Top tips for controlling allergens at home
Your home should be your safe haven! Indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander and mould can trigger reactions in millions of people and while day to day cleaning can help to alleviate symptoms, it doesn’t remove as much as you might think.
Daphne Nolan has shared some quick and easy steps to ensure you have an allergen-free abode and can breathe easier in your home.
Whilst most of us vacuum the floors, dust the shelves and keep on track with the daily cleaning duties, when was the last time you deep cleaned your cushions, pillows, mattresses, and upholstery? If you find yourself unable to recall the answer to this, while also being overwhelmed with sneezes and coughs, as well as itchy eyes and complaints of runny noses in the home, the problem might be dust mites.
Dust mites are the most common trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms inside the home – and thrive in bedding, pillows and throw rugs. The thought of having dust mites living in furnishings that you use regularly is rather disconcerting, so in order to remove these, make sure you vacuum these once a week or wash them on a high temperature. A post on how to tackle allergies in the home by HomeServe also mentions you should think about investing in breathable cotton covers for better results and maximum comfort – and for those looking to go the extra mile, consider stripping your carpets and opting for vinyl or wood flooring to eliminate all possibilities.
Mould spores can grow practically everywhere and thrive in moist environments such as the bathroom. You might have grown accustomed to the musty smells that these emit, but the effects of these fungi could be extremely detrimental to your respiratory system. To prevent this, make sure your room is well ventilated and open the window or run an exhaust fan after taking a shower or bath.
For those looking to tackling any mould growing in your home, you must be well-protected as some of these can be very toxic. The Spruce suggests diluting standard household bleach or even hydrogen peroxide, which is less harsh, to rid surfaces of discolouration and kill the mould. Alternative home remedies include distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and borax, which may need to be accompanied by other household cleaners. For fabrics with mould in its early stages, it’s best to brush these away as much as you can outside to prevent further growth. However, it’s worth pointing out that if you’re dealing with mould that covers over 10 square feet, you may need professional servicing.
Air it Out
Open up your windows and allow in some cross-ventilation and use this time to clean and replace filters in your cooling or heating systems. It’s recommended to change these filters every three months and opt for HEPA filters which remove up to 99.9% of air particles.
Mechanical purifiers are effective in capturing air pollutants and particles circulating the room, especially if these air cleaners also have HEPA filters that are replaceable, and station these in the areas where you and your family spend the most time in. Keep in mind that this is not a cure-all as further cleaning measures will be needed (especially vacuuming to ensure any dust, pet dander or pollen that settles on your surfaces are circulated back into the air so they can be filtered), but it could be helpful for those with asthma and chronic allergies.
Deep cleaning your home has many benefits and aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it could also do wonders in improving your family’s health and safety – so do yourselves a favour and start today!