In our Home Maintenance series, we’ve talked about keeping grout clean and areas where mold and mildew lurk. There are other areas where microscopic allrgens like to hide and wreak havoc with sinuses and nasal passages! Sometimes reactions to dust mites are much more severe, and family members with compromised respiration need to pay extra attention to these simple, yet regular cleaning tips to keep in-home air clear.
Ubiquitous carpets are beautiful, feel good, and keep homes warm in winter. They are also great traps for dirt, dust, mites, spores, bacteria and a myriad of other allergens. These particles could be the source of allergy symptoms, not wind-blown plant material, which is generally considered the primary source of “hay fever.”
To get the best results, remove wall-to-wall carpeting and only cover areas with throw rugs that can be washed in a commercial washer periodically, or area rugs that can be taken to the dry cleaner quarterly. There are lots of cleaning supplies on the market specifically geared towards eliminating allergens as part of routine carpet cleaning and overall home maintenance.
Keep shoes on the street, not in the house.
I highly recommend establishing a “no shoes in the house” rule. This can be difficult to establish if you’re not in the habit. Even so, by removing shoes upon entry up to 90% of the dirt and dangerous bacteria will be kept out of the house and off your carpet. Shoes harbor an immense amount of bad stuff. Also, never set your briefcase or purse on a table or countertop where you eat or prepare food; their surfaces are also very dirty from where you’ve previous set them down.
Beloved as they are, pets shed an enormous amount of hair, and harbor fleas, mites and other allergens. Dust bunnies are often hairballs mixed with dead animal and human skin. In fact, most dust in your home is not from outdoors, it is from your body! Regular pet grooming with products designed to kill mites and keep pet dander to a minimum are best, in addition to regular vacuuming. Be sure to use a vacuum with the best filtration system you can afford as it will make your home maintenance regimen easier.
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