All houses have varying degrees of dust. If you have animals you also have pet dander. These can all be sources of infectious material for someone with a compromised immune system. Cleaning a home environment is much like cleaning up after a small fire or furnace puff back where soot is everywhere. Dust and dander are everywhere and must be cleaned as best as possible. Here are some things you can do to minimize that part of the problem. All cleaning must be done BEFORE the patient arrives home.

One method is to bring in a reputable house cleaning service to clean everything you see. If that is not possible, some things you can do yourself and some things must be professionally steam or solvent cleaned.

When a stem cell transplant patient, or any other person with a weakened or compromised immune system, is coming home, cleanliness is their best friend. All items on the walls, as well as the walls and ceilings themselves, should be wiped down to remove any dust. All furnishings should be thoroughly washed and professionally cleaned. Steam cleaning is the most thorough type of cleaning if the fabric will allow it. This process removes contaminates out of the home. Some furnishings will not allow this process, (example: delicate furniture, bedspreads and drapes). In this case, they can be solvent cleaned. With this method, proper ventilation is imperative to evacuate all odors from the home. This ventilation should only take about an hour. Some sheer curtains can be washed and hung damp to dry, while others must be dry-cleaned if the fiber does not permit washing.

All bedding in the bedroom should be washed and the mattress properly vacuumed. Pillows should be placed in a dryer for about 30 minutes, on low heat, for thorough dust removal.

Last, but not least, is to have your carpet professionally steam cleaned. Home type carpet cleaning machines do not have the proper vacuum or the right chemistry to do a correct and safe job. All carpet should be pre-treated to remove spots and loose soil. If there is any pet odor present, now is the time to treat it. The final step is to steam clean the carpet to rinse out all your cleaning agents, soil, or pet contaminates. Only clean hot water should be used to perform the final, and most vital step, in cleaning your carpet.

If all these steps are followed they will help place your home in a healthy condition for your loved one to come home to. This is only one part of a successful homecoming from a stem cell transplant or any other serious medical treatment.

The cleaner your home is on a daily basis, the happier and healthier your family will be.