Safety of Charlie's All-Purpose for Asthmatics?

chambleemamaAugust 8, 2008

I've been doing very heavy cleaning, involving dust, dog hair, and greasy dirt. I LOVE the way Charlie's All-purpose cleaner, diluted in a spray bottle, cuts through everything.

But last night I had an asthma attack. Here's the question:

Is it all the stuff I've been rooting out of the corners, or could it be irritation from the cleaner? Any other asthmatics out there with experiences like this? Maybe I need to take more care, wear a mask while cleaning? Charlie's certainly works better than any "green" or "hypo-allergenic" cleaner I've ever used. I also don't react to it while using it, the way I do with other cleaners. But I do tend to have delayed-reaction asthma attacks, so it's hard to tell about this one.

Any experience? Advice? (No--it's not psychosomatic from cleaning!)

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dashmo37

I use Charlie's and am also asthmatic.
I think [my opinion] that the cause may be the deep cleaning and stirring up all the dust and debris. Not the Charlie's its self.
Maybe wearing a dust mask might help. I have experienced the same type of reaction to deep cleaning. I don't feel it has to do with the cleaner. JMO

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 1:32PM
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chambleemama

Thanks, Dashmo37. I'll get a mask for my cleaning supplies and see what happens. It may be that the Dust Rhinos are galloping out for "revenge" as I'm deep cleaning. Since I've kicked up so much dusty dog hair in odd corners, I'll put the HEPA air cleaner in my bedroom for good measure.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Lynne_SJO

Hubby is asthmatic, though I have never seen him have an attack, after 30+ years of marriage. But he has great difficulty breathing during certain times of the year when some plants are in bloom and has to sit up in bed all night somethimes, just to breathe.

The greatest problem for him is house dust (and with that, dust mites of course). When he cleans out the garage and sweeps it, it takes days before he is breathing normally again. And like most guys, he will not go to the doctor nor take meds, other than a couple of OTC things.

Anyway, I agree with the others (though everyone's body is different), that it could very well be the dust and dust mite bodies being stirred up from the deep cleaning--and of course, the pet hair. We cannot have cats or dogs (we are both allergic to them and it never ceases to amaze me how many parents of young children w pet allergies will have pets in the house anyway!). There seems to always be a threshold also. A little dust, OK; but once a certain degree of exposure has reached and it triggers a reaction, then it's time for the Benadryl and Primatene mist inhalor.

Naturally, we do not have any carpet in the house either, since it is a permanent magnet for dust and dust mites. Once intalled, it cannot ever be made clean again.

So, consider wearing a mask, getting rid of any carpet, and check out the cleaners and products made to kill dust mites (I have to use them for all of our bedding - hubby is that allergic to them, but you may not be having that problem, though they will get in the carpet and cloth furniture also.)

Gazoontite.com (sp?) is an excellent source for products and tips on this topic.

L

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 2:48PM
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chambleemama

Thanks, Lynne, for all this good information. I can handle dogs if they are bathed or at least rinsed every week. Wearing the mask is annoying, but I did some serious dusting--rearranged furniture and books--today with no problem. I also used my Miele for dusting, and that really helped, too.

Years ago, my asthma was really out of control. My husband took up all our carpet, most of which was over hardwood floors (I have a very old house!), and we encased all our beds and pillows, etc. What a difference!

I'm going to check out that allergy site.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:58PM
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jannie

The bag of Charlies Soap I own says "certified non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, and biodegradable" also "Leaves nothing but the good old-fashioned smell of clean. If you want flowers, pick some", And : "Charlies Soap quickly dissolves in cold water, rinses thoroughly, and leaves no residue that can make your clothes stiff and irritating. Complete rinsing Charlies soap is especially good for babies clothes and for people with allergies or sensitive skin." All I can add is, it has a very fine texture, does dissolve completely, and leaves everything very clean and unscented. Charlies has none of the things I hated about regular detergents .

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 5:36PM
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chambleemama

Thanks, Jannie. After using a dust mask while continuing to deep clean with Charlie's, I'm convinced it was the stuff I was getting into and not a reaction to Charlie's. I do keep diluting the all-purpose spray because I haven't yet found the minimum dilution that will still clean *everything* really well (what a $$-saver!). I have also been more careful about spraying the solution into cabinets and leaning right into the closed space. Anything but pure water will irritate you if you breath it right into your lungs! Certainly dust will, and I've been getting into "dust rhino burial grounds." The bedroom air does feel cleaner when we wake up in the morning, after rooting out the rhinos.

Perhaps this frantic cleaning has to do with a looming empty nest--I just bought more of the powdered detergent for my son to take to college.

Still cleaning with Charlie's, but cleaning smarter, w/dust mask and my Miele!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:57AM
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