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How to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Rachel Tardif There have been 0 comments

Dust isn't just something for white-gloved neatniks to worry about. It's an accumulation of pollen, dust mites (and their waste), pet dander, mold spores and other allergens that can cause symptoms such as nasal irritation, sneezing, and itching of the eyes, nose, throat and skin. Even if you're not allergic, one in three visitors to your home probably is.

Watery eyes, a stuffy head, and that groggy feeling are all miserable effects of spring allergies. Weekly shots or a daily dose of Claritin might help, but there are ways to minimize your misery by making your house as allergy free as possible.

A list of things you'll need:

  • A filtered vacuum cleaner
  • Clean dusting rags or specialized dusting cloths
  • A 16-oz spray bottle
  • Light olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Face mask
  • A HEPA air filter (optional)

Step-by-step run-through:

1. Mix one cup vinegar per quart of water and wash every glass top and window in your house or at least in your bedroom and living room.

2. Mix half a cup of baking soda per quart of water and wipe down all other surfaces, including Venetian blinds. For wood, use dry, damp cloth so wood is not harmed. Have cloth moist enough to pick up dust, not scatter it.

3. Take bedclothes off your bed and vacuum mattress. Wash sheets, blankets, and curtains on hot cycle. Replace anything unwashable with something that can be washed.

4. Thoroughly vacuum rugs, floors and other surfaces. A canister-type vacuum with a filter works best, because it's least likely to stir up dust or simply spew it from its exhaust.

5. Wait an hour or so for any dust kicked up by the vacuum to settle.

6. Put sheets back on your bed after you have vacuumed your rug or cleaned your bedroom floor. If you can, remove your rug, and wash it.

7. Wipe up remaining dust with soft rags or dusting cloths. You can make your own nontoxic dusting spray with the following recipe: 2 teaspoons light olive oil, 20 drops of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Fill the rest with water.

8. For situations where dust is an ongoing problem (as for dog and cat owners), consider investing in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtering system.

9. Wear a face mask while cleaning and grooming your pet. Also keep your pet out of your bedroom, and keep all windows shut and run air conditioning if you can. If not, at least keep windows closed during early morning hours (until 10 a.m.) when pollen is at its highest.

10. For children, wash stuffed toys every week.

11. Repeat these steps every week. Vacuum all carpeting every day.

A helpful green hint:

You can buy organic household spray cleaners, but may want to keep the cleaning materials simple and basic to avoid further allergic reactions and to minimize pollution.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Fighting Allergies, Health and Safety and was tagged with air purifiers, air test kits, allergens, allergies, Eco Home Improvement, Green Your Home, HEALTH SENSITIVE


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