One in five Americans suffers from allergies making it the 5th leading chronic disease in the country. The most common allergy irritants include pet dander and dust mite droppings, two things found commonly inside American homes. Eight out of ten homes have dust mite infestations and six out of ten Americans are exposed to pet dander on some level. It is no wonder why there is a whole month dedicated to learning more about allergies and how they affect us.
One way to reduce exposure to allergens and suffering from unpleasant symptoms is to start at home.
This may come as a surprise, the bedroom is the most allergen prone room in the whole house. You can reduce allergens in your bedroom by:
- Purchasing hypoallergenic cases for your mattress, box spring and pillows. They can be found at any store that sales bedding.
- Use only washable bedding including decorative pillows and duvet covers. Wash these items as often as you wash the rest of your bedding.
- Limit the number of plush toys stacked on the bed in your child’s room if they suffer from allergies.
- Clean floors regularly and have carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year, but twice is optimal in homes with severe allergy sufferers.
Living Room/Family Room
- Purchase smooth surface furniture such as leather or vinyl over upholstered pieces.
- Limit the number of throw pillows, blankets, and plush items and make sure to clean them regularly.
- Vacuum 2 to 3 times per week, using slow methodical strokes.
- Have the carpets and any upholstered furniture cleaned annually or more.
Kitchen and Bathroom
- Make use of vents and fans to keep moisture at a minimum. Fans should be run for at least thirty minutes after the shower has been turned off.
- Check surfaces prone to moisture and drains weekly for mold and wipe down moisture prone areas with a five percent bleach solution.
- Clean refrigerator drip pans on a regular basis.
- Have tile and grout professionally cleaned and sealed annually.
Other Cleaning Tasks to Reduce Allergens
- Repair any leaks in roofing and pipes as soon as they are noticed to avoid mold.
- Keep papers and clothing out of damp areas to prevent them from absorbing extra moisture.
- If needed, use a dehumidifier in moisture prone areas. Make sure to empty the machine on a regular basis to prevent problems of sitting moisture.
- Use tracking mats at doorways to ensure most outdoor irritants stay outside and don’t come in on the soles of shoes.
Bonus Tip on carpet cleaning: here is 3 healthy benefits for carpet cleaning.