How to Purge the Allergen Hotspots in Your Home
By Sarah Parker Ward
Unlike seasonal allergy sufferers, those with perennial allergic rhinitis can find themselves battling allergy symptoms all year round. Often, this is because their triggers – like dust mites, animal dander, or mold spores – are found indoors. Here are five sneaky spots allergens may be hiding and what you can do to minimize their presence.
Given that we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping, it’s fair to say we spend a lot of time in bed. So naturally, it’s critical to keep this space extra tidy and trigger-free. Because dust mites are the most common source of allergy trouble in this area, you should opt for dust mite-proof pillowcases, and wash your bedding – including your comforter or duvet – in extra hot water at least once a week.
Carpets & Rugs
Dust and pet dander can easily become trapped in the fibers of these high-traffic areas. If removing carpeting altogether in favor of wood flooring, tile, or linoleum isn’t in your budget, reduce allergen levels by vacuuming regularly and using a HEPA air filter. Also, for rugs, opt for a low-pile that has less volume to trap and hold allergens.
Curtains & Blinds
Even if you can’t quite see it, dust build-up on curtains happens more quickly than you think. Choose fabrics that can be washed at home and commit to washing them regularly, at least every month. Instead of horizontal blinds that can gather more dust and be more of a hassle to clean, install washable roller blinds instead.
Don’t let mold and mildew in your bathroom keep you under the weather! Regularly clean your bathroom with bleach and water. When you shower, remember to turn on the fan, and when the bathroom is not in use, keep the door open to create airflow. This helps reduce the moisture and humidity that mold spores like to live in.
Keeping Spot off the couch isn’t just about good puppy manners; it will also help reduce pet dander build-up. To further reduce this allergen as well as dust, vacuum the furniture regularly. When possible, opt for furniture made out of less porous materials like wood, leather, or metal.
As you likely can tell, regular house-cleaning is one of the best routines to get into to reduce your indoor allergy risk. Feel like there’s just too much to constantly keep clean? Clutter often is a big culprit behind indoor allergens, so use this knowledge as a great excuse to purge and minimize!
©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016
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