Indoor allergies caused by dust mites, pet dander and mold trigger allergy and even asthma symptoms in millions of indoor allergy sufferers each year. Spring cleaning is on the horizon!
While it is impossible to make your home completely allergen-free, below are a few tips to clear most of the bothersome allergens from your apartment.
Dust is the most common cause of indoor allergies, but be careful how you dust, because you can actually make your allergies worse by kicking up dirt and debris while you’re cleaning.
Use a wet or treated cloth that attracts dust, minimize dust-catching clutter and clean dusty surfaces, such as ceiling fan blades, regularly so that dust doesn't have a chance to accumulate.
To really ensure your space stays allergen-free, any carpet or rugs should be replaced with hard flooring, but that might not be an option in your apartment. Instead, use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter that traps dust mites, pet dander and other allergens, and try to vacuum at least once or twice a week.
Dust mites thrive in bedding, so wash your sheets, blankets and pillowcases once a week in hot water, then dry them in a hot dryer, to kill all the dust mites. Also, encase mattresses, comforters, pillows and other non-washable items in allergen-proof covers.
Many cleaning products have harsh chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions in people. Opt for environmentally-friendly cleaning products instead. These contain plant-based, natural ingredients. You can also make many common household cleaners using things like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice.
A protein found in the saliva and dead skin of dogs and cats is a common indoor allergen. If you have pets, vacuum frequently and wash your pet once a week. You can also keep them off your bed and furniture and even designate certain areas of your apartment as pet-free areas. And if know there's a certain pet that you know sets off your allergies, don't get that type of animal. Unfortunately, a short-haired dog or cat will still cause an allergic reaction.
Spores from mold and mildew can get into the air and cause allergies and even sickness. Run an exhaust fan after you take a shower, and replace any bathroom wallpaper with tile or mold-resistant paint. Replace moldy or mildewed curtains and moldy carpeting.
Following these guidelines should keep your apartment relatively allergen-free, and you'll be much more happy and healthy.