites was monitored for a period of 4 months in eight treated carpet squares and eight controls. Dust samples were taken from 12 standardized areas of carpet in a tenement flat in Glasgow, UK, before and after steam cleaning treatment, and the concentration of allergen Der p 1 was compared with 12 adjacent, control areas. No live mites were found at any time in the treated carpet squares, whereas in the control squares geometric mean mite population density rose from 11 after 3 days to 39 after 1 month, 66 after 2, 122 after 3 and 185 after 4 months. There was a mean reduction of 86.7% in Der p 1 concentration (3.3-0.44 microgram/g) compared with a reduction of 4.7% (2.22-2.116 micrograms/g) in control areas, a difference that was statistically significant at the 5% level. These data indicate that steam cleaning has considerable potential as an highly effective and efficient method of killing dust mites and reducing concentrations of Der p 1 in domestic premises.”  If you suffer from allergies, like millions of other Americans, consider implementing a steam cleaner to your home cleaning routine to prevent allergies in your home.

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