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BellaOnline's Allergies and Colds Editor


Cleaning tips for allergies

Cleaning strategies, as well as wise choices for furnishings and floor coverings, can help make your home a more allergy-friendly environment. Pollens, dust mites, mold, animal dander and formaldehyde are common indoor allergens that can be minimized with the following tips.

Tip No. 1: Clean up your home's air quality and remove airborne allergens, such as pollens.

-Your heating and AC system can filter out a lot of allergens if you change the filter monthly.
-A free-standing air purifier with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air filter) technology can be placed in rooms, such as your bedroom, where you spend a lot of time to remove additional airborne particles that contribute to your allergies. Before purchasing an air purifier, check out unbiased consumer report ratings and reviews of these products.

Tip No. 2: Minimize dust mites in the bedroom.

Dust mites are microscopic insects that keep us company in our homes and cause symptoms including persistent runny nose, sneezing (non-seasonal), stuffy nose or ears, and post-nasal drip.

-Keep flooring bare in your bedroom by removing carpeting. Clean bare flooring regularly with a damp cloth or mop.
-Wash your bedding every two weeks in hot water to kill dust mites.
-Allergenic coverings for pillows, mattresses and box springs may help keep dust mites from getting between you and good night's sleep.

Tip No. 3: Vacuum your home frequently.

-Invest in a high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter or double-layer bags that will prevent dust and other particles from being spewed back into your environment as you vacuum.

Tip No. 4: Keep your bathroom mold free.
Mold thrives in steamy, wet places like the bathroom. If you're allergic to mold, your symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, coughing or wheezing.

-Clean your shower or tub weekly with a cleaning solution that contains chlorine bleach. Make sure to scrub the grout in between tiles.
-Wash shower curtains regularly.
-Wash bath mats in hot water weekly and hang them to dry between uses.
-If you have a ventilation fan in the bathroom, use it when you take a shower or bathe.

Tip No. 5: Limit exposure to formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a chemical found in many building materials and household products. It can cause burning eyes, nose and throat, or skin rashes, tightness of the chest, wheezing, fatigue and headache.

-Products that contain formaldehyde include adhesives, air fresheners, cigarette smoke, drapes, floor polishes, glue, carpet backing, cosmetics, dyes, liquid cleaners, markers, pain, vinyl floors, wall covering and toilet cleaners.

Tip No. 6: Purchase furnishings, flooring and window coverings that easily can be cleaned.

-Light-weight curtains or window shades make good choices for window coverings.
-Keep floors bare if possible because carpeting or rugs are a haven for dust mites.

Tip No. 7: Limit exposure to animal dander.

-Keep pets out of the house, or, at least, out of the bedroom.
-Consider vinyl or leather furnishings in your home.
-Wash and groom your pet regularly.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Sheree Welshimer. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sheree Welshimer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sheree Welshimer for details.


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