Hair monster crawling out of tub drain

Household Chores to Skip With CF

Dust, fumes, mold, and bacteria, oh my! Our homes are filled with many irritants that can harm our respiratory systems. However, those same irritants do need to be cleaned and removed to help keep us healthy in our homes in the long run. With CF, there may be more risk and negative effects when dealing with these environmental irritants.1

So what can we do about it? Passing these particular chores to your partner or someone willing to help you is a good idea. Consider this your free pass to get out of some household chores. (Just kidding, or am I?) If you can’t pass the responsibility, consider taking additional safety precautions when doing these chores.

Household chores to reconsider

Cleaning out HVAC

HVAC systems are an important filter for cleaning the air in our homes. However, they can also be a hotspot for dirt, dust, and bacteria without regular maintenance and cleaning. Most people, like me, have no idea how to clean an entire HVAC system. It’s best to leave it to the professionals, like a local HVAC company, to ensure your HVAC systems keep your air as clean as possible. This is a perfect chore to outsource to make your home healthy and safe.

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Scrubbing tubs and sinks

The bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa loves to grow in wet environments like shower heads, tubs, and sink drains.2 When we scrub these areas and release the bacteria into the water and air, there is a risk of inhaling the bacteria, which is especially dangerous with CF. It’s best to avoid the risk full stop when it comes to Pseudomonas a. and have another member take over this chore. This is an important matter of protecting your lung health.

Mulching yards and raking leaves

Many people with CF enjoy doing outdoor chores like gardening and yard care. While I believe you need to weigh the risk versus benefit in this situation, outsourcing certain outdoor chores is still a good idea. Especially any activity where you are disrupting moist soil, leaves, or mulch where bacteria and mold can grow. Remember to mask up, wash your hands and tools, and avoid heavily moist soil as a way to ensure safety while completing outdoor chores.

Dusting fans

Once again, dusting fans or other surfaces, especially after a long winter, can release a lot of particles into the air. With the help of dust, dirt, and animal hair, bacteria can travel and trigger an inflammatory response in the lungs and sinuses.1 You might cough, wheeze, or feel short of breath or develop a sinus infection after being around dust.2 One simple way of protecting your lungs is to wear a filtration mask such as an N95 when dusting fans.

Using heavily fumed cleaners

Many household cleaning products are heavily scented or contain harmful chemicals.4 Scented cleaning products can be very irritating or even harmful for people with lung disease.4 Always try to opt for fragrance-free cleaning products to reduce the risk of the products making you sick. If it’s not possible to use safer products, recruit help or make sure the room is well ventilated when using them.

Are there certain household chores you choose not to do? What kinds of solutions have you used? Tell us about them!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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