A Parent’s Guide to Clean Air and Getting Rid of Asthma Triggers at Home | Maid4Condos

A Parent’s Guide to Clean Air and Getting Rid of Asthma Triggers at Home

A Parent’s Guide to Clean Air and Getting Rid of Asthma Triggers at Home
October 10, 2019

Asthma is one of the most common conditions that cause breathing problems, often starting in young kids. Depending on the severity, asthma patients experience episodes of coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing — and worse, when left untreated or unresponded to right away, can even end in death, as the airways constrict and cut off the air.

House cleaning tips for asthma patients

But more than how common asthma is — especially in a big city like Toronto — it’s even more surprising to learn that its causes and triggers are far more common than anyone can imagine.

It’s often said that a lot of things start at home, and sadly, that means asthma, too. The most common allergens and irritants are often found lying around in a typical household, especially when you fall behind a regular cleaning schedule. This is where most parents are concerned.

The good news is, you can help prevent your child’s next asthma attack — all you need to do is stick to a regular dusting and cleaning schedule to reduce existing triggers and help your child breathe easier and better as they grow up. Here’s a short guide to what you should be looking for:

House Dust

Perhaps the most common trigger to look out for when cleaning your home to prevent asthma attacks, house dust is also the easiest asthma trigger to clean. When cleaning your house, make sure to dust often using a vacuum with a high-efficiency filter for a deep and thorough clean of carpets and fabric-covered furniture.

Follow up with a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces. But don’t forget — make sure to avoid cleaning when your child is in the room, or send them to another area in the house to prevent close contact with these asthma triggers.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are unfortunately too small to be visible to the naked eye. What you should know, though, is that these pesky allergens often take up residence in mattresses, pillows, bedcovers, stuffed toys, carpets, fabric-upholstered furniture, and clothes.

To get rid of dust mites, make sure to change sheets and blankets regularly — a good schedule is once a week. Wash them in hot water to kill these insects. If your child can’t sleep without their favourite stuffed toys, make sure that these are at least machine-washable, and stick them in the washer in hot water.

If you can, try to keep their bedtime companions off the bed, and instead have them play with these during scheduled playtimes. Most importantly, add a layer of protection to mattresses and pillows aside from sheets and pillowcases; cover them in dust-proof zippered covers to keep out allergens.


Moulds thrive in damp places. When left unattended, they can also increase the risk for other asthma triggers, such as dust mites and other insects. To prevent mould from forming, keep surfaces clean and dry, and prevent excess water and moisture from building up. This means maintaining low levels of indoor humidity, which you can measure at home using a hygrometer from your local hardware store.

To clean your home of this asthma trigger, start by washing mould off hard surfaces and let them dry completely. If you find that absorbent materials, like the ceiling tiles and carpet, are already full of mould, consider replacing them right away. As for preventing excess moisture, look into the most common culprit, which is leaky plumbing; other sources include the fridge, AC, and dehumidifier, so make sure that their drip pans are kept clean and dry.

Don’t forget to turn on exhaust fans or air out entire rooms by opening the windows. Doing so doesn’t just remove bad smells, but also prevents the moisture build-up that causes mould. Remember to do this when showering, cooking, and even using the dishwasher. Make sure that the clothes dryer is set to vent outside.


Let’s face it — cockroaches and rats are telltale signs of dirty places, and you wouldn’t want your home to be one. Insect and rodent droppings — or worse, their body parts — trigger asthma and overall make for an unpleasant living environment.

To eliminate this asthma trigger, make sure that your cleaning routine involves storing food in airtight containers and garbage in sealed waste disposal bins. Clean up crumbs and spilled liquids right away, or better yet, avoid eating and drinking on the couch and in bedrooms; instead, limit these to the kitchen or dining area.

If you already have an existing roach or rodent problem, work on eliminating them right away before the infestation becomes uncontrollable. Use poison baits, boric acid, or traps instead of sprays, but if you absolutely have to, make sure to limit sprays in infested areas only and open windows for fresh air to prevent asthma attacks, or worse, accidental poisoning.

Secondhand Smoke

Smoking has never done anyone any good — and if your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it might be high time to consider quitting for their health. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, pipes, and cigars have been shown to trigger asthma, along with the increased risk for respiratory issues that we already know of, the most fatal being lung cancer.

If you absolutely have to light a stick, try to avoid doing it at home where people with asthma can breathe in the smoke. Cigarette smoke often lingers, so even if you think it’s been a while, chances are, they can still inhale the toxins. The same goes for everyone who comes in and out of your house too — don’t let guests smoke in your house, or even in shared spaces like your car.


Your furry friends may give you a lot of joy, but not when it comes to the asthma attack that comes next. While pets are often a source of joy — and safety for some — their fur, skin flakes, urine, and saliva can cause asthma attacks in their humans.

If you own a pet, consider keeping them outdoors, rather than letting them climb into bed with you every night, or sit on the couch during the day. If they can’t be kept outside, at least consider keeping bedroom doors closed at all times, as well as prevent contact with fabric-covered furniture, carpets, and stuffed toys.

Even if a house looks clean doesn’t mean no hidden asthma triggers are lying around. Clean your home of asthma triggers and help your child breathe better and easier.

To learn more about removing asthma triggers from your home, call Maid4Condos at (647) 822-0601 or contact us here.

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