We’re quickly approaching the time of year, where we will all begin cleaning the parts of our home that we don’t think about often throughout the year. While spring cleaning does offer an excellent opportunity to freshen up every area of your home, de-clutter, and allow yourself to step into the newness of spring with a grand sense of accomplishment. While you’re planning for a deep clean of your home, there are some tips to keep in mind. Here’s some advice from a medical professional.

Stay Ahead of the Symptoms

Dr. Timothy Craig, an immunologist and allergist at Penn State Health, points out that if a particular mixture of cleaning chemicals or an area that is being cleaned begins to irritate your nose, there’s a good probability it will eventually irritate your lungs. It’s easy to ignore a little “tickle” in the nose and continue working, but doing so may be subjecting your lungs to more long term damage. Norway University Scientists recently observed women who had used household cleaners over two decades experienced a decline in lung function.

Oldies but Goodies

One way to minimize health risks is to avoid some of the newer, more chemically based cleaners. For years people relied on warm water, baking soda, and some old-fashioned elbow grease to clean many of the surfaces in their home. Windows can become cleaner by using some vinegar diluted in water. Everything doesn’t have to be cleaned with harsh chemicals that expose you and your family to potentially dangerous fumes. Research some tried and true methods.

Newer but Safer

The EPA has a group of over 2,000 products that it considers safer for human use. Many of the items on the list are household cleaners. Be sure to check out the chemical-free options that the EPA has labeled as safe alternatives to some of the harsh cleaners that many of us already have in our homes.

There’s a great sense of accomplishment in a yearly deep cleaning of your home. Ideally, you will find a way to achieve your goals while protecting the respiratory systems of you and the ones you love the most.