Ahh, Breathe Easy: Simple Steps To An Allergen-Free Home

As any mother knows, allergens in the home are a major problem. Recent estimates suggest that more than 50 million Americans have some kind of environmental allergy, with more than half of those being children.

 

What’s more, a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that more than half of all homes contained at least six allergens. Not only is harboring allergens potentially dangerous for your own family, but it can also ruin the experience of your guests and even threaten their health.

 

There are dozens of allergens that could affect your home. Some of them, like pollen, grass seed, dust mites, cockroach droppings and mildew are all natural. Others, like those found in household cleaning products, are man-made, but equally likely to produce an allergic response.

 

Getting the allergens out of your house is important. But how do you do it? Here’s some advice.

 

Control Pet Allergens

 

Most families have some kind of pet. But the problem with our four-legged friends is that their various bodily emissions can send our immune systems into overdrive and create problems for our health in the future.

 

According to the latest estimates, an incredible 30 percent of people have some kind of allergic reaction to cats (and not just because they’re unpleasant). But it’s not just cats and dogs that can cause allergies. Even supposedly hypoallergenic animals, like lizards and snakes, also have the potential to cause reactions in susceptible individuals.

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Wikimedia Commons

 

So what can you do about it if sending your pet off to a home isn’t an option? The first thing to remember is to never allow animals into your bedroom. This is the room in which you spend the most time and have maximum exposure, and so keeping it free from pet particles is essential says naturallivingideas.com. Both you and your guests need a break at night from allergens to recover and reset the immune system.

 

Next, wall off a particular area for your pet. Perhaps they’re only allowed in the garage and kitchen area of the home, but not in the general, human living quarters.

 

Finally, you might want to invest in a HEPA filter which can remove pet allergens from the surrounding air. Studies have shown that filters can remove more than 75 percent of all allergenic animal particles from the air, helping you to breathe easy.

 

Only Use Hypoallergenic Products

 

Not all products are created equal when it comes to allergies. Despite the fact that many of their customers are allergic to the ingredients in their products, manufacturers continue to use chemicals which activate the immune system and create allergic responses.

 

The good news is that there are now many natural, hypoallergenic products out there that can protect you and your guests from allergic reactions. You can find out more at CleanHappens.com, but suffice to say that the range of products is large. Everything from hand-lotions to soaps now come in hypoallergenic form.

 

Get Rid Of Pests Naturally

 

Calling the exterminator to get rid of your pest problem might seem like a good idea. But when you find out the sort of sprays that they use to kill off intruders in your home, suddenly they look a lot less appealing.

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Wikimedia Commons

 

It’s usually safer to attempt to get rid of pests naturally – at least to begin with. Pest can cause allergies, just like pets, and so controlling them is key to a hypoallergenic home.

 

To deter animals like rodents and cockroaches, make sure that all food is stored away in airtight containers. Ideally, the animals should not be able to smell or chew their way to the food. Watch out for crumbs down the back of cupboards or on your kitchen floor, as this can attract vermin into your home.

 

You can also keep unwanted guests away using natural ingredients in your kitchen. For instance, cockroaches can’t abide the smell of bay leaves, and so leaving these out in the open, in a kind of natural potpourri, is one possible solution.

 

Make Use Of Slippers And Door Mats

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Pixabay

 

Most people don’t realize this, but the majority of allergens in the home are carried in on the soles of people’s feet. According to research, more than 40 percent of the total contaminants in the home are on the carpet near to the doorway, and 85 percent of all foreign contaminants in the home are deposited in the first four steps.

 

The best solution is to have an outdoor shoe area outside the front door where shoes can be taken off undercover and left on a rack. Slippers can then be worn past the threshold, separating outdoor and indoor spaces.

 

You can also increase the allergen-fighting ability of your front door by using a doormat on the outside. Certain types of door mats, including grated door mats, are very good at collecting foreign material. Just remember to beat them out regularly away from the home.

 

Vacuum Like Your Life Depends On It

 

Carpets are notorious for harboring allergens. Thanks to their enormous surface area, it’s easy for particles to get trapped in them, increasingly the allergenic load in your home.

 

Vacuuming regularly helps solve the problem in a number of ways. Firstly, not only does vacuuming suck up offending particles, but it also prevents dirt from becoming ingrained. Regularly walking over a dusty carpet actually causes abrasion of the fibers, forcing dust particles inside them, making them impossible to remove. So dust needs to be removed on a regular basis to prevent damage to the carpet which could result in the permanent presence of allergens in your home.

 

Second, buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are specifically designed to catch tiny particles, rather than just spewing them back out into the room through the exhaust.

 

Third, don’t just rely on vacuuming to remove mites. While it’s true that vacuuming removes the dust particles that mites eat, it doesn’t remove the mites themselves which are often able to resist the sucking action. To get rid of the mites, ensure that your carpet is regularly cleaned.

 

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