If you’ve recently been diagnosed with one or more allergies, you may feel overwhelmed by some of the lifestyle changes you’ll have to make in order to prevent future allergic reactions. Aside from avoiding certain foods, animals and chemicals, you’ll also have to rid your home of any allergens that could be lurking there, waiting to put your immune system on the attack.
Making your home allergy-proof may seem like a huge task, so if you don’t know where to start, follow these 10 tips that will help make your home allergy-proof.
1. Enclose Your Mattress In Plastic
Beds are the prime living space for dust mites, which are microscopic bugs that eat, breed and eliminate waste – all in the place that you sleep. Thousands and even millions of dust mites can live in the mattress, box spring, pillows and sheets, and you wouldn’t even know it. All of those tiny mites and their waste can aggravate anyone’s allergies, so to get a good night’s rest, enclose your mattress and box spring in a plastic cover to keep dust mites and other allergens out of your bed. Many covers can be purchased at mattress stores or department stores. For extra protection, wash the plastic cover at least once a month.
2. Keep Certain Knick-Knacks Out Of The Bedroom
Certain knick-knacks can collect or contain allergens that can set off a reaction. Books and stuffed animals, for example, can easily collect dust while candles contain fragrances and other chemicals that can be considered allergens.
3. Wash Everything In Hot Water
Bed sheets, towels, blankets are just a few examples of items that should be washed in hot water to prevent any germs, bacteria or mold from breeding in them. All bed linens should be washed at least once a week, and dish towels and bath towels should be washed immediately. If you have a hamper, make sure it’s well-ventilated so that mold spores don’t grow in any damp linens that are waiting to be washed.
4. Remove All Carpeting From Your Home
If it’s possible to remove the carpeting from your home, it is highly recommended that you do so. Carpets can trap all sorts of allergens and cleaning them can release those allergens into the air. If you can’t replace your carpeting with tile or hardwood floors, try replacing it with a low pile carpeting that won’t trap as many allergens and is easier to clean.
5. Keep Your Windows Closed
Pollen and other allergens can easily waft into your house from the wind outside, so keep your windows closed as much as possible. If you have an allergy to mold, you should definitely keep your windows closed during and after a rainstorm, or when it’s damp outside like at night and in the early morning. Those are the times when mold spores are especially active and become airborne.
6. Get A Dehumidifier
Dark, wet, dank places are what mold spores love best, so air out any rooms that tend to be dark and damp like bathrooms, the kitchen, the basement and the garage. Since it’s recommended that you keep your windows closed, use a dehumidifier to keep any moisture out of those rooms. When showering, turn the exhaust fan on and keep the bathroom door closed to properly ventilate the room.
7. Get Waterproof Wallpaper
In rooms that tend to collect moisture such as bathrooms and the kitchen, install waterproof wallpaper. Moisture can collect under regular wallpaper and that can lead to the development of mold. For an even better alternative, paint the walls instead to make your home more allergy-proof.
8. Clear Away Clutter
Remove boxes of clothes, shoes, etc. from under the bed, in corners, in the closet, and anywhere else you have things piled up. Any pile of debris that’s been in the same spot for a few months may be hiding mold, bugs or other allergens that you may not be aware of.
9. Don’t Keep Houseplants
Flowers and fake trees may cheer up your house, but they can also harbor dust and mold, which can certainly trigger an allergic reaction. Clear your house of all houseplants as well as wood, which is also a favorite spot for mold spores.
10. Keep Pets Out Of Certain Rooms
If you have pet allergies but can’t give up your pet, establish boundaries with your pet so it knows which rooms it can and cannot go into. Keep your pet out of your bedroom and bathroom to reduce allergens in those areas. Or, if your pet is comfortable with being outside, let it be an outdoor pet so that you don’t have to worry about allergens collecting in any part of the house.
Before you start to allergy-proof your home, protect yourself from the allergens that may get kicked up during the process. Wear a dust mask and gloves and when it comes to things like vacuuming and dusting, get a family member or friend to do them for you so you don’t set off an allergic reaction.