It's time to throw open the doors and windows and get ready for spring cleaning. Be sure to pay special attention to those spots in your house where allergens can collect from cats, dogs and dust mites.
"Allergen reduction at home is critical to a clean home," says Mike Tringale, the director of external affairs at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
"The first step is to identify the problem areas of your home, and then take the necessary steps to reduce hidden indoor allergens."
Take the bedroom, for instance. It should be a sanctuary where we rest our heads, unwind, sink into cushy comforters and cling to quiet moments of relaxation. Those same pillows and blankets can become home to multitudes of allergens.
The same can be true for all those cushions, carpets and rugs in your living room and family room.
Here are some tips for attacking top allergen hot spots in your home, with a particular emphasis on your bedroom, where you spend so many hours nestled among pillows and blankets:
- WALLS: Although walls have twice the surface area of floors and ceilings they largely are ignored when you clean the bedroom, but walls are some of the biggest collectors of allergens. To prevent allergen buildup, pay close attention to bedroom furniture and carpets near walls, and dust the walls weekly.
- PILLOWS, CUSHIONS AND BLANKETS: Soft surfaces like decorative pillows and blankets on the bed or sofa often go unwashed, and therefore pack on the dirt, dust and allergens. Such allergens also can hide in carpets, curtains, and comforters, so be sure to use pay close attention to these areas.
- CLUTTER: Keep surfaces in the bedroom clean and uncluttered to control allergens. This includes the top of your dressers, bedside tables, and any extra seating and chairs on which you tend to throw piles of clothes or reading materials.
- CEILING FANS AND CROWN MOLDING: It's easy to forget to clean the ceiling. However, a lot of dust accumulates on the ceiling fan above your bed and in the nooks of crown molding.
- DOOR JAMS AND WINDOW SILLS: Constant airflow in these areas means that dirt and dust often collect here and go unnoticed. Dusting often and keeping this area clean is key.
Of course, keeping these areas clean all year long can make those big clean-ups a breeze, limiting the amount of allergens, dirt, and dust that seem to build up in all our homes.
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