The number of people who have troubles with allergies is constantly increasing, and a lot of allergens are actually inhabiting our homes – where we believe we are the safest. Bugs, home dust, dust mites, mold etc. are literally everywhere, and getting rid of them is not as easy as it seems. They are lurking on and under your bed, in your sheets, on your curtains, on your child’s stuffed animals, on the floor – everywhere. You’ve probably heard about dust mites, right? Those nasty little creatures are invisible to the naked eye, they are feasting on our sloughed-off skin, and their waste is what triggers many, many allergies that have multiple unpleasant symptoms: from itching eyes over runny nose and sneezing all the way much more dangerous ones such as suffocating.
And since there is no cure for allergies, we all have to find a way to minimize allergens in our homes. Here’s how.
Clutter is our biggest enemy in general. Not only does it provide germs and allergens with more space to ‘hang out’, but it is also stressful and not Feng Shui approved. Not to mention it is a hundred times harder to clean your place when it is cluttered.
Get rid of all the magazines, rags, clothes and all other porous items in every single room. Limit all the dust catchers in general. And pay a special attention to bedrooms because both you and all those nasty allergens spend more time there than in other rooms.
Clear the air
The fact that it is you against millions and millions of dust mites, mold spores and pollen can be quite scary, but fortunately, you are a lot smarter (and bigger) than they are.
A house that is well-ventilated and has non-leaking ductwork should be your first line of defense against these devils.
Use HEPA filters in your air conditioning systems and maintain humidity levels at around 50%, since mold likes moisture, and pollen and dust are much more easily stirred when the air is dry.
Speaking of mold, if you have a problem with it, a high-quality mold air purifier is definitely an investment worth considering.
Also, make sure your windows are closed during times when pollen counts are the highest (between 10 am and 3 pm and during windy times).
P.S. since mold spores and pollen tend to settle on clothing, as soon as you come in from outdoors take your clothes off, throw them in a laundry basket and take a shower.
Clean your bathroom
Bathroom is for mold what bed is for dust mites – heaven. So make sure you turn yours into hell. Fix all the leaks on water pipes, regularly clean all the walls, make sure your ventilation fans are routed to the outside and turn them on for 30 minutes after every shower session. And whenever you notice mold on ceiling, pipes and fixtures, scrub it away.
Reducing the dust generators
Carpeting as well as fabrics are breaking down fibers and that way helping creating dust. I’m talking curtains, upholstered furniture and high-pile carpets. In order to save yourself from allergens, throw some simple, washable rugs over your wood, linoleum or tiled flooring, mop the floors regularly with a damp mop, and vacuum your carpeting weekly.
If you are into gardening and landscaping, make smart decisions while doing it. Avoid planting allergenic trees such as maple birch and ash, and focus on low-allergy plants like magnolia, dogwood and double-flowered cherry for example, as well as impatiens, astillbe, scabiosa, columbine and viola.
Green cleaning products
Have in mind that most of commercial household cleaners are filled with all kinds of harsh chemicals that can trigger symptoms of many allergies and asthma. If you are sensitive to allergens, go with green and environmentally friendly products with natural ingredients. You can also make your own cleaners super easy with everyday things you have in your fridge such as lemon, baking soda and vinegar.
So that would be it. This battle won’t be easy, but the victory will be sweet as honey. It is up to you to make your life easier for yourself. When there’s a will, there’s a way.