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Allergy Prevention Begins at Home

Sat 12 May 2012

 

Due to modern lifestyles, more and more people in the UK are struggling with hayfever, dust mite allergies, and pet allergies. The good news is that, when furnishing, cleaning and maintaining your new home, there’s a lot you can do to lessen the effects of these kinds of allergies. 

Hidden Allergens

Unfortunately, synthetic materials can suffer from dust mites and microscopic mould as much as traditional feather stuffing when it comes to pillows, cushions, duvets and cuddly toys. The answer here is to give them a wash every now and again; wash on a 60°C cycle and tumble dry hot to kill dust mites. Adding eucalyptus oil will also help, and it makes your furnishings smell nice.

Doing the Dirty Work

If you have allergies, the actual process of doing housework can provoke them due to the dust it stirs up. Now you have an excuse to get someone else to do it! Failing that, wear a dust mask, and wash your clothes in hot water straight after you’ve finished cleaning. A vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter is a must to help prevent allergies. 

Cleaning Product Culprits

Conventional cleaning products can really take your breath away; we’ll all have been stunned by the smell of a freshly-bleached bathroom at some point whether we have allergies or not. Along with bleach, chemicals such as formaldehyde occur in some cleaning products and toiletries, and these are bad news for anyone with respiratory or skin allergies. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these nowadays as even major supermarkets offer branded natural cleaning products. To save money in the process, simply use a paste of vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda for your kitchen and bathroom cleaning – it’s surprisingly effective and will leave your taps very shiny.

Mould and Damp

Most people living in the UK will have experienced problems with damp at some point, and it’s an overwhelming contributory factor to asthma and other allergies. If one room seems very damp, check that yours or a neighbour’s pipes aren’t leaking – one of my friends had a very damp wall which was simply caused by and upstairs neighbour’s leaking boiler. If the damp isn’t caused by a structural issue or problems with damp coursing, then there are steps you can take to manage it – using a dehumidifier and anti-mould paint are effective, as are regularly opening windows and periodically leaving a heater on during rainy periods. Black mould is a big factor in allergies – it releases spores into the air, which trigger problems. It’s important to clean it off promptly if it appears anywhere in your home. In the bathroom, you can adjust the timer setting on your extractor fan; setting it a bit longer can really deal with damp problems. (Just take the cover off and there’s usually a dial underneath.) 

We hope you found our tips helpful and that these quick and easy ways to reduce allergens really make a difference in your new home.

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