There are many allergens within our homes which can affect asthma and allergy sufferers. For instance, pet dander, dust mites, and mold can all trigger allergic reactions. These allergens can be found all over our homes such as on our floors and furniture. Although it’s impossible to eradicate all allergens, they can be reduced with thorough cleaning. We will provide you with 8 top tips to help you have an allergy-free home.
Pillows and bedding are an area where dust mites flourish. For this reason, it is necessary to regularly wash these items in order to reduce allergens within the home. Wash bed sheets, pillowcases, and any other soft furnishings once a week, at a minimum. Wash them in hot water and use a tumble dryer where possible to dry these items as this can also help to kill dust mites. It is also worth using anti-allergy covers and protectors on pillows and mattresses.
Pet dander is another common cause of allergies. Protein which can be found in the urine, saliva and dead skin flakes (dander) of animals can end up in the air in our homes and cause allergic reactions in some people. Wash any pets that you may have once a week and vacuum your home as often as possible if you are allergic to pet dander. Additionally, try and keep any pets away from your bedroom where you sleep and perhaps keep them in a specific area within your home in order to control these allergens.
Pollen is a very common allergen and you need to prevent it from coming into your home. In the evening and at night time, keep all windows and doors closed. Pollen is released from plants in the early morning, so avoid going outside at this time. Additionally, avoid hanging laundry outside to dry as pollen will be attracted to it. If you go outside, then once you come back indoors take a shower and change the clothes that you have been wearing in order to remove any pollen which you may have attracted from being outside. It is also worth placing an air purifier near a window to help reduce pollen. For the best results use an air purifier that has a HEPA filter.
Dust is one of the biggest triggers of asthma and allergy and therefore getting rid of dust is a must. That said, it is important to be aware that you need to be careful when dusting as it can just cause allergens to circulate in the air. Our advice is to wear a dust mask and use a treated or damp cloth which will attract the dust rather than spread it around. It is also worth reducing any clutter that you have in your home and clutter also attracts dust.
It is important to regularly vacuum areas that attract dust i.e. carpets if you wish to reduce allergens within your home. Ideally, you need to vacuum your home at least once or twice a week. Once again, similar to dusting, vacuuming can also cause allergens to circulate in the air and this can be problematic for those who suffer from a dust mite allergy. According to James from Clean Home Guide, “It is best to use an upright vacuum which has a HEPA filter. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters capture small particles within the air and stop them from being able to circulate. Upright vacuum cleaners are ideal on carpets as they have brushes which can clean deep in the carpet fibers.” HEPA filters should be changed every three months in order for them to be effective.
You need to control and balance the levels of humidity within your home. If your home doesn’t have enough moisture, some allergen particles are able to move around in the air. On the other hand, if your home has too much moisture you can end up having issues related to mold and mildew. Ideally, you need to have your humidity level at forty percent and to achieve this you may need to use a dehumidifier or a humidifier.
Mold and Mildew
Damp areas can cause issues related to mold and mildew. Similar to pollen, mold spores can also circulate with the air and cause allergy symptoms. To reduce these allergens, you could:
- Use an extractor fan when bathing and showering.
- If any surfaces have mold on them, remove this mold.
- Paint the bathroom with mold resistant paint or tile your bathroom as it is best to avoid wallpaper.
- Replace any moldy carpet within your home.
- If an area in your home is damp then use a dehumidifier to reduce the levels of moisture.
The chemicals which can be found in everyday cleaning products can trigger allergic symptoms in sufferers. It is best to use green cleaning products which tend to be made of plant-based or natural ingredients. Alternatively, you could look to create your own homemade cleaners using ingredients like lemon, baking soda, and vinegar.