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When you or a family member suffers from allergies, it can get tricky to maintain an allergen-free home.
Fortunately, you can reduce airborne allergens and relieve allergies by cleaning your home the right way. With the proper tools and cleaning products, you can trap allergens, preventing exposure to what would otherwise trigger allergic reactions. You can also download this cleaning checklist!
1. Use the Right Cleaning Tools and Products
The first step is to choose the correct cleaning tools and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Some of the best tools to help you clean every part of your home and get rid of allergens include:
- Vacuum cleaners. Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner. These filters are pleated, making them highly efficient at collecting contaminants, trapping dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other airborne particles. For tight areas, you may want to invest in a small vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool, or even a handheld model.
- Mops and cleaning cloths. Microfiber cloths and mops are better at attracting dust than paper or cotton. To help attract more dust, dampen the cleaning material lightly.
- Dust wipes. Disposable dust wipes attract dust and hold it until disposal, making them indispensable for people with allergies.
- Hand gloves and protective masks. These are also helpful. However, avoid latex gloves. Instead, go for rubber with cotton lining. You can also wear either washable or disposable face masks.
It’s also essential to choose cleaning products that best help you reduce allergens. Your laundry products should include unscented and dye-free detergents. Studies suggest that sometimes dye can cause skin irritation.
Take the natural products or unscented cleaner route whenever possible. Baking soda, lemon juice, and distilled white vinegar are some natural cleaning agents you can use to clean your home.
2. Clean Your Bedroom Regularly
To reduce airborne allergens and relieve allergies, wash your bedsheets, blankets, pillowcases, and duvet cover in hot water at least once a week (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit). It will keep your beddings and room clean, fresh, and allergen-free.
Don’t forget your pillows. A common misconception is that the pillowcase protects the pillow from dust and skin cells, but it doesn’t. These make their way to your pillow, so wash them every three months. The same case applies to your duvet and items like bed skirts, canopies, and curtains.
To add to allergy relief, consider using dust mite-proof covers on your mattresses and pillows. Also, opt for washable curtains made of synthetic fabric or plain cotton.
Remember to wash the bedroom weekly too, and all the tools and furniture in it. You can use hand tools to vacuum your upholstered furniture. Vacuum the floors and ensure you don’t leave even the tiniest of spaces untouched.
Finally, solid tile or hardwood flooring is better for allergen reduction than full-room carpet. Keep your four-legged friend away from your bedroom too.
3. Remove Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are allergens primarily found in bathrooms and other damp areas such as basements. These should be removed as soon as it develops.
With a commercial mildew cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, or chlorine bleach, stopping and removing mildew growth should be easy. You can expect good results as long as you follow the instructions given and don’t mix up the chemicals.
To scrub the affected areas, put on gloves and use a stiff brush.
For tight corners, using paper towels saturated with your cleaning solution will do the job. Just allow the towels to remain in position for about a quarter of an hour before scrubbing and rinsing.
Follow these tips to prevent mold and mildew from building up again:
- Towel-dry your shower enclosure or tub every time you use it.
- Repair your sink, tub, toilet fixtures, and showerhead immediately if you detect a leak.
- Use an extractor fan while showering or bathing
- Always dry your towel after use
- Wash bath mats, curtains, and wash rugs regularly.
4. Clean Your Living Areas Regularly
Prioritize keeping your living area free of common allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. To do so, clean regularly, starting at the top just like in your bedroom. Doing this will allow the vacuum or damp mop to capture the allergens and dust.
Dust your light fixtures, blinds, and ceiling fans. Using your hand tools, vacuum or wash the drapes. Also, clean the window sills and mantles among all other horizontal surfaces. Don’t forget to remove all residues in the fireplaces.
So how often should you clean your living room? At least once a week. For the carpet, it’s best if you vacuum daily to help reduce pet dander. Don’t forget to wipe down your furniture to clean off dust while at the same time vacuuming upholstery.
Try to keep your pet away from furniture, as this can provide allergy relief.
Do you have plants indoors? You need to dust your artificial plants weekly. For natural plants, cover the soil with marble or rocks to prevent the growth of molds.
Lastly, to freshen the air in the living room, use natural air fresheners, such as essential oil diffusers, fabric spray, and scented cleaning vinegar, instead of chemical ones.
5. Keep Allergens Out of Your Home
The best way to reduce allergen and relieve allergies is to block them from getting inside. Below are some tips to help keep away allergens:
- Leave your shoes and outerwear outside to prevent pollen from coming in.
- Don’t smoke or allow anyone to do so near or inside your home.
- To discourage mold spores and dust mites, maintain indoor temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit but not exceeding 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, check that the humidity doesn’t exceed 50%.
- Throw away expired or moldy food, and clean the refrigerator, sinks, and countertops regularly.
- Cover all the foods to prevent insect droppings.
Keeping your home clean, fresh, and allergen-free takes time and effort. Hopefully, these cleaning tips for allergies will help keep airborne allergens at bay and relieve allergies.
Whether it’s your living areas, kitchen, bedroom, basement, bathroom, or storage areas, leave nothing to chance in reducing pollen, pet dander, mold and mildew, and dust mites. It’s less just about cleaning, but more about cleaning the right way.