Relief from Allergies by Cleaning Up Your Environment
If you have skin allergies or any allergy symptoms, you can get relief by removing allergens from your environment.
By cleaning up your environment, you can reduce dust, dust mites, chemical and environmental pollutants in your environment that cause symptoms.
In the Bedroom
- Encase pillows, comforters, mattresses, and box springs in zippered, allergen impermeable, dust proof casings. Avoid purchasing foam rubber pillows and mattresses as they are more likely to harbor molds.
- Wash blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and mattress pads every other week in hot water (130 degrees F+). Hot water kills dust mites. Cold or warm water does not.
Throughout the House (Especially the Bedroom)
- If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your bedroom, remove it if possible. In addition to being the single most chemically-treated household item, carpeting acts a host for a multitude of allergic agents. If this is not possible to remove wall-to-wall carpeting from your bedroom, periodically apply a solution of tannic acid to inactivate allergy-causing dust products that routinely emanate from carpeting.
- If you have a forced air heating system in your home, cover the air vents in your bedroom with air filters to clean the air at the point of entry. If you have a central air heating and/or cooling system, install an electrostatic filter to clean air before it is distributed throughout your house.
- Avoid using heavy curtains and/or venetian blinds to cover bedroom windows. If possible, purchase window shades. Shades are less likely to accumulate irritants than curtains or blinds. If you use curtains in your bedroom, launder them frequently. If you use blinds, clean them often.
- If possible, purchase hardwood furniture instead of upholstered furniture. Soft furnishings are more likely to collect and harbor dust and other allergens than hardwood furnishings. If you purchase upholstered furniture, buy only furniture covered in leather or cloth and constructed with an additional allergen barrier.
- Install a high quality HEPA./charcoal air cleaner to remove airborne allergen particles, molds, animal dander and pollutants. The filter of the air cleaner should be sized to the room dimensions and the air cleaner should process four to ix air exchanges per hour. Air cleaners should not be placed directly on carpeting as their exhaust may blow dust and other contaminants harbored in the carpeting into the air.
- Control heat and humidity with an air-conditioner. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture. Heat and humidity stimulate dust mite and mold growth., While dust mites reproduce rapidly in environments of 75-80% humidity, they cannot live in environments of less than 50% humidity. A humidity level of 40% or less will eliminate dust mites. Use a gauge to monitor humidity levels in your home. Avoid over humidification of the air in the winter. If using a humidifier, change the water and clean the humidifier frequently to prevent mold growth.
- Avoid common dust collectors such as cloth wall hangings, stuffed animals, and piles of clothing, bed and/or bath linens. Washable stuffed animals should be laundered frequently in hot water. Clothing, bed and/or bath linens should be kept in closets and/or cupboards with the doors closed.
- Wear a well-fitting face mask when doing house cleaning and other chores or delegate such responsibilities to someone else. Clean surface, drawers and closets with a cloth treated to increase dust removal.
- Purchase a vacuum cleaner specially designed to trap and contain dust and other allergens. Avoid using canister type vacuums with a bag and exhaust port. Vacuum weekly wearing a well-fitting face mask.
- Check household gas appliances for leaks.
Your Home, Office and World
- Drink unpolluted water. Have you household water tested or install a reverse osmosis water filter to remove chlorine, chlorine byproducts, volatile organic chemicals, fluoride, bacteria, toxic metals and sediment.
- If you smoke, stop. Avoid exposure to second had tobacco smoke.
- Avoid using mothballs, furniture polishes and air-fresheners. Substitute non-toxic, environmentally-friendly alternatives for chemical-based products.
- Replace chemical-based household cleaners, paints, stripers, pesticides and garden products with less toxic or non-toxic alternatives.
- Store all necessary volatile chemicals outside.
- Replace chemical-based personal care products with unscented, non-toxic alternatives.
- Avoid the use of hair spray and perfumes.
- When handling household, lawn or garden chemicals, do so in a well-ventilated area and wear a well-fitting face mask.
- Purchase chemical-free, pure cotton clothing and bedding.
There are many things you can do to get allergy relief from allergy symptoms.