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Honey Do List: Breathe easier

Every day we live, work and play in many different environments, come into contact with many people and handle many different types of materials. We, generally, have little control over the cleanliness of these different experiences, but most people go home to the same house and sleep in the same bed every night. This is one area where we have control and can fight allergens that cause many different health issues.

While you sleep, you inhale microscopic, allergenic particulates from bedding, carpet, draperies and upholstered furnishings. If you suffer from allergies, the removal or regular cleaning of these areas will help.

Bedding should be washed weekly in water that is at least 130 degrees. Mattresses and springs should be vacuumed regularly. There are allergen-proof zippered covers that may be used to cover mattresses to keep them from collecting dust, and it will provide a washable surface. Use synthetic pads and pillows. Feather and cotton pillows are huge habitats for allergens.

Severe allergy-sufferers should remove carpet and heavy drapes. If removal isn’t possible, vacuum regularly. Tile, linoleum or even-short napped carpet is better, and light, airy window treatments are much less prone to holding dust.

Avoid storing items under the bed. This creates areas for dust to collect and allergens to thrive. If you must use this space, use clear storage boxes and clean the area regularly. Clear boxes make it easier to see the contents and allow light into storage areas to discourage spiders and critters from taking up residence.

Humidity levels are important to control dust mites, who need high humidity to survive. Dehumidifiers, bathroom vents and air cleaners can help control humidity, but if the humidity is too low the air will be dry and uncomfortable to breathe. Maintain any air filters in these machines.

It’s recommended that once or twice a year you “move out” of the bedroom and thoroughly clean all areas, bedding and window coverings. The cooler days of fall that are approaching are a good time to do this. You’ll be sure to breathe a little easier. Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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