National Asthma Council Australia has teamed with World Allergy Organisation to help homemakers eliminate mould and reduce the triggers that cause asthma and allergies.
It's timely advice with world allergy week here (18 - 24 June) and three years of above-average rainfall.
The council's Sensitive Choice program manager Adele Taylor said it is important to eliminate the source of mould growth, as well as cleaning visible mould, to stop it from re-growing.
"The symptoms can include nose, eye, and skin irritation, sneezing or wheezing, and severe breathing difficulties in some people," Adele said.
"Unfortunately, bleach will remove visible mould but won't kill the spores underneath and it may also irritate anyone with sensitivities."
Remove any visible mould by cleaning the area with a solution of warm water and naturally fermented vinegar.
Wash sheets and pillowcases in water hotter than 55 degrees Celsius, or if you can't wash in hot water, throw them in the tumble dryer even for a few minutes at a high temperature.
Cover mattresses, quilts and pillows with dust mite-resistant cases and underlays.
Use extractor fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries to help with natural ventilation.
Seal leaks in bathrooms and roofs to prevent seepage.
Treat rising damp as soon as it is detected.
When cleaning carpets and soft furnishings, use a vacuum cleaner with an asthma and allergy sensitive HEPA filter. For hard floors like timber or tiles, use a damp or electrostatic cloth or steam mop.
Try to keep bedrooms dry and well-ventilated by opening windows regularly and leave wardrobe doors ajar.
Cleaning can be a challenge for people with asthma and allergies, so look out for sensitive household cleaning products with fewer harsh chemicals and no fragrances.
Consider buying a dehumidifier to remove air moisture, as well as an air purifier to help reduce air borne mould spores.
Visit sensitivechoice.com for more information and advice.
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