Are your eyes always red and watery or you keep sneezing for no apparent reason? Does your throat start to feel scratchy when you get home from work or you have weird rashes all over your arms? If that’s the case, you may be having an allergic reaction to something and the only way to fix it is to thoroughly allergy-proof your home.
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself ‘What could I be allergic to in my house?’ If you have a lot of plants around the house or a pet, they might be causing this issue – or it could be something like dust mites that generally live under mattresses and living room couches.
Tips on how to get an allergy-free home
Once you’ve figured out what you’re allergic to, here are a few tips that can help you get rid of allergens in your home.
Start with decluttering
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is perhaps the easiest way to allergy-proof your home. Start off by getting rid of all the unwanted junk that has accumulated in each room over the years and is eating up your space. Things such as old newspapers, magazines and clothes are the ultimate breeding grounds for mould and dust mites.
Remember, it’s not just about removing the visual clutter. You need to either throw away or donate the things you haven’t used in the past six months or so and have no plans of using in the near future. Cleaning up the clutter will ensure fewer places in your home for allergens to hide. More importantly, the lesser the stuff, the easier it would be to clean.
As overwhelming as it may sound, you can successfully declutter your house in a weekend or even less.
Get rid of wall-to-wall carpets
Carpets may make your home look cosy or even add a splash of colour to your home décor, but if you want an allergy-free home, they are probably your worst enemy. It’s a well-known fact that carpet is a virtual magnet for all kinds of allergens including pet dander, fur, mould spores, dust mites and pollen.
People with respiratory issues and severe allergies are usually advised to remove all carpets from their homes so that their conditions don’t aggravate. To put it simply, it is the most efficient way to deal with dust allergies at home.
Get rid of allergens in your home by opting for hardwood, lamination or marble floors, as they are easier to clean and have lesser room for dust mites to hang out.
However, if removing your wall-to-wall carpeting is not an option, make sure to vacuum it daily and use an anti-bacterial carpet cleaner once every 10 days. As for the rugs, pop them in the washing machine every two weeks or so to get rid of all the allergens and dust particles hiding inside.
Leave your shoes out
Do you have any idea how much dirt, grass and bacteria you’re bringing into your home with your shoes? Instead of spreading allergens throughout your home, take your shoes off as soon as you enter the main door. You can also put a pair of fluffy slippers by the door and change into them as you return home.
However, do not leave your shoes and boots strewn about. Instead, invest in a shoe rack that’s both practical and goes with your décor.
Another tip to allergy-proof your home is to buy a shoe cleaning doormat and place it right outside the main entrance, so everyone visiting your place can get rid of the dirt stuck on the soles of their shoes before taking a step inside your allergy-free home.
Invest in window screens
If you are dealing with pollen allergy, you are advised to keep your windows closed during peak pollen season. However, the lack of ventilation also exacerbates allergies in the house. Therefore, installing window screens is one of the most effective ways to get rid of allergens in your home.
Though these screens may not keep microscopic allergens out, they will still allow you to ventilate your place without worrying too much about dust, bugs and other debris entering your home.
The best part is that you can treat this window upgrade as a DIY home improvement project and save money by doing it yourself. Just make sure not to skimp on material and only buy quality screens that simply won’t tear up after a few days or so.
Wash your bedding regularly
Allergy-proof your bedroom by washing your bed sheets, pillow covers and comforters on a regular basis. What most people suffering from dust mite allergy fail to realize is that their bedroom is likely crawling with these insect-like pests that feed on flakes of dead skin and dander.
If you wake up every morning with watery eyes and a runny nose or if you have sneezing a lot even though you don’t have the flu, you are most probably dealing with a dust mite infestation.
Since they dwell in mattresses, carpets, upholstery and most importantly, in your bedding, you should change your sheets every week and wash them in warm water to get rid of allergens in your home.
Considering how most of us spend a big portion of the day sleeping or relaxing in the bedroom, you can’t really allergy-proof your home without taking care of this space first.
Apart from your bed, also make sure to use a vacuum cleaner to remove allergens from the couch and other furniture that is used a lot.
Be mindful of flowers and plants
Potted plants and fresh flowers not only add a burst of colour to your house but they are (generally) good for your environment as well. However, if you are allergic to pollen or certain plants, having them around could be awful for you.
Therefore, be smart with your landscaping and décor choices if you want to allergy-proof your home. Generally, the yellow, sticky pollen that’s carried by bees and insects does not cause much problem. It’s the lightweight pollen that scatters in the wind that aggravates allergies.
If you really want to add some new plants or flowers to your home garden or want a floral centrepiece for your dining table, consult your local nursery or flower shop to figure out which options would suit you more. In addition to that, make sure to do some research online to identify the plants that cause allergies.
Keep your pets away
Everyone loves their pets, but if you are aiming for an allergy-free home, it’s really important to create some boundaries. First of all, don’t let your pets wander around your bedroom or lay on your bed. Secondly, make sure they don’t salivate on your couches or throw pillows.
It’s not only animal fur and dander that causes allergies, as their dried-up saliva can lead to similar symptoms as well. If you are experiencing redness on your body or any of the other classic signs of an allergic reaction, your pet may very well be the reason for it.
Of course, no one’s asking you to give away your beloved furry friend. On the contrary, you should invest in grooming your cats and dogs so they don’t have much fur to shed around the house. Moreover, if your pet likes to lay down on the carpet or the couch, vacuum those surfaces every day to keep dust mites away.
Depending on different types of allergies, there are countless solutions to allergy-proof your home. However, these are the ones that are easy to follow and won’t put a strain on your house budget.
While these steps will definitely help you out, you can always invest in an air purifier if the problem persists. If things get worse, please consult a doctor immediately.
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