Your home should be the place where you feel safe and comfortable, but if you have allergies, your home can just be one more place that you face extensive nasal irritation, itchy eyes, and shortness of breath. A nationwide survey discovered more than half of all Americans test positive for allergens, many of which are indoor ones, like mold, dust, and pet dander.
The most common allergen is dust mites, which makes your bedroom allergy central. To get a jump on an allergy-free home, start in your bedroom. It’s best to get the largest job out of the way first.
Mattress and Bedding
Because your bed is home to tons of dust mites, you should encase your box spring, mattress, and pillows in dust-mite-proof covers. This is a great start on limiting your contact with dust mites as you sleep because they are right in your face when they are on your bed.
Next, make sure to wash blankets, pillowcases, and sheets at least once per week. When you wash them, make sure that the water is hot, at least 130 F (54 C).
If you have wool or feathered bedding, they could be triggering allergies as well. Get rid of them. You should also cover, remove, or wash your comforter. Only use washable bedding. Remove throw pillows and fancy quilts. If you move them around at night to take them off the bed, you stir up all those dust mites.
Carpet is dust mite heaven. But, it isn’t just dust mites that rest in carpeting, it’s also pollen and pet dander. Every time you walk across your carpet, these particles are released into the air. You need to rip it up and stick with wood, laminate, linoleum, or tile flooring. If these are too stark for you, but some washable rugs.
If you cannot stand the idea of living without carpet in your bedroom, switch to a low pile one instead of a high pile. Caret for your carpet by vacuuming it at least once per week using a vacuum cleaner with a small particle or HEPA filter. Be sure to frequently shampoo the carpets.
Blinds and Curtains
Essentially, you are trying to make sure everything in your bedroom can be easily cleaned for regular maintenance. Therefore, you need washable curtains that are synthetic or cotton. Look for fabrics that are not known to be allergens. Horizontal blinds are often a place that dust accumulates, so replace them with washable roller shades.
A lot of the allergens in the bedroom are going to get in through the window, so keep them closed when you know the air is full of pollen. If your windows collect condensation and develop mold, be sure to wipe down windows and sills. If you live somewhere that it gets chilly, consider double pane windows.
You also want these to be easy to clean. That means using leather, metal, wood, or plastic chairs, dressers, and nightstands. If you use any upholstered furnishings, you won’t be able to clean them regularly and dust mites and other allergens will accumulate.
Bio: Veronica Garza is a writer and health expert who has worked with numerous societies in building better lives. Her current project is helping people in treating meth addiction and helping them overcome their problems.