Spring is almost here and that means that it's allergy season for a lot of people. If you feel like allergy season is getting worse every year, you are not wrong. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, allergy season is longer now because of rising temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide.
Anyone who suffers from allergies will know that it can be tough to even open a window for fear of letting in any unnecessary allergens and triggering their allergic reaction. Unfortunately, many allergens - like molds, house dust, dust mites, and pet dander - live inside the house too. And if you don’t give your living space a good cleaning job consistently, then these allergens will pile up in no time. Cleaning your house correctly can remove allergens and make life a little easier for allergy sufferers. However, knowing how to do the job correctly is essential. Otherwise, your allergies may get even worse.
Here are some household cleaning tips that will be quite beneficial for people with allergies. If you want to keep those itchy eyes and sneezing fits at bay, follow these tips the next time you are cleaning your house.
See Also: 8 Surprising Things You Can Be Allergic To
1. Vacuum regularly
Regular vacuuming of your home should be the first step in managing your allergies. Brooms tend to kick up more dust than they remove and are hence not ideal for people with allergies. Vacuuming once or twice a week should reduce the dust in your home to a minimum. Start with the bedroom and then move to the living areas. Remember to remove the dust from ceiling fans and light fixtures first and then focus on window sills, mantles, horizontal surfaces, wooden furniture, and upholstery.
2. Clean your bedroom thoroughly every week
We spend most of our time in the bedroom and hence it is essential to clean it thoroughly every week. Always start at the top and make sure that there are no little cobwebs left in the corners. Then, work your way down by dusting ceiling fans and light fixtures. Blinds and curtains should be dusted too, although the curtains should also be washed weekly. Lastly, vacuum the floor and your upholstered furniture. Make sure to clean the areas beneath the furniture and bed, including the corners.
Other tips to keep your bedroom allergen-free:
* Use washable area rugs in the bedroom and clean them regularly.
* Keep pets out of the bedroom, particularly the bed, as they can carry many allergens with them.
* To reduce the transfer of allergens from clothing, keep the closet doors closed.
* To store unused items, use covered plastic bins as they can be cleaned easily.
See Also: Home Hacks: 8 Smart Tips to Declutter Your Bedroom
3. Wash sheets weekly in hot water
Make it a habit to wash your bedsheets, pillowcases, and blankets weekly in hot water. Experts say that the ideal temperature for washing your sheets should be at least 130 F (54.4 C) as that will be hot enough to kill all the dust mites in them. If there are any children in the house with allergies, wash all their stuffed toys at the same temperature.
Also, if you have allergies then never hang your bedding (or clothes) outside to dry. Outdoor pollens can easily latch onto your sheets and then enter your body when you use them. Another handy tip is to cover your pillows, mattresses, and box springs in dust mite-proof cases.
4. Remove mold and mildew growth from the bathroom
If you have a mold allergy, then your immune system might get affected after you breathe in mold spores. It can cause symptoms like itchy eyes and cough. Unfortunately, bathrooms are prone to mold and mildew, because the moisture and heat provide the perfect habitat for mold spores. Solutions like chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or any good mildew cleaner, can be really handy in stopping and removing mildew growth. Read our previous article on Ways to Banish Mold and Mildew from Your Home for more help.
Another way to prevent additional mildew growth in the bathroom is to install an exhaust fan and use it every time you take a shower. Washing the bathroom rugs, bathmats, and shower curtains from time to time would also be a good idea as that can help prevent mildew growth.
To reduce the moisture in your bathroom, wipe down the walls and floors with a microfiber cloth after every shower. Allow the room to properly air out by leaving the doors open after you leave.
5. The right laundry products can make a difference
Choosing the right laundry products can be vital for those with sensitive skin. Avoid products that contain chemicals like ammonia, D-limonene, formaldehyde, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium lauryl sulfate - these have been identified as potentially irritating to the skin.
Look for detergents and stain removal products that are unscented and free of dyes. There are many good detergents and cleaners that don’t contain dyes or synthetic fragrances and are hypoallergenic. They should be perfect for allergy-sufferers. You can also search for laundry products that contain plant-based ingredients as they will be gentle on the skin.
6. Tackle the moisture in the kitchen
To prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the kitchen, use a vented exhaust fan which should reduce moisture. You should also keep a regular eye on the sink, refrigerator, and freezer for any leaks. Don't forget to clean the refrigerator once a week and get rid of all the moldy or stale food from it.
Other tips to keep your kitchen allergen-free:
* Wipe the floors of the kitchen and clean the countertops daily.
* Wash the dishes between each meal and leave them for air-drying so that no moisture is collected in them.
* Store all the food in covered containers.
* Clean all the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen each season so that any crumbs and dust are removed.
* Empty the trash can every alternate day.
7. Declutter the house
A surefire way to reduce household allergens is by minimizing the clutter. Look around and check if you have piles of boxes or clothing lying around in different corners of the house. They can easily trap dust and hide allergens like dust mites and little insects. So without wasting any time, try and remove the clutter and reduce the dust catchers from the living spaces in your house. Get rid of the things you don’t need and keep the rest in specific places.
8. Clean outside entryways
Keeping the front entryways of your house clean doesn’t just make the area look nice, it also ensures that dust, dirt, and pollen are prevented from entering your home. So, clean your outside entryways once a week by sweeping or by using a hosepipe.
Another helpful habit is to have everyone in the house keep their shoes outside before entering. Don’t forget that the bottoms of your shoes hold stuff like dust, bird droppings, animal excrement, and other little debris that can be really harmful to people with allergies. If you can’t keep your footwear outside the house, then pile them on a shoe rack in an entry area so that pollens are kept at bay.
9. Clean the air filters of your central heating and cooling systems
The modern HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems are designed to filter allergens like dust mites and pollen when they become airborne. However, if you don’t clean or replace the air filters of your central heating and cooling systems, they could become overloaded with allergens and start blowing them back out throughout the home.
Clean or replace your HVAC filters every two to three months if you have allergies. It would also be a good idea to have your heating and air conditioning units inspected and serviced every six months as they can hold mildew and mold which can end up in your indoor air through the air conditioning cycles.
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