As if the allergens you encounter out in the world aren't bad enough, the ones that take up residence in your home are downright insulting.
Kick them to the curb (literally) by using these tips the next time you clean house.
1. Start outdoors
Every time you walk into your house, you track allergens in with you. Keep your porches, patios and sidewalks swept clear; there's less chance of sneeze-worthy allergens coming home with you.
2. Cut clutter
Those piles of clutter aren't just unsightly — they also give allergens, like dust, a great place to hide.
3. Vacuum regularly
It's common knowledge that you need to vacuum to remove allergens from your carpet, but doing it wrong can actually do more damage than help. HEPA filters are specially designed to reduce allergens — without a HEPA filter, you're just sucking allergens out of the carpet and putting them back into the air. Fit your vacuum with a HEPA filter and use it once or twice each week.
4. Wash sheets weekly
Dirty sheets aren't just gross, they're a magnet for allergens. Wash yours at least once a week in water hot enough to kill dust mites — at least 130 degrees F.
5. Use your dryer
It may be energy-efficient to hang your laundry out on a line, but it's definitely not allergy-efficient. Your clothes and towels collect allergens while they're out there, and then you carry them right back into your home.
6. Skip scented detergents
Those sweet-smelling detergents tend to make allergy suffers miserable.
7. Dampen your cloths and mops
Dusting with dry cloths and mops just sends the allergens flying through your home. Dampen your cleaning tools first to make sure the dust mites get trapped.
8. Skip carpet cleaning
Shampooing your carpet just leads to the possibility of mold and mildew, an allergy sufferer's nightmare.
9. Make your bathroom shine
Your bathroom is often damp, and that's a magnet for mold. Scrub any surface you can regularly, and keep your shower curtain and liner clean.
10. Wear a mask
Cleaning your house is necessary, but lots of allergens are kicked up in the process. Wear a mask while you're cleaning, and leave the house for a bit when you're done to let the air clear.
11. Hand over some chores
If you find there's a chore that kicks your allergies into high gear every single time, stop doing it. Ask someone in your home who is not so sensitive to help you get it done .
This post was brought to you by Claritin.