Allergies may be most prevalent in the spring and summer months, when flowers, grasses, and trees are in bloom and pollen descends upon Doylestown en masse, but they certainly aren’t confined to the warmer months. They can affect people year-round thanks to other sources, which include molds, environmental pollutants, pet dander, and dust mites. One way to help reduce allergies is by keeping a clean house.
Allergy-Proofing Your Home
We are in no way insinuating you aren’t already maintaining a clean house, but if you or a family member suffers from allergies, it’s especially important to clean your house on a regular basis. Doing so helps reduce allergy triggers and lessen symptoms. As fond as we are of Alice on “The Brady Bunch,” few people have the budget to hire a full-time housekeeper. And there’s really no need; following a few simple steps and avoiding things that can worsen allergies – such as shampooing carpets and using scented cleaners – will help make your home allergy-proof. Try the following steps:
- Vacuum at least once a week. Busting out the Hoover regularly will help remove dust and other tiny particles that can trigger allergies. Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter in order to remove allergens that would otherwise pass through a regular vacuum filter.
- Reduce clutter. Don’t be a hoarder! Removing stacks of newspapers, piles of boxes, and clothing eliminates trapped dust and will deprive allergens such as dust mites and cockroaches of a place to hang out.
- Wear a mask when cleaning. Cleaning stirs up allergens, releasing them into the air and making symptoms worse. Wearing a mask while cleaning will prevent them from getting into your nose and mouth. Leave the house for a couple of hours after cleaning to further reduce your exposure.
- Eliminate mold from the bathroom. Mold thrives in moist environments such as bathrooms. To ensure it doesn’t establish a stronghold, clean your bathroom and other mold-prone areas, such as laundry rooms and basements, on a regular basis. Scrub the floors and counters, wipe down appliances, and don’t forget to wash the shower curtains.
- Wash bedsheets once a week. Strip the linens from your bed once a week and wash in hot water (130 F or warmer) in order to kill dust mites. Toss in your child’s washable stuffed animals, too.
- Don’t air-dry your laundry. We all want to be good stewards of the environment but hanging your laundry out to dry exposes it to pollen and mold. Use the clothes dryer instead.
- Avoid scented cleaners and detergents. Household products often contain fragrances that can trigger allergies. Buy fragrance-free cleaners and detergents instead.
- Use a damp cloth and mop. This will trap allergens instead of stirring them up into the air.
- Don’t shampoo carpets. Leftover moisture can promote mold growth or increase dust mites.
- Don’t neglect outside entryways. You can carry in a lot of potential allergens from the outdoors without even realizing it. Be sure to sweep sidewalks, patios, and decks on a regular basis.