During allergy season, doctors recommend limiting time outdoors to prevent allergic reactions.
This advice, unfortunately, does not help much if your indoors environment is full of allergens!
Common allergens like pollen and dust mites can build up in your home, turning your safe haven into a danger zone. Here are some tips to help you fight back:
- Identify the Problems
- Wear a Mask
- Separate Outside Clothing from the Rest of the House
- Deal with Dust Mites
- Fight Back Against Mould
It’s never a bad idea to clean allergens out of your house, but it’s more effective if you know exactly which ones to focus on. An allergist can test your reactions to find out if the problem is pollen, ragweed, mould spores, dust mites, etc. This will help you focus your cleaning efforts.
No matter how careful you are, when you clean you will likely stir allergens back into the air. If you wear a surgical mask while cleaning, you will avoid making your allergies worse.
Some allergens, especially pollen, stick to clothing. Change as soon as you get home and place outdoor clothing in a closed hamper far from your bedroom. Wash these clothes regularly to prevent the pollen from spreading through your house.
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dead skin. Since dead skin is the majority of household dust, billions of mites can live in a single home. The fewer, the better! Deal with dust mites by regularly washing pillow cases, sheets, duvet covers, and mattress covers. Change all the linens in your home and often.
Dust accumulates in other places as well. Even worse, traditional dusting is terrible for allergies. Most cloths just stir the dust back into the air, making you inhale more mites. Instead, use a statically charged microfiber cloth that traps dust. If you can’t find a cloth, try spraying dusty areas with water before wiping them in order to keep dust down.
Dust likes to hide in vents, fans, and furnace filters. With a mask in place, clean out or replace all filters and vent covers.
Finally, use a high-quality vacuum on all rugs. Do not shampoo them, as this moisture will help dust mite colonies grow back.
Mould loves books, cardboard, and old papers, especially if they have recently had some water damage. If mould spores bother you, throw out anything as soon as it gets musty.
Mould also thrives on bathroom tiles and grout. Use borax or a strong vinegar solution to disinfect the area.
Finally, consider changing the pots used by potted plants as excess watering can lead to mould over time.
If cleaning starts irritating your allergies in an uncomfortable way, call in a cleaning crew who aren’t afraid of allergens to just clean your house from top to bottom in a just few hours!