For those those of us that have allergies, it’s often the case that we suffer from symptoms without ever actually seeing the allergens that cause them. Even though we can’t always see our allergy triggers, we can often figure out what’s causing our symptoms. For example, if we’re sniffling and sneezing during the spring we know we can attribute it to the over-abundance of pollen in the air. However, sometimes it’s not so easy for us to determine what’s causing our allergy symptoms. This can be especially frustrating when we’re inside our own homes.
Allergens can actually be quite sneaky and hide in places we wouldn’t think they’d be. Even if we keep our houses spick and span, it’s still possible for allergens to linger on a shoe shelf or window curtain. Below we have listed some of the most common hiding spots for allergens in the home and some ways you can eliminate them.
Bookshelves can easily collect a lot dust and dust mites in a short period of time. The build-up of dust mites may be a big factor contributing to your indoor allergy symptoms, especially if you keep a bookshelf in your bedroom. Cleaning bookshelves once a week will help eliminate dust mites. The best way to get rid of these hidden allergens though is to either remove the bookshelf, or keep it in a room you don’t spend much time in.
Bed and Bedding
You bed is a popular hiding place for all kinds of allergens. Pollen, dust mites, pet dander and even mold spores can settle into the fibers of your mattress, pillows and other bedding. When you sleep you breathe in these allergens, causing your symptoms to be triggered all night long. The best way to keep allergens off of your bed is to use allergy protection bedding such as mattress encasements and pillow protectors. Allergy bedding products are made out of a tightly woven material designed to act as a protective shell around your mattress, pillows and other bedding, making it impossible for allergens to get in or out. Also be sure to wash your bedding weekly in hot water in order to kill any other lingering allergens.
Curtains and Windows
Curtains are one part of the home that sometimes get overlooked while cleaning. But the truth is curtains are a part of your home that are extremely vulnerable to allergens. It’s very easy for indoor allergens to drift onto curtains and settle there. If windows are open, or are not sealed properly, outdoor allergens can even make their way into the home. Their first stop will be your curtains. It’s important not to forget curtains when you clean! Vacuum them weekly and wash them in hot water often. If possible, you may want to consider getting rid of your curtains altogether and replacing them with blinds or window shades.
Wall-to-wall carpeting can be one of the biggest hotbeds for dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. The thick fibers in carpet make it much more difficult to eliminate allergens from. Every time you or a family member walks through the room allergens are stirred up, triggering allergy symptoms. You may want to consider replacing carpeting in your home with hardwood floors. If hardwood floor is not possible, vacuum often with a quality vacuum.
The biggest allergen to watch out for in the bathroom is mold. Mold spores love hiding in wet places, so your shower and bathtub are at great risk. Clean your bathroom fixtures weekly with mold-killing sprays and cleaners to eliminate mold before growth becomes severe. Also keep an eye on your shower curtain for signs of mold. If you begin to see any growing it may be time to get a new one.
Don’t let hidden allergens make you miserable in your own home. Use these tips to spot and eliminate allergens from often overlooked locations. It’s important to stick to a regular cleaning schedule in order to stay ahead of allergen accumulation.