Dust busting and other adventures

In a bid to determine what is making my 7 yr old cough, sneeze and stream from the eyes whenever he is in the house I’ve been cleaning like never before. And anyone who knows me knows that this is not my forte. I have followed the Allergy UK advice on allergen avoidance and sprayed the whole house with flea killer in case the culprit is our dog.

Freezing and washing all of my son’s soft toys and his bedding seems to have helped him stop coughing at night but he is still struggling in the mornings. So I decided to call in an expert. My neighbour Nathalie who as well as being a fountain of knowledge on all things allergy related, shares it with people through her website The Intolerant Gourmand.

“I bet it is your sofa,” she said. Having spent many hours in my house drinking coffee and prosecco (not at the same time – usually) she was well aware that we’ve had a fabric sofa for as long as we have had the dog, three years.

“Here try this,” she said thrusting a golden pyramid shaped device into my hand. I assumed was a hoover of some description. “I’ve hoovered the sofa already,” I protested. “Just try it,” she said knowingly.

I bowed to her superior knowledge. Her son has severe allergies and she has to work really hard to stop him reacting to things so if she says it worked then I believed her.

I wish I could tell you what it was like to use but I can’t. You see the second I stepped through the door with a new gadget in my hand the husband grabbed it. “I’ll do that,” he said and got to work on the sofa.

If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the proof of the vacuuming is in the filter. This filter was full, even though I had already hoovered the sofa with my Miele.

“What do you think?” I asked the husband.

“The filter is really good and it gets all the fine dust. But the suction needs to be further forward so you can get deeper into the corners and I kept turning it off with my hand.”

Did I mention that he is a perfectionist? With massive hands.

I am hoping that the build up of dust and dog hair due to my crap cleaning is to blame for my son’s runny nose and that he is not allergic to the dog or developing asthma. He’s currently puffing into a peak flow morning and night to monitor it so time (and the doctor) will tell. He does seem a lot better now that I’ve killed all the dust mites in his room.

Meanwhile the sofa is much cleaner. The hoover is a Philips anti allergen dust mite handheld vacuum cleaner and I will be buying one after this little episode. Or perhaps I’ll get the husband one for Christmas – he does love gadgets.

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