Your home should be a haven—a place to relax and unwind. However, when you suffer from allergies, allergens that occur indoors or get tracked in from the outside can trigger your symptoms. Fortunately, when you know what to look for in the most allergy-prone places and how to avoid them, there’s plenty you can do to reduce the sneeze and increase the peace within your abode.
You may keep your bedroom neat, but dust, dander, and mold can still make their way into your sleep zone. Here’s how to keep these irritants out:
- Dust frequently and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Regularly wash your bedding, including mattress pads, in hot water and dry it in a hot dryer.
- Replace carpeting, which harbors dust mites and mold, with hardwood, vinyl, or linoleum floors.
- Cover your mattress, box spring, and pillows with removable allergen-resistant covers.
- Avoid bedding made with feathers, down, or foam rubber.
- Replace heavy curtains with washable curtains or window shades.
- Minimize the use of humidifiers.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom.
Kick back and relax after making some of these allergy-proofing changes:
- Remove any indoor plants—mold grows in potting soil.
- Reduce the clutter—books, containers, and knickknacks are magnets for dust.
- Move furniture away from walls to prevent mold growth.
- Choose cleaning products that deactivate dust mites and pet dander in fabrics and use them on couches, cushions, and curtains.
- If you suspect you may have cockroaches, place cockroach traps throughout your living room, paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. Particles from these critters are a common allergen.
Keeping your kitchen spick and span reduces places where allergens can hide out. Here’s how to make a clean sweep:
- Store food in tightly sealed containers.
- Don’t leave any opened food out on your counters.
- Wash the dishes as soon as you’re done eating.
- Take out the trash and recycling frequently.
- Regularly clean and disinfect your kitchen and air it out.
- Fix leaks as soon as you notice them.
- Wipe up spills and other wet spots as soon as you can.
- Clean up crumbs.
- Wash the garbage pail frequently.
- Use the vent fan while cooking.
Moisture is a magnet for dust mites and mold. Here’s how to keep the wettest spot in your home dry:
- Remove carpeting from your bathroom.
- Turn on the exhaust fan or open a window when taking a bath or shower.
- Clean and disinfect your bathrooms regularly.
- Repair leaks as quickly as you can.
Keeping your basement clean and dry is essential. Here’s how to do so:
- Buy a dehumidifier to decrease moisture and humidity. Be sure to drain and clean it regularly.
- Take laundry out of the washing machine as soon as it’s done.
- Leave the door of your washing machine open when you’re not using it.
- Remove any carpeting and replace it with a surface that’s easier to keep clean and dry.
Reducing allergens in your home will take some time and work. But creating a sneeze-free environment where you can feel your best will be well worth your effort.