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13 July 2023

Cleaning for Allergen Control: Improving Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace


It is estimated that the average Australian spends 90% or more of their time indoors, including their homes, offices, cars and shopping/entertainment. This is especially apparent during colder months, as we huddle inside to escape the frigid weather. Despite this statistic, there is not enough attention being paid to how indoor air quality (IAQ) affects our health, especially in the office space where people spend 8 or more hours every day.


Indoor air quality is crucial in maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Poor air quality can lead to a range of health issues, including allergies and respiratory problems, which can significantly impact employee well-being and productivity.


During the winter months, when we spend most of our time indoors, there is a higher chance of spreading disease from one person to another, and during the upcoming spring months, pollen activity is at its highest. Regardless of the season, one thing is for certain: commercial spaces need to invest in proper allergen control through professional commercial office cleaning services to give their patrons the best chance of staying germ and disease-free.


Understanding Allergens in the Workplace

Allergens are substances that cause allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to them. Common workplace allergens include dust mites, pollen, mould spores, pet dander, perfume and certain chemicals, including cleaning detergents. These allergens can become trapped in the indoor environment, such as on the fibres of your carpet, leading to poor air quality and triggering allergies and respiratory issues.


The Role of Cleaning in Allergen Control

One of the most important things businesses can do to improve IAQ is to implement a regular cleaning program focusing on allergen control. This includes, but is not limited to:


  1. Dusting and Vacuuming: Dust particles and dust mites are among the biggest contributors to indoor allergies. Keeping surfaces, including desks, shelves and equipment, clean through regular dusting with microfiber cloths or damp wipes can minimise the release of dust into the air. Additionally, vacuuming carpets and upholstery using vacuums fitted with HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) can effectively eliminate allergens and improve air quality.


  1. Mopping Floors: Hard floors should be regularly mopped using allergen-friendly cleaning agents. This helps eliminate dust, pollen, and other allergens that settle on the floor surfaces. Avoid harsh chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as these can worsen indoor air quality and trigger allergic reactions.


  1. Air Duct Cleaning: Over time, air ducts can accumulate dust, mould and other contaminants, which then circulate throughout the workplace. Periodic professional air duct cleaning ensures the removal of these allergens, improving overall air quality in the workplace.


  1. Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning: Dust mites typically live in carpets, upholstered furniture and clothes and feed on dead human skin. These objects can also accumulate mould (especially in the humid, subtropical climate of Sydney), pet dander and pollen from employees' clothes, which then circulate the workplace. Regular deep cleaning of carpets and upholstered furniture using professional-grade equipment is essential for allergen control.


  1. Mould Prevention and Remediation: The last two summers of La Niña have provided ample opportunity for the growth of mould in pipes, dark corners and ceilings. Mould exposure can trigger a runny or blocked nose, eye or skin irritation and, in some cases, mould infections in the lungs. Poorly ventilated areas require regular inspections, early detection and prompt remediation to maintain good air quality. Areas regularly exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens should be given special care.


Choosing Allergen-Friendly Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which can irritate the lungs and nasal passages, causing respiratory inspections. In addition to effective cleaning practices, it is essential to use allergen-friendly cleaning products. Choose environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic cleaning products free from harsh chemicals, fragrances and dyes. These products minimise the release of VOCs and allergens into the air while cleaning effectively.


Working with Commercial Cleaning Services

To ensure your office remains clean and allergen-free, the right expertise and dedicated resources are essential. Collaborating with a professional commercial cleaning company can provide numerous benefits, including:


-        Expertise: Professional cleaning companies have the knowledge and experience to implement effective allergen control strategies. They stay updated on the latest cleaning techniques and industry best practices to ensure optimal indoor air quality.

-        Specialised Equipment: The right commercial cleaning company will come equipped with advanced tools and equipment that effectively remove allergens from the air and surfaces. These include vacuums with HEPA filters, steam cleaners and air purifiers.

-        Consistency and Reliability: Hiring professional commercial cleaners that work on consistent and reliable schedules ensures allergen control measures are implemented regularly.

-        Customised Solutions: A reputable commercial cleaning company can customise their services to meet your unique needs.

-        Time and Cost Savings: Outsourcing cleaning tasks to a professional company allows you to focus on your core business activities and eliminates the need for an in-house cleaning staff or cleaning equipment. It also eliminates the costs associated with training the staff you hire to clean your office effectively.


Commercial cleaning in Sydney Melbourne or for that matter, other states in Australia is a specialised task best left to the professionals. Because of the different climates of the different major cities of Australia, choose a professional cleaning company that understands the unique needs of the buildings in that climate and how to alter their cleaning programs for maximum allergen control.



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