Spring is upon us, and with the much anticipated change of weather comes another element of the season: allergies. You may feel like allergies are an inevitable fact of life for you, but you can take preventative steps around your household to mitigate allergic reactions to pollen and other allergens. Remember that allergens can impact not only those with allergies, but allergens can also cause allergic symptoms in people with no history of allergies. Also remember that dust mites are only part of the problem, where many harmful toxins and bacteria are absorbed and housed by the dust that most easily collects on your floor, carpet, upholstery and bedding. Dust mite excretion, pollen, and pet dander are three common forms of allergens also found within dust. See these five active measures you can take to reduce and rid yourself and your family of allergens in your household.
1) Start Cleaning Your Pet’s Paws
If you do not already do so, it is very important to wipe your pet’s paws every time they enter your house from outside, especially from the backyard. Allergens like pollen are notorious for sticking to fur and paws. Consider paw wipes to keep handy next to your back door and front door. It is also suggested that you keep pets out of the bedroom. This can be really tough if you and your dog have a special bond, where part of it is that they sleep on your bed with you, but keeping them off the bed protects you from dander and other allergens, particularly if you are already allergy prone.
2) Flip and Air Out Your Mattress
Flipping and airing out your mattress is often forgotten about but is so important to expand the life of your mattress in terms of how many dust mites it collects. Since dust mites thrive in warm, damp places, flipping and airing out your mattress helps lengthen the use of your mattress before it is covered in dust mites and associated allergens. It’s hard to comprehend, but no matter how much you clean your sheets and vacuum your mattress, your mattress after five or more years will accumulate millions of dust mites and other microbes that cause allergy problems. So what can you do? It might be best to get a new mattress altogether. Consider a mattress, like memory foam mattresses designed to be less conducive to dust mites.
3) Clean Your Blinds
Cleaning blinds can be tedious and time consuming but is an essential task for reducing allergens in your home. Without cleaning them, each blind gets layered with dust, pet fur, skin cells, and dander. Getting rid of drapes and blinds altogether has been recommended, as both are very conducive to collect dust and allergens. However, roll shades are much less likely to collect dust. If you do choose to have traditional blinds, clean them each month with a microfiber cloth or a microfiber blind cleaner. A vacuum cleaner with an attachment is an alternative. Remember to dust weekly and vacuum regularly. While you are at it, remember to change or wash your filters regularly as well.
4) Buy an Air Purifier
You should consider an air purifier to kick off the spring season. A High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air purifier is said to eliminate 99.97% of allergens in your home. Make sure you clean air purifiers every three to six months, and remember to clean the filter outside of your home rather than inside. For maximum impact, make sure and keep doors and windows closed tight during this pollen season.
5) Consider Special Bedding
Now is the time when reevaluating how you clean your household for allergens to consider your bedding as well. Special bedding should be a consideration, namely dust-proof covers on your mattress and pillows to protect from dust mites and drive them elsewhere. It is a worthy investment, not a splurge. Such bedding shields you from mattress covers and bed sheets that can be covered with human and pet hair, dander, pollen, and dust mites. Remember to wash all bedding weekly in hot water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to kill dust mites.
Use these five tasks to improve your daily household life and your wellbeing, especially in the spring. With some practice and discipline these spring cleaning techniques can be applied year round for a cleaner, safer household.
Bonus Tip: Have your carpets professionally cleaned by Brighter Image Carpet Care!