When you have COPD, some simple activities like cleaning your home can become pretty challenging.
Yes, you should definitely keep a clean home if you have COPD because cleanliness impacts your health a great deal.
The problem is that many cleaning products often contain scents and give off toxic vapors which can exacerbate your condition.
Stick with the Basics
The most traditional cleaning products are the safest for people with COPD, so play it safe.
White vinegar, methylated spirits or denatured alcohol, lemon juice, and baking soda are products that your grandparents have probably used, and you should too. They are recommended for people with COPD because they normally don’t cause reactions in respiratory patients.
Combining boiling water and either white vinegar, methylated spirits, or lemon juice would make a great floor cleaner and degreaser, and they can also clean the bathroom and the kitchen.
You can use soda water as a stain remover for carpets and household fabrics.
A mixture of vinegar and water is best for cleaning mirrors and windows.
And for cleaning other household surfaces, a bar of plain dishwashing soap and water would do.
Store-Bought Cleaning Products
Many COPD experts advise against store-bought cleaning products. However, if you still decide to buy ready-made cleaning products from a store, go for unscented products whenever possible.
Don’t go for “natural” cleaning products because they are not safe for everyone with COPD. There can be someone who has a sensitivity to even a natural substance.
Another thing to pay attention to are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They often end in -end and have chemicals in them that give off gases when you use them at home. These gases may irritate the lungs and cause difficulty breathing.
Avoid the cleaning ingredients ammonia and bleach because they have a very strong odor and can cause shortness of breath.
Some patients with COPD can’t tolerate the scent or fragrance from any type of cleaning product or even laundry supplies. If you are among these patients, the best thing you can do is get someone to help you with cleaning your home.
You should get out of your home while someone cleans it.
Vacuuming can be one of the most dangerous tasks since the dust collected in the vacuum cleaner doesn’t always stay there, and may cause irritation.
So, get someone to clean your house instead of you. It’s especially important for you to avoid things like vacuuming.
Use a Face Mask
In case there is no other way but you have to clean yourself, try using a mask. An N95 mask blocks 95 percent of very small particles, so it’s a good choice.
However, have in mind that the N95 mask increases the work of breathing, so it may not work for all people with COPD.
Use a Particle Filter
If you live in an area with high air pollution, consider getting a particle filter. It really improves the air quality in your home. Air purifiers that use high-efficiency particle [HEPA] filters are excellent at filtering our dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, fungal spores, etc.
However, we must point out that air purifiers that generate ozone to clean the air are not a good idea.
Ozone is an unstable gas that is also a component of smog, so it is not a smart thing to generate ozone in your home. Ozone can aggravate COPD symptoms.
Other things you can do to keep common indoor air pollutants at bay are banning smoking indoors, removing carpets from home, and washing sheets in hot water and replacing pillows more frequently.