Keep Indoor Allergies Under Control with These Cleaning Tips
Many people associate allergies with outdoor irritates like pollen, ragweed, and grass. But there are just as many possible allergy triggers to be found in enclosed indoor spaces. The situation can get even worse for people who are sensitive to dust, mold spores, cat or dog dander, or certain fabrics when fall and winter arrives, because there is less time spent outdoors and windows usually aren’t open. This is why it’s important to pay particular attention to your housecleaning routine during this time. Here are some tips to help you out.
Declutter Your Home
Clutter can be a hidden source of dust mites and other irritants that may not be on your radar. So, before you hunker down for some more time indoors during the fall and winter months, put aside one weekend to declutter your home. Pay particular attention to piled up newspapers, dusty boxes, and items stuffed in dusty attics or damp basements where mold spores may develop. If you’re going to be decluttering, wear a mask to reduce your exposure to allergens as you move things around or toss things out.
Clean Common Mold Locations
Speaking of mold, be especially mindful of bathrooms and kitchens since mold can also become an issue in these areas. Don’t forget about your shower curtain. If you spot signs of mold on it, either toss it out and replace it or wash it. A ventilation fan in your bathroom can minimize mold problems. A dehumidifier can help in other rooms where you are concerned about mold spore exposure. Also, avoid shampooing your carpets in the fall and winter when you can’t sufficiently air out your home, since lingering moisture can lead to mold growth and attract dust mites.
Wash Sheets and Stuffed Animals In Hot Water
You may be surprised how easy it is to get allergens on sheets. Minimize your risk of being woken up by allergy attacks by washing your sheets weekly in hot water that’s at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a child who suffers from allergies, do the same thing with their stuffed animals, favorite blankets, or other washable fabric-covered items they may be around on a regular basis.
Use Fragrance-Free Cleaning Products
While there may be nothing like the smell of a clean home, some scents used in household cleaners can aggravate allergy symptoms. Err on the side of caution and look for household cleaning products that are fragrance-free. If you know you are sensitive to certain scents, be just as cautious with laundry detergents, dish cleaning liquids, and the soap you use for baths and showers.
If you have serious issues with indoor allergies, consider investing in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner. It can be used continuously in living rooms, bedrooms, and other commonly used places within your home. You can also get HEPA filters to use in your vacuum cleaner and your furnace or HVAC system to further reduce your exposure to indoor allergens.