10 Steps to Allergen Avoidance

1. Encase all bedding with dust mite proof encasings.

This is the first step on the list because it's the most effective thing you can do! Around 80% of allergy and asthma sufferers are sensitive to dust mite allergens. Your bed is where you normally spend around 1/3 of your time. Encasing your mattress, pillows, and comforter will kill dust mites and immediately protect you from dust mite allergens, enabling you to get a good night's sleep without congestion and morning allergy symptoms.

It's important to note pore size when choosing a mattress or pillow encasing. Our Allersoft Membrane-Free encasings have a pore size that is smaller than 4 microns, allowing no dust mite allergens to penetrate. Unlike some encasings with a larger pore size, Allersoft fabric is also woven tightly enough to block out pet dander.

2. Wash all bedding, sheets, blankets, pillow covers, and duvet encasings frequently in hot water (140 degrees or higher) and dry on high. If hot water wash is not possible, use a detergent or laundry additive to eliminate dust mites.

Experts have always recommended washing bedding on 140' degrees or higher, as dust mites are fairly hardy and it requires a lot of heat to kill them. Some washing machines will not get this hot, for safety reasons. If this is the case with your washing machine, or your bedding is too delicate to withstand repeated hot water washings, we offer laundry additives which will kill dust mites or denature dust mite allergens at warm or cool water temperatures.

3. Avoid non-washable bedding like down or wool. Encase non-washable duvets in an allergen-proof duvet encasing and substitute a washable blanket for wool or down.

Our Vellux blankets are an ideal blanket for allergy sufferers. They are one of our most popular items, because they are so sturdy and can be repeatedly machine washed and dried, staying clean and soft and no worse for the wear. However, for those who love wool or down, a duvet or pillow encasing is important, and will effectively protect from dust mite allergens.

4. Remove dust-gathering objects and clean with dust-trapping cloths and vacuum attachments.

Dust contains many sources of allergens, making it a powerful trigger for most allergy sufferers. It's important to clean frequently and well. Using cloths that attract dust, or vacuum attachments designed for dusting, helps remove dust permanently instead of just stirring it up into the air. You can make your cleaning job a little easier by cutting down on exposed surfaces as much as possible. Getting rid of shelves, knick-knacks, decorations, etc. removes many possible surfaces for dust to collect on, making cleaning easier and reducing your exposure to dust.

5. Monitor humidity in your home. Dust mites and mold thrive in humidity levels above 50%.

Running a dehumidifier is helpful for several reasons. Mold thrives well in damp conditions, and many allergy sufferers are allergic to mold. Even if you can't see visible mold growth, microscopic mold spores may still be present. Keeping the humidity in your home above 50% will help prevent any mold growth or airborne mold spores.

Dust mites also thrive in humid conditions. Of course, no matter how dry the air in your home is, your bed will probably remain a fairly humid place. However, keeping the humidity above 50% will cut down on their population growth in other areas.

On the other hand, keeping the air too dry can cause other sinus problems, so it's important to gauge humidity accurately and keep it at ideal levels, neither too moist nor too dry.

6. Purify the air with a HEPA air purifier.

Indoor air contains many allergens, including dust, pollen, dust mite particles, mold spores, pet dander, and other particulate matter. In addition, indoor air may contain other odors, chemicals, and toxins which can irritate respiratory conditions, making allergies worse. A HEPA air purifier is the best way to purify the air inside your home, making it cleaner and more breathable. It's especially important to have a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom, ensuring a safe haven from allergies while you sleep.

7. Vacuum frequently using a HEPA filtered vacuum.

A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will trap airborne allergens.  Carpets contain many dust and allergens, and a HEPA filter in a properly sealed system will remove these, ensuring better air quality. Vacuuming without a HEPA filtered canister vacuum cleaner may worsen air quality as dust and allergens are stirred up into the air and are too tiny to be trapped in an ordinary vacuum bag. The use of a HEPA filtered vacuum on smooth and hard floors is also highly recommended for improving indoor air quality.

8. Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile, stone or vinyl flooring.

As mentioned above, carpets are an ideal environment for dust and allergens to collect. You can cut down on indoor allergens by removing carpeting all together, and cleaning your smooth floors frequently.

9. Choose wood, leather or metal furniture instead of upholstered.

Keeping soft or upholstered surfaces to a minimum is the most effective way to get rid of dust mites, and wood, leather, and metal furniture is generally easier to keep clean. However, we realize that many people like their soft couches and need somewhere comfy to sit or relax at times, so there's also step number 10.

10. Treat carpeting and upholstered furniture with dust mite sprays and powders.

Dust mites can live in upholstered furniture and carpets as well as bedding. If your home has carpeting and upholstered furniture, it's recommended that you apply a dust mite spray or powder on a regular basis to kill dust mites or denature dust mite allergens.

 

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