Welcome news for asthma and allergy sufferers as results from a new study confirm that professional steam cleaning significantly reduces the number of allergens in the home. The study was released during the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) which found the Hot Water Extraction Process as used by West Cork Cleaning was proven to remove up to 97 % of surface allergens.
“These numbers are very impressive and validate the need for people to understand what a thorough cleaning can accomplish for asthma and allergy sufferers,” said Dr. Bruce Mitchell , study author and CEO of Airmid Healthgroup, an independent biomedical research organization. “Patients can certainly find relief from reduced allergen levels when combining a Hot Water Extraction cleaning every three to four months, along with vacuuming twice a week with a HEPA filtered vacuum.”
The study evaluated air and surface samples taken before and after hot water extraction in 20 U.S. homes. Additional findings revealed successful removal of 67 % of airborne cat allergens as well.
At night there is limited movement in a home, so the airborne allergens that are kicked up during the day settle into carpets, becoming surface allergens. Carpet acts as a filter, trapping airborne allergens and the Hot Water Extraction process can provide a deeper removal the vast majority of these allergens, reducing the source of allergens for patients.
The study also found the Hot Water Extraction process effectively reduces exposure to bacteria and mould – two triggers for an allergic reaction, including asthma. Twenty-four hours post cleaning, the levels of bacteria on carpet surfaces were reduced by 90 %, relative to the original concentration of bacteria. Mould removal had similar success. The concentration of mould on carpet surfaces was 65 % less, while airborne mould levels were 55 % less than the levels prior to the Hot Water Extraction process.
Tips for Surviving Allergy Season
One in five people suffer from allergies or asthma. In an effort to make homes asthma and allergy friendly, West Cork Cleaning recommend the following for a sneeze-free season.
- Ongoing TLC: Dirt and dust can quickly add up if the proper steps aren’t taken. To get the job done, vacuum heavy traffic areas two to three times a week and all other carpets at least once a week.
- Outside In: Keep windows closed on high-allergy days or while gardening. These activities may churn up dirt, dust and pollen into the air which can in turn end up on furniture and rugs.
- Roadmap for Cleaning: There is a method to the madness of cleaning. Beware of feather dusters that simply push dust off surfaces into the air. Instead try moist cloths or special dusters made to capture dust. Also, consider cleaning in this order; begin with vents, followed by upholstery and curtains and finishing with floors.
- Welcome Mat: A doormat at the entrance to a house is a proven way to reduce the amount of dirt that enters the home. However, the cleaning can’t stop there! Homeowners should vacuum under indoor welcome mats and area rugs periodically to help remove any loose dirt that might be trapped.
- A Deeper Clean: People should maintain their homes, as they maintain their teeth – brushing every day and visiting the dentist at least twice a year. The same goes for carpets. However, for those suffering from asthma and allergies, West Cork Cleaning recommends a professional Hot Water Extraction cleaning every three to four months for allergy homes, along with ongoing measures including vacuuming, dusting and washing bed linens and stuffed animals.