There are many indoor allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, eczema flair ups, and asthma attacks. Some of the more common ones are dust, pet dander, mold, food crumbs, and cockroaches. What can you do to limit your family’s exposure to indoor allergens? Taking the steps to reduce indoor allergy triggers will bring much relief to everyone in the household.
10 Tips to Reduce Indoor Allergy Triggers
While these allergy triggers may be found in almost every home, combating them isn’t an impossible task. With a thorough cleaning and by following the 10 tips below, you can reduce these indoor allergens in no time.
Clean the air by using air purifiers. You can improve the quality of air circulating in your home by having an air purifier. This device can reduce allergens in the air by capturing particles such as dust mite debris, plant spores, pet dander, smoke, and mold. Make sure to get one with High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) to effectively clean the air.
Wash your sheets and bedding. Dust mites thrive in mattresses and bed sheets simply because these items serve as a repository for their food source: your dead skin cells. Remove allergens and effectively kill dust mites by using hot water when washing your sheets, comforters, duvets, and duvet covers. If the bedding is hard to wash, you can freeze it overnight. Nowadays, dust-proof pillows and mattresses are available to minimize exposure to these allergy triggers. Make sure that your pets don’t sleep on your bed either.
Deeply clean curtains and blinds. Because we probably don’t use curtains and blinds as often as we do beddings and duvet covers, these items are often overlooked when doing the laundry. However, curtains and blinds are magnets for dust mites as well. Clean these window coverings regularly as they contribute to the quality of air in your home. Bacteria or food allergens are likely to be found on kitchen blinds or curtains. Just wipe your blinds regularly using a damp cloth. You can also opt to wash your curtains in hot water to kill the allergy triggers living in them.
Thoroughly clean carpets and rugs. Dust mites and dust thrive in carpets and rugs, and they especially like carpets that are deep or shaggy. You should vacuum these rugs at least once a week–more if pets are present inside your home. To completely eliminate dust and other allergens in your carpet, you would need to have the carpet annually steam cleaned by a professional. You can try your hand at steam cleaning, but be forewarned that it can be a challenge to dry the carpet. Worse, it can lead to another allergen: molds. For area rugs, take them outside, air them, and beat them with a broomstick. You should do this every six months.
Wipe fans and lampshades. Ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and lampshades also collect dust, hair, and other allergens. Take out these triggers by using a damp cloth to wipe these appliances clean. Wiping these items with a dry rag will only spread the dust mites to other places in the house.
Control humidity in your home. Humidity controllers regulate the level of humidity indoors. If there’s not enough moisture, allergen particles are more likely to fly around. When there’s too much moisture, then mold and mildew can get out of hand. A humidifier or dehumidifier can maintain the necessary humidity at about 40%. Should molds appear, immediately deal with them by dabbing the affected areas with diluted vinegar.
De-clutter and do away with stuff you don’t need. Cockroaches are included in the list of indoor allergens, and they love nothing more than the piles of paper, magazines, or laundry found in your house. These piles are a place for the cockroaches to lay eggs, shed body parts, and leave feces and saliva. These things, in turn, can trigger allergies and asthma.
Air out your linen closet. Although it may seem that unused linens do not get dirty, the contrary is true. Even when placed inside a closet, linens can attract dust mites. Take out your linens and wash them in hot water to kill allergens. Wipe the linen closet with a damp rag and let it dry before putting back the linens.
Keep kitchen appliances spotless and free of food when not in use. Cockroaches love leftover food. To prevent cockroach infestations in your home, clean your kitchen appliances immediately after use. Keep kitchen counters and surfaces free of food and do not leave food around. Also, always remember to check each appliance and the areas near and under it while cleaning.
Prevent outdoor allergens from invading your home. Some outdoor allergy triggers just can’t stay out of your home. Your clothes, shoes, or pets can bring pollen inside. Make sure your outdoor rugs and mats are clean, and if possible, remove your footwear before entering the house.
Ridding your home of indoor allergens isn’t a one-time task. You need to maintain the cleanliness of your space at all times in order to minimize these triggers. In due time, you’ll not only free your home of irritants and allergens, you’ll also make it a more welcoming place for your family, friends, and guests.