Spring cleaning is a tradition, but it can be more than just that to allergy sufferers. Spring is typically a season full of allergy triggers, and home cleaning during spring is necessary to reduce the amount of allergens present in your home. Here some of the best ways to reduce your allergens in your home and find allergy relief this spring:
1. Know Your Triggers:
Before you can effectively clean for your allergies, you need to know what you are actually allergic too. This is because indoor and outdoor allergens require different responses. For indoor allergens such as pet hair, dust, and mold, open your windows to air out the house and disperse those allergens. For outdoor allergens like grass or tree pollen, close your windows to keep them out and keep your house clean.
Many people do already know what is causing their allergies, but if you don’t, here are some of the most common triggers to investigate:
- Cat and dog dander
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
2. Get Rid of Standing Water Sources
This might sound non-related, but standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mold. If you have mold allergies, it’s a good idea to check and make sure that nothing in your house is leaking or has standing water sitting around to help alleviate the problem. Be sure to check your water-using appliances, such as your washer, for leaks.
3. Wash or Replace Moldy Shower Curtains
Another place mold collects is on shower curtains. Not only can this mold trigger allergies but it can also spread to other parts of the home, especially in warmer months. Wash your shower curtains in order to prevent this. You can often just throw it in the wash and hang it back up to dry, but check your care tag to make sure. Also try to reduce the moisture and humidity in your bathroom to prevent future mold growth, by running a fan or a dehumidifier.
4. Clear Dust from All Surfaces
Dust is a common allergen and also a common allergy source. Dust builds up in places you don’t always think about. Some of the most common offenders include windowsills, window frames, door frames, and ceiling fans. Take a minute to wipe these all down.
5. Eliminate Dust the Right Way
While you’re cleaning your dust, make sure you do it right! Feather dusters can just push dust into the air, making you more likely to breathe it in. Instead, you should use a damp cloth or paper towel traps because they will trap the dust better. Dispose of the paper towels or clean the rag immediately and dust often to stay on top of the problem.
6. Keep the House Cool and Dry
Another way to prevent dust from building up in your home at all is to keep the house at 50% relative humidity or lower. This will make your home less of a haven for dust mites and mold spores.
7. Avoid Strong or Scented Chemicals
Strong chemicals and scented cleaning supplies can actually make your allergies worse, believe it or not. Consider trading them out for more natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
8. Remove Trapped Allergens
Carpet, rugs, and upholstered furniture act as air filters for your home that catch dust and other allergens. Thus, your furniture and carpets should be vacuumed weekly and ideally need to be professionally cleaned every 3-4 months. If it’s been a little while since you’ve had your carpets and furniture cleaned, call in the experts at Old Dominion Chem-Dry to deep clean them for you.
9. Wash and Air out Bed Linens Regularly
Just like your carpet and furniture, your bed linens will collect allergens. You should wash your bedding every 1-2 weeks. If you find that you have worse allergies at night, clean your mattress and pillows too to see if it helps, and wash your pillowcases more often.
10. Change HVAC Filters Regularly
Change your filter every 6-12 months, or closer to every 90 days if your allergies are severe. Also be sure to set your MERV rating correctly. Most homes use filters rated between 7-12. A higher MERV rating is not always better. A rating that’s too high reduces airflow, which can actually make things worse. Do some research on your system to find the highest rating that still allows maximum airflow.
There you go. There are the best ways to clean your home this spring to reduce your allergy symptoms.