Experts reveal how to eliminate dust and reduce allergies
Whether you’re having issues with dust, hay fever or other allergies, these expert tips for your home will help you avoid those pesky effects.
Hay fever season is well under way and it’s a time of trepidation for those who suffer from allergies. Pollen isn’t the only allergen that can set off hay fever though – indoor allergens such as dust mites, dead skin and animal fur can cause an allergic response too.
This week is Allergy Awareness Week (26-30 April), where the UK aims to highlight the difficulties faced by allergy sufferers. A common inconvenience, one in four of us Brits suffer from hay fever and more than one in ten experience symptoms associated with asthma.
Traditionally, the middle of May marks a sharp rise in the pollen count. So we spoke to ‘The Sleep Charity’ who shared their top tips for achieving a good night’s sleep as allergy season approaches. If you suffer from itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing around this time, read on to find out how can alleviate these ailments by making changes around the home…
Keep cool and carry on
By maintaining a cool temperature in your bedroom (between 16c and 18c), you’ll create a less-than-ideal environment for dust mites who prefer a balmier climate in the boudoir.
Avoid drying clothes on radiators in the bedroom
Whilst drying the odd pair of socks or underpants is unlikely to cause harm, don’t get into the habit of leaving larger items to dry on your radiator. By doing so, you’re actually helping mould to thrive in warm conditions.
Wash duvet covers and pillowcases regularly at a high temperature
Image: Samsung / Harvey Norman
Though unsavoury to think about, washing your laundry at a higher degree setting will kill mites and remove their faeces, which can be the main cause of skin irritation.
Move your mattress outside and your bed away from walls
Take your mattress outside for a good airing and then replace it upside-down and opposite-ways-round to its previous positioning. Pulling the bed away from any walls whilst vacuuming can uncover huge amounts of dust and fluff.
Pop your homewares in the freezer
Image: Smeg / Harvey Norman
If hot washing isn’t possible, freeze your soft furnishings to kill any mites prior to a cold wash. These includes throws, cushions, pillows and duvet covers.
Choose non-toxic cleaning products
Toxic cleaning products create airborne particles that encourage dust. When purchasing cleaning items, check the labels to ensure they’re non-toxic as it can definitely help out. Or, consider making your own natural cleaning products with ingredients you can find in your kitchen cupboards.
Don’t make the bed as soon as you wake up
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Whilst it’s often seen as best practice to make your bed as soon as you’re awake – don’t! Hitting the snooze button on this task may seem lazy, but you’ll be helping to eliminate the conditions under which house dust mites thrive.
Vacuum your mattress and home regularly
Image: Shark Anti Wrap Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
If the flooring in your bedroom is mostly carpeted, dust can gather between the fabrics. Vacuuming regularly can dislodge any dust from your flooring and avoids any dust build-up. Though costly, changing carpets to hard flooring can be a great help in stop dust collection too.
When it comes to your mattress, clean the base with a soft brush to remove fluff and dust – if you have to use a vacuum cleaner, do so with the window wide open. Although mattress protectors are capable of protecting mattresses from stains and spillages, they do not make your bed immune to dust mites and other allergens. It’s therefore recommended that you clean your mattress every six months.
Consider a mechanical ventilator
If you have a severe reaction to pollen, consider MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery). These are fans that you can install to filter pollen out and produce cleaner air in your home.
Read more: Ventilation home kits for a healthy home
Fake it with faux flowers
Though a great way of bringing the outdoors in and a quick way to incorporate the biophilic trend to your sleeping space, freshly-cut flowers in the bedroom are a no-no. Instead, opt for faux foliage if you have to. But, remember – these can collect dust too! By using a can of spray air, a dust brush or small soft-bristle paintbrush, you can keep artificial bouquets looking beautiful.
Seal the gaps and keep out the dirt
Minimising particles entering your home by sealing windows and doors correctly can help prevent dust from appearing. Any cracks in walls and ceilings also need to be filled in order to reduce the likelihood of dust building up. However, keeping out debris from the outside is near impossible – but you can reduce it. By placing good quality doormats down and taking off your shoes when you enter your home will limit the amount of dirt brought in.