Cleaning Tips to Remove Allergens at Home
Allergens such as pet dander, pollen, mould, and dust can make you sick and make your house an unhealthy and miserable place. Here are some tips and tricks to allergy-proof your home and make it a hygienic and safe place.
Common Allergens in Homes
The most common indoor allergens are pollen, mould spores, house dust, and plants. Other allergens that are often found in homes include:
- Pet rodents
- Dog dander
- Cat dander
- Dust mites
Where Allergens Hide
Household dust is a mix of allergy-causing substances, including insect particles, animal dander, fabric fibers, mould spores, dust mites, and dried food.
Dust mites are usually found in homes in humid, warm climates. They thrive in areas with humidity levels above 55 percent. The symptoms of dust mite allergy include blue-colored or swollen skin under the eyes, postnasal drip, itchy throat, and facial pain and pressure. People with asthma also experience symptoms such as bouts of wheezing or coughing, audible wheezing or whistling, and difficulty breathing.
Dog and cat allergies are also a serious problem even if you don’t have pets. In fact, studies show that dog and cat allergens are even found in homes without pets. The symptoms of pet allergy include hives or skin rashes, red or watery eyes, chest tightness and coughing, facial pain, and sneezing. Some people are sensitive to rabbit hair, and allergens are also found in saliva and dander. Rabbit fur can be found on quilts, pillows, foot muffs, slippers, glove linings, and fur coats. Household rabbits cause rhinitis and allergic asthma, and sufferers experience symptoms such as chest tightening, fast breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
Cockroaches and Other Allergens
Cockroaches are very adaptable and live in places where food and water are ample. You often see them in the kitchen and near dripping faucets. Fungi or mould proliferate in humid places and on wet surfaces. Mould tends to grow in wet premises and spaces such as bathrooms, sealed-off rooms, crawl spaces, and home foundations. Other places where mould thrives include attics and closets, potted plants, drains, damp cellars, and shower stalls. With so many places where allergens lurk and thrive, some areas are easy to overlook. Some people are more susceptible, however, and experience symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and throat clearing. If you don’t have enough time for a thorough clean or your family members have known allergies, professional cleaning can be a good choice to allergy-proof your home.
How to Eliminate Allergens at Home
The first thing to do is give your home a thorough, proper clean, especially if you are more susceptible. If you have young children with allergies, it might be best to use professional cleaning services. We all know that small kids crawl, sit and play on the floor, and put everything in their mouth. Regular cleaning is a must. Once your home has been thoroughly cleaned, you must tidy, mop, and dust on a regular basis to keep allergies under control.
Vacuuming and Damp Mopping
Regular vacuuming is a must, especially if you have carpets or rugs. It is best to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and vacuum at least once a week. Use a damp mop or cloth when cleaning the floors. Allergens will get trapped in the mop instead of shooting them into the air.
You can use air filters if your home has a central air conditioning or heating system. There is a wide variety of disposable and permanent air filters. Obviously, it is important to keep your house well ventilated and control humidity levels to reduce mould and dust mite growth. Aid conditioners prevent mould, pollen, dirt, and dust from entering in by filtering air. However, you should change the filters on a regular basis because they capture dust mites and dust while filtering air. If you forget to change the air filters, dust mites trapped in them will have a comeback.
Drapes and Carpets
To control and eliminate dust mites, you may want to get rid of overstuffed furniture and heavy drapes. Allergens and dust get trapped in horizontal blinds and drapes. Instead of drapes, use washable curtains or blinds with roll-down shades. Dust mites also tend to proliferate in homes with wall-to-wall carpets. Hardwood, tile, and vinyl floors help reduce exposure to allergens. If you love carpets, however, then it is best to choose low-pile carpets that are easier to maintain. Never shampoo carpets or rugs because moisture can trigger mould growth. If you live in a house, you should also vacuum or sweep the entryways to prevent pollen and dust from entering into your house.
If you have allergies, you must wear long clothing, gloves, and a mask while cleaning. If you are allergic to cleaning detergents, then you should avoid using them. Call local cleaners for help and have a coffee or lunch with friends. It is best to leave the house for a few hours.
To keep allergens under control, you may want to use laundry detergents that eliminate mould, pollen, and pet dander from fabrics and kill dust mites and bacteria. Some products do not require high temperatures and are suitable for rugs, stuffed animals, delicates, clothing, and bedding. Choose laundry detergents that don’t have a strong scent or you risk making allergies worse.
Different allergens circulate in homes and can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. People with allergies are also at a greater risk of asthma complications and frequent infections. Regular cleaning helps keep allergens at bay to relieve symptoms. If you have plenty of time, housekeeping is hardly an issue. But if you are like most of us, juggling between work and home responsibilities, you hardly have time for a thorough clean. Using a professional residential cleaning service is one option to look into to ensure that your home is safe and free of triggers that cause allergy problems.