Do you realize that cleaning your home could cause asthma and allergies?

According to the Asthma Society of Canada, chemical fumes from air fresheners and cleaning products are among the most common allergens in the home — along with dust mites, mold and pet dander. Perfume and hair spray are also possible allergens.

For Asthma and Allergy Awareness month (May), Dyson microbiologists have teamed up with the Asthma Society of Canada to raise awareness of cleaning methods that reduce asthma and allergies.

Here are a few cleaning tips for reducing asthma and allergies. These are developed by Lorene Tortolo, who runs keepingHOUSE, an eco-friendly cleaning company in Toronto, as well as experts at Dyson and the Asthma Society of Canada:

• Avoid commercial air fresheners, as they release chemicals into the air. You can create your own air freshener by adding 10 drops of your favourite essential oil to water in a spray bottle.

• Toilet cleaners contain strong chemicals such as chlorine and hydrochloric acid. For a safer cleaner, use undiluted vinegar. Or, believe it or not, you can pour a can of soda pop into your toilet to bubble away grunge.

• Vinegar is a great cleaning product and a natural disinfectant. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can dull it down using a few squeezes of lemon or a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

• Baking soda is a natural odour-absorber. To scrub dirt and stains and reduce odours, use a microfibre cloth with a mixture of baking soda and water.

• To keep out pollen, have everyone who enters your home remove their shoes at the door.

• Vacuum all carpets and even curtains and your bath mat regularly. If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, you might consider investing in a Dyson vacuum, as they are specifically designed to reduce allergens.

(Dyson is donating more than 10 asthma- and allergy-friendly certified vacuums to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada as part of the Dyson Clean Air for Kids program).