Spring cleaning is the perfect time to work on alleviating your allergies. Many allergens lurk around the house, making your symptoms worse. Luckily, you can remove them from your home and breathe easier. Here are the steps to spring clean for your allergies.
1. Know Your Triggers
Learn which allergens trigger symptoms in you or your family. 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. For outdoor allergens like grass or tree pollen, close your windows to keep them out.
If you’re unsure of what is causing your allergies, 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
Standing water is a 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.
3. Don’t Just Move Dust Around – Trap it
Feather dusters can just push dust into the air, making you more likely to breathe it in. A damp cloth or paper towel traps the dust instead so you can actually dispose of it.
4. Avoid Strong or Scented Chemicals
They can actually make your allergies worse, believe it or not. Consider trading them out for more natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
5. Clear Dust from All Surfaces
Dust builds up in places you don’t always think about. Some of the most common offenders include window sills, window frames, door frames, and ceiling fans.
6. Keep the House Cool and Dry
Try 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. Wash or Replace Moldy Shower Curtains
Mold from the shower can trigger allergies and also spread to other parts of the home, especially in warmer months. Check the care tag on your shower curtain; often you can just throw it in the wash and hang it back up to dry. Also, try to reduce the moisture and humidity in your bathroom to prevent future mold growth.
8. Remove Trapped Allergens
Carpet, rugs, and upholstered furniture act as air filters for your home that 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 to handle them for you.
9. Wash and Air out Bed Linens Regularly
It’s recommended that you wash your bedding every 1-2 weeks. This is because all of the dust, skin flakes and more that our sheets collect are the perfect haven for dust mites. If you find that you have bad allergies at night, clean your mattress and pillows too to see if it helps.
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.