Allergy Proof Your Home: How to Reduce Indoor Allergens in Your Flat
Allergies are often caused by dust, pollen, mould, dust mites, and many other irritants that affect the comfort of Singaporeans, may it be outside or inside the home. Even if you stay home most of the time, you are still susceptible to allergen exposure. If you've been sneezing a lot lately, have watery eyes, or have an itchy throat or skin, you might be exposed to allergens inside your home.
When decorating or furnishing your home, it is vital to consider its cleanliness and safety. Although medications can help relieve allergy symptoms, eliminating the sources of allergens is a more effective way to keep you safe and comfortable in your own home.
Check out this guide to reduce allergens and make your home more conducive and lovely.
What are Allergens?
To reduce the causes of allergens in your home, you must know what they are, where they come from, their root causes, and how to get rid of them and keep them away as much as possible.
Our body has its own defence mechanism against harmful substances. When the immune system recognises harmful foreign particles, usually from pet dander, pollen, specific foods, medicines, dust mites, or mould found on surfaces, it produces an antibody as an initial defense. This causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, an itchy throat, or skin irritation. Although some irritants, such as pollen and dust, can be found outside, you may be bringing in a lot of allergens.
What are the Main Sources of Allergy at Home?
Causes of indoor allergens are usually found on soft surfaces or wall-to-wall carpets where all the dust and pet hair accumulate, stuffed toys, mattresses, and bedding accessories that are homes of dust mites and dead skin cells, curtains and pillows, an uncleaned cooking hob and kitchen surfaces, the bathroom, cluttered areas, and humid parts of your home.
Potted flowers or air fresheners can also trigger your allergy. These allergens stay on soft surfaces when left uncleaned. When fluffed or dusted, the particles may sit in the air for a long time. Some particles are more harmful than others. Smaller particles may not be filtered well and freely enter the respiratory system, causing more harm. Although it's barely possible to get rid of all the harmful particles at home, the key to maintaining healthy indoor air quality is to keep these allergens to a minimum amount.
How to Reduce Allergens at Home?
Make your home as clean and well-ventilated as possible. This is the easiest way to get rid of dust and small particles that can harm your body. Check out these tips to keep every room in your home allergen-proof.
When buying a mattress, the softness or firmness of the mattress is not the only factor that you should consider. It is crucial to invest in a mattress treated with anti-allergen, anti-dust mite, and antifungal protection to ensure your comfort. The anti-dust mite property lessens as the mattress gets older, so the older your mattress is, the more susceptible you are to allergen exposure. To help preserve the quality of your mattress longer, use an anti-dust mite mattress protector. The same goes for your pillows or bolsters.
Note: Check your bedding materials, especially those with feather or wool fill, when you experience allergic reactions indoors.
Like your mattress, it is also imperative to invest in high-quality sheets, blankets, and pillowcases with anti-dust mite and anti-bacterial properties. Regularly wash your bedding accessories to prevent dirt and dust from building up. For extra sanitation, try washing your blankets and pillowcases with warm water.
Always keep your bedroom furniture clean and uncluttered. Dust and wipe the furniture surfaces regularly. For your wardrobe or chest of drawers, make sure that your clothes and linens are well organised and free from dust. To keep your bed clean, toss or turn your mattress regularly and wipe the bed frame's surface. Fixing your bed when you wake up should be a habit. If you want to use upholstered furniture in your bedroom, choose pieces that are made with easy-to-clean materials like leather and faux leather.
Always clean your windows up to the frames and sills to prevent dust from building up. Change your curtains when you wash your bedding.
To keep indoor air fresh and safe, choose an air conditioner with PM 2.5 or HEPA filters to trap even the smallest harmful particles that your body can't filter. For an extensive solution, go for innovative air purifiers and dehumidifiers. Always maintain the proper temperature, especially during humid or pollen seasons.
Read further: Your Ultimate Guide to Buying an Air Conditioner in Singapore
Your upholstered sofa, like the mattress, is an easy breeding ground for allergens. This is because dirt, dust, and harmful particles easily stick to the fibre and stay there if left uncleaned. To address this, vacuum clean your upholstered sofa regularly to get rid of the pet dander and dust. You can also use a lint roller to remove pet hair that sticks to your sofa.
Living Room Furniture
Always keep your living room clean and uncluttered. Wipe off the dust on your furniture surfaces. When cleaning your living room, don't leave out the area under and at the back of your furniture. Take your sofa, coffee table, and television consoles, for example.
Living Room Floor
Use a vacuum to clean your area rug or carpet thoroughly. Always wash your rugs and disinfect your carpet to keep mould and other particles at bay. Mop your hardwood or tile flooring to remove dust.
Kitchen and Dining Room
Kitchen Sink and Countertops
After washing your dishes, use a detergent solution and water to clean your sink and countertop. Use a dishwasher to thoroughly clean and warm up your plates and kitchenware. Don't forget to clean your greasy backsplash, which can later develop mould. Wipe the surfaces dry again after cleaning.
Clean your kitchen hob regularly to ensure its optimum efficiency and remove oil and dirt that stick to it after cooking. Install an exhaust hood in your kitchen to get rid of smoke, fume, and unpleasant smells.
Refrigerator, Cabinets, and Pantry
Always be mindful of your kitchen supplies, whether you put them inside your refrigerator, kitchen cabinet, or pantry area. When you see mouldy food or expiring products, get rid of them immediately. When you toss your food waste, make sure you use a secured bin to prevent insect infestation.
Dining Tables and Chairs
After a scrumptious meal, make sure to properly wipe your dining table and chairs to prevent dirt from building up. Do you put a flower vase on top of your dining table? Try switching it up with fresh indoor green or ceramic decorations.
Keeping your home free from allergens is not a one-time task. You have to exercise consistency to preserve the quality of your furnishings and ensure the convenience of your home. Weekly cleaning, proper furnishing, and ventilation are needed for a healthy home.
Make your home your happy place. Read more: Create Your Sleep Sanctuary with this Bedroom Furniture Buying Guide
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