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Indoor Air Quality.


jangle
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Hi jangle.

I don't have too much trouble with the actual dirt/allergens I'm cleaning, but, I have to be very careful about what I am cleaning with. I use as many chemical free methods as possible as many of the cleaners will set off my symptoms. For example, for dusting,I use the microfiber clothes made for cleaning and just barely dampen them. It actually,over time, reduces dust because you don't leave a residue on the furniture for dust to cling to plus it gives off no harsh fumes. When you're finished, you just put them in the washer and dryer (no fabric softener) so the are eco-friendly too. YOu can also use these clothes to clean windows, mirrors, walls, doors, light switch plates without chemicals...just dampen and wipe. I also invested in a vaccum (the cheaper purple and gray brand is what I have and it is GREAT) that has a sealed filtration system so the dust doesn't escape while you're vaccuming. I also invested in a steam mop for my hard floors. This does seems to get them cleaner than the traditional methods and, again, because there is no residue, the floor seems to stay cleaner longer. Not only do I have an easier time of it by not using the chemicals, but, these methods have made my house cleaner and I am therefore able to clean a little less frequently. I still vaccum frequently because I havepets, but, I can easily get away with only dusting every other week. Before these changes, it had to be done weekly.

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I basically either hire cleaners to clean my house when I can't. But they have to use the cleaning fluids, cloths I provide. That way I don't get migraine from their strong smelling cleaning fluids. when I feel good enough I go through periods of cleaning house myself. It takes me about a fortnight to get through my apartment -- I aim to clean something every couple of days. One day I might do half my bathroom and two days later I'll finish that job, for example. It's actually not too hard to keep clean. Messy is another matter. My place is very messy. Even if I was inclined to keep it tidy looking my husband's messy habits would defeat me. I live in disorganized cleanliness.

Just before my little grandsons come to visit I will go around and put everything dangerous out of reach. Which is good for them. Not so good for me because I often can't remember where I put stuff and will be missing things for ages, only for them to be found when I'm looking for something else, usually.

blue

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I bought an air purifier for my room. I have to change the filter every three months, but I notice a huge difference in how often I have to dust in there compared to the rest of the house. I have lots of allergies, but my main priority is keeping my room clean (it gets cluttered, but I'm talking dirt/dust clean) since that is where I spend 10 or so hours a night sleeping. I wash all my sheets and blankets once a week. I live with my parents right now, but I try to help with cleaning. I love the dust cloths because they seem to pick up so much dust and don't leave smells or residue behind. I try to make sure that at least my room is vaccuumed most of the time. Katybug, we also have a steam mop which is awesome at cleaning hard floors. I have a hard time with vaccuuming, it is absolutely exhausting for me and I can't clean the bathrooms because of the chemicals, my family does that and I try to avoid the bathrooms until they air out. I find that if I keep the house and especially my room clean, my symptoms are better controlled, but I also have lots of allergy and sinus problems, so that might be why.

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I have issues with the environmental stuff, even though I don't really have allergies. We have a wood burning stove, dogs, and a gravel driveway and yard -- so our house gets dirty quick. We have also have had issues with mold that are ongoing. Obviously we have ongoing air quality issues that only get worse when cleaning and stirring things up. Getting the stuff stirred up gets me sneezing and anything that gets into my body post-POTS gets attacked and then the swelling leads to infections. Also, I find scrubbing (any position other than flat) and exerting myself while standing (vaccumning) really kills me on the heart rate/bp/weakness. I also get rebound symptoms and symptoms from exposure to strong chemicals like cleaning products. Never had an issue pre-POTS.

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I'm more sensitive to humidity than I am true air quality. My home has an elaborate climate control system, so there's plenty of filtering, plenty of fresh air. I keep humidity tightly controlled between 43-46%. Temperature varies by season, but ~70-72F for heat, 75-80F for cooling (inversely-proportional to humidity). If the humidity gets too high, my nose will get congested in my sleep, which will wake me up in the middle of the night. High humidity also makes it a bit more difficult for me to breathe when awake. Fortunately my workplace stays a chilly 72F/40% all year round.

As far as cleaning goes, my home has tile floors everywhere except the bedrooms, so dusting happens a few times a week, otherwise I'll end up with dust bunnies. I have a Shark Vac-then-Steam unit which works quite well for taking care of the tile floors, but I still find myself using a regular mop & bucket a few times a year for a good deep clean.

I'm not chemically-sensitive, but I try to use harsh chemicals sparingly. I'm also a huge fan of the microfiber cloths. I picked up a pack of them from a janitorial supply house and they are able to do just about everything I need. For cleaning windows, I stole an idea from a local ice rink and use a little bit (1 tbsp) of Dawn blue dish washing soap in a bucket of hot water. Vinegar works good at cutting grease as well.

The only real issue I have with cleaning is if I'm reaching up above my head. Sometimes this will trigger an instant dizzy spell or even get my vision to gray out a bit. That's when I know I've done enough of that for the day.

Dust & common pollution doesn't seem to effect me. I do quite well in large congested cities. I do find that carbon monoxide (being behind a badly-tuned car) seems to hit me stronger than others.

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julie,

My steam mop is a Shark, too. I got it from QVC but all the big box stores carry steam mops. It was well worth the investment. Just make sure when you wash/dry the microfiber pads that you do not use fabric softener. I ruins the way the pads absorb fluids and attract dust.

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