It’s spring, which means allergy season is upon us. If you have mild to severe allergies, you can do a few things to minimize pesky triggers. For example, start with your front door: Use a doormat made of synthetic materials. Why?
Natural materials (such as rope or other fibers).can break down and become a good environment for mites, mold, and fungus, which then get tracked into the house. Also, be sure to wash all mats at least once a week.
Other front door tips: Clean dead insects from porch lights. As they decompose, they become an allergen source. Also, put a rack by the front door for footwear, and encourage your family and guests to remove their shoes when entering. This will reduce the amount of dust, mold, and other allergens that are tracked in.
- Tackle the dust. Clean behind the bed and dressers, under the bed, and on the top of the ceiling fan. Always use a damp cloth; dry cloths just spread the dust around.
- Eliminate the following items, which are dust and dust mite magnets: wall-to-wall carpeting, blinds and curtains, down-filled comforters, anything made with feathers, stuffed animals, and upholstered headboards.
- Make the bedroom a no-pet zone. Keep your door shut so they can’t even cross the threshold.
- Strip your bed. Wash everything, including the comforter or blankets, in 130°F water. Wipe down the mattress with a damp rag.
- Keep clothing in zippered plastic bags and shoes in boxes off the floor.
- Forgo mothballs in favor of cedar chips, or store clean woolens in sealed plastic or airtight containers. You can also place garments in the freezer for several days to kill moths and larvae.
- Check corners and walls for mold. You may have a leak you’ve never noticed because it’s in the back of a dark, crowded closet.
- Check under and behind toilets to make sure there’s no mold growing because of condensation. Make sure toilets are installed properly so water doesn’t leak into the walls or floors, which could encourage mold.
- Wash the shower curtain in hot water once a month. Or use a shower curtain liner that you can replace inexpensively every couple of months.