How to allergy-proof your home

Reducing indoor allergens can be complicated and time-consuming, but these tips from the Mayo Clinic might help you.

Bed and bedding

Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets regularly in water heated to at least 54 degrees. Remove and wash comforters. Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.

Flooring

Hardwood or linoleum flooring and washable rugs are preferable to carpet. If they aren’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpet and vacuum weekly with a cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.

Curtains and blinds

Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.

Windows

Close windows and, if possible, use airconditioning during pollen season. Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills.

Furnishings

Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and bedside tables made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.

Clutter

Remove items that collect dust, such as ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.

Pets

Keep animals out of the bedrooms. Bathing pets at least once a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the hair they shed.

Air filtration

Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so it directs clean air towards your head when you sleep.

Plants

Find a new home for potted plants or spread aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mould.

Fireplaces

Avoid using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke and gases can exacerbate respiratory allergies. Most natural gas fireplaces won’t cause this problem.

Stoves

Install and use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Most stove-top hoods simply filter cooking particulates without venting outside.

Sink

Wash dishes daily. Scrub the sink and taps to remove mould and food debris.

Refrigerator

Wipe up excessive moisture to avoid mould growth. Discard mouldy or out-of-date food. Regularly empty and clean the dripping pan and clean or replace mouldy rubber seals around doors.

Cabinets and counters

Clean cabinets and countertops with detergent and water. Check under-sink cabinets for plumbing leaks.

Food

Store in sealed containers. This includes pet food.

Food waste

Place rubbish in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty it daily. Keeping the kitchen free of food crumbs will help reduce the chance that you will encounter rodents or cockroaches.