Many people aren’t aware just how polluted the inside of their homes can be with allergens. When you think about what sets off your allergies, it’s probably more common to conjure up thoughts of pollen swirling all around you outside rather than to envision the numerous triggers that you’re living with every day. While it may be a given that an accumulation of dust and pet hair can cause allergies to flare up in no time, there are a variety of other explanations as well for why you may feel like you’re constantly dealing with a running nose, watery eyes and sneezing fits, no matter how often you scrub, dust and vacuum. Learn what some of the most common allergy triggers are and how to get major relief with some simple household and carpet cleaning tips.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that can wreak havoc on a person’s respiratory system. Humans are constantly shedding dead skin, which dust mites feed on, making your home the perfect place for them to thrive. Bedding, furniture and carpeting is where they tend to make themselves at home, so it’s critical to wash sheets, blankets and pillowcases once a week in hot water, regularly go over your floors with a HEPA filter vacuum and schedule professional carpet cleanings at least once a year (or more if your symptoms are severe). Vacuuming only takes care of your carpet’s surface, and because dust mites have the ability to burrow way down into carpet fibers, a deep cleaning is the only way to effectively get rid of them.
Plants are generally meant to improve the air quality of your home, but this isn’t always the outcome. In most cases, your greenery will enhance your living environment, but if you notice that you’re frequently waking up congested or with a cough and sore throat, the potted plants you keep in your bedroom could be the root of your troubles. A large percentage of potted plants emit mold spores that you breathe in all night while you’re sleeping. If you enjoy the idea of having greenery in your bedroom, look into species that do the opposite and actually absorb airborne mold spores.
Aside from houseplants, there are plenty of other things in a home that contribute to mold growth as well. Your washing machine, your bath mat and your carpets and rugs are a few examples of good places around the house for mold to flourish. Persistently damp areas and musty odors are never a good sign. Leave your washer open to allow it to thoroughly dry out and periodically run a full cycle with bleach, use high temperatures to wash your bath mats once a week and, once again, get those carpets steam cleaned by a professional to remove all moisture buildup and chances for mold development.
Seeing a cockroach in your home is sure to evoke many feelings of disgust, but you might not realize they’re also contributing to the unpleasant aggravation of your allergy symptoms. These creepy crawlies transfer allergens through their feces and saliva, and usually don’t travel alone. Having an infestation means that your allergy problems could get out of control quickly, so your best chance at wiping out all signs of a cockroach intrusion would be to make it a habit to take the trash out in a timely manner, fix leaky plumbing and call in a pest control expert.
Oftentimes, practical tasks that can eliminate allergy discomfort go overlooked. If a lot of your time is spent indoors, avoid living in misery by sticking to a carpet cleaning schedule and trying out these other suggestions.
Gina Ponce is a writer from beautiful Northern California. She enjoys covering a variety of topics, especially anything that is related to achieving a cleaner, healthier home. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time in the great outdoors and traveling to all ends of the earth.