How Spring Cleaning Helps Your Lungs if You Have COPD

How Spring Cleaning Helps Your Lungs if You Have COPD

As the clocks go forward and the days get longer, and particularly now there is a requirement to spend extra time at home, we might be feeling the urge to do a little Spring cleaning. 

The change of season makes us naturally want to spruce up our living space and get rid of any dust and clutter we’ve accumulated over winter. Most of us tend to feel better after a clear up, but if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or other respiratory disorders, Spring cleaning could make a real difference to your health. This is why.


Why a deep clean is good for your health

Clearing out junk and getting rid of dust, mould and other allergens can help prevent lung irritation by improving the quality of air in the home. Doing it at this time of year before the worst of the Spring and Summer allergens arrive gives your lungs some respite and protects them in the months ahead.

At a time when all of us are being encouraged to stay inside for our own protection, due to Covid-19, ensuring our living space is the cleanest and healthiest it can be makes good sense for your own and your family’s wellbeing.

Unlike regular household cleaning, which tends to concentrate on certain areas of the home, a deep clean gets into the hidden corners, which can become a focal point for clutter and hidden dust and allergens. As well as helping to eradicate these toxins, a thorough clean makes it easier to keep your house clean which is good news for people with respiratory conditions.


Cleaning safety

However, before you grab your rubber gloves and bleach and head off to start cleaning, there are a few things to remember if you have COPD or another lung complaint. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can irritate the lungs and household dusts also contains irritant particles that can exacerbate your symptoms or cause a flare up.

So, if you’re planning a good clean up it’s important to do it safely to prevent yourself from becoming more unwell. Protect your mouth and nose from fumes and dust particles, ideally using a particle respirator mask which can screen out 95% of particles from as small as 0.3 microns.

You should avoid using harsh commercial cleaning products which can cause inflammation and a flare up of COPD. Specifically, it is advisable not to use bleach, detergents, ammonia, aerosols, oven cleaners or carpet cleaners. Instead choose natural products made with mild ingredients or take a leaf out of grandparents’ book and make your own using household products such as white vinegar, baking soda and soap. Always use any cleaning products in a well-ventilated area – opening windows will also help any dust to dissipate. And make sure you wash any cleaning cloths thoroughly to prevent mould build-up.

If your COPD symptoms are severe you may need to avoid most types of cleaning as even small amounts of dust or mould could cause a flare-up. In this instance, you might need to get someone to help you.


Seek medical advice

While Spring is the time of year that most of us think about doing a deep clean, this advice applies all year round. And, whatever the time of year, if you are suffering from any kind of respiratory disorder it is important to get proper medical advice.

During the Covid-19 outbreak it is critical to follow the latest government advice which you can find here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus