Are you tired of being a leaky-eyed, snot-snorting, wheezing mess? Do you spend so much on Kleenex that you should own shares in the company? There is good news. Your life does not have to revolve around popping anti-histamines and blowing your nose. By taking steps to rid your home of hidden and not so hidden allergens, you can give your itchy, red proboscis a much-needed rest.
Here are a few ways to minimize your exposure to pesky allergens in your home.
1. Boil the bedding. Okay, “boiling” the bedding isn’t necessary, but it is recommended that you wash it at a temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit on a weekly basis. If you prefer a cold water wash, choose a detergent that is designed to kill dust mites in cold temperatures. Dust mites can also be eliminated by drying your sheets on the hot setting for a minimum of ten minutes.
2. Freeze the stuffies. If you are leery of putting “surface wash only” stuffed toys in hot water, you can put them in the freezer overnight to kill the dust mites. Freezing, however, does not remove the allergen, so you will need to follow with a thorough surface cleaning. Fully washable plush can be washed and dried in the same way as your sheets.
3. Shed the shag. Carpeting makes a splendid home for dust mites and a perfect catch-all for pollen and pet dander. Wherever possible, it is important to replace carpeting with hardwood or linoleum. If you can’t do that, opt for a low-pile carpeting and use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
4. Ditch the drapes. While the days of dense Draconian drapes are gone, modern curtains of heavy fabric can also be problematic for allergy-sufferers. It is best to kiss them goodbye and opt, instead, for window dressings made of light and washable fabric or blinds that can be easily wiped clean.
5. Farewell Philodendron. Houseplants are harbingers of mold, an allergy sufferer’s nightmare. In order to keep your sniffles to a minimum, you should find a new home for your green friends. If you can’t part with your ferny friends, make sure that you don’t overwater them. Also, spreading some aquarium gravel-you pick the color-on top of the dirt helps keep mold contained.
6. Embrace A/C. Yes, it is nice to open the windows wide to a gentle breeze and the sound of birds chirping–but this also welcome allergens galore into your home and straight up your nostrils. It is best to keep your windows closed, particularly when pollen counts are high, molds are multiplying, or when the winds are blowing. If you have air conditioning or a furnace, make sure that you clean and/or replace your filters often.
7. Destroy damp. Mites and mold love moist environments, so it is important to fight vigilantly against humidity and dampness. Ensure that you keep your home’s humidity level lower than 50%. A hygrometer–the device that measures moisture levels–can be purchased at most hardware stores and will prove a valuable tool in your battle against humidity. If levels reach an unacceptable level, you may wish to run a dehumidifier. You can also ensure that your bathroom is equipped with an efficient exhaust fan and that your stove has a hood vent that vents to the outdoors.
Your home should be a haven from histamine-causing allergens–a safe place to go after a long day of itching and sneezing. By embarking on an allergen-alienating campaign, you can reclaim every nook and cranny of your humble abode and enjoy clear sinuses and wheeze-free lungs. So take a long, deep breath and enjoy.
What are you allergic to? How have you tried to remove this allergen from your home?
Kimberley Lawsis a freelance writer and avid blogger. She has written a plethora of stories on health and fitness issues and small business. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.
Image courtesy of photos.com.