Many allergens exist year-round in the home, though, causing sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throats and even severe asthma episodes. Learn how to keep your home allergy free with these five helpful tips:
Control dust mites in the bedroom by regularly washing your bedding — all of it. Wash sheets weekly in warm or hot water and dry on high heat; do not hang outside to dry, as wet sheets attract the allergens you just removed in the wash. Wash and dry blankets, comforters and mattress pads monthly on gentle cycles. Wash and dry pillows quarterly two at a time on gentle cycles, stopping the dryer cycle several times to fluff them. Also, the American Cleaning Institute recommends using allergen-impermeable pillow covers and wiping down your bed frame with a damp cloth weekly.
Once a month, throw your shower curtain in the washing machine and dryer. Also, fully close the curtain after every shower to allow it to dry more quickly. Other ways to eliminate this allergen in the bathroom include cleaning all surfaces and linens weekly and running the exhaust fan when you shower.
Cockroach droppings rank as one of the top allergens in the home. Clean food spills and crumbs from all surfaces immediately. Never let dirty dishes stack up. Empty trash daily and disinfect garbage can weekly. Clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator weekly, vacuuming underneath before you wash the kitchen floor. The American Cleaning Institute also recommends throwing away or recycling grocery bags; cockroaches love to live in them.
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter captures not only heavy allergens such as pet dander, but also lighter ones such as pollen and the previously mentioned dust mites and cockroach droppings. Vacuum at least weekly. You may want to more often if you have four-legged members of the family. Vacuum air vents weekly and use — and regularly change out — HEPA filters in your air conditioning system, as well.
If you do suffer from severe allergies or asthma, consider outsourcing your cleaning chores to a home cleaning service or family members without allergies. Cleaning kicks up allergens, and certain cleaning products even can cause a reaction all on their own; look for natural and plant-based cleaning products or make your own using items such as white vinegar, baking soda and lemon. If you must do your own cleaning, clean a little bit a few days a week as opposed to all in one day, and always wear a dust mask when dusting or vacuuming.
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