Asthma and Cleaning Products

How Can Cleaning Affect My Asthma?

cleaning products

Your household cleaning products may trigger your asthma or make your asthma worse, even if you only use the product for a short time. Symptoms may start right after you breathe in the substance or may start hours later. You can also suddenly develop asthma from a chemical that you have used before to clean, disinfect, and control dust. 

You may also use cleaning products for your job if you are a janitor, house cleaner, or work in an office or hospital. Some people who work in a job that uses cleaners, or work in areas where cleaners are used, can develop breathing problems.

Here are some jobs where you might be exposed to cleaning products:

Types of Jobs Types of Cleaners
Hospital worker
Hotel maintenance
House cleaner
Office worker
Restaurant worker
Carpet cleaner
Floor wax stripper
Glass cleaner
Tile cleaner
Toilet cleaner 

Use these tips to avoid getting sick from using cleaning products:

  • Read and follow the product’s warning labels
  • Read the Safety Data Sheet for the products you use or work with
  • Wear goggles to protect your eyes when using cleaners
  • Wear gloves to protect your skin when using cleaners
  • Do not use a cleaner at full strength when the instructions say to mix or dilute it with water
  • Do not mix cleaning products
  • Store cleaning products in their original containers
  • Leave windows and doors open, or use a fan to circulate the air, especially in small rooms or in areas where there is poor ventilation
  • Carefully handle leftover cleaner in buckets and on rags and sponges
  • Be aware that dust masks will not prevent you from breathing in the cleaners
  • Use less toxic cleaners whenever possible

For more questions and solutions about your asthma symptoms and triggers, visit

For more information and assistance with living with asthma, call the Well Sense Health Plan Case Management Program at 855-833-8119.