As stated by an Environment Protection Agency (EPA) expert, Dr. Michael Berry: "A clean home is a healthy home. Cleaning will remove fungi, bacteria, dust, pollen and other pollutants that can aggravate and trigger problems for allergy and asthma suffers." Most people spend a lot of time in their homes. What we don't realize is that the air outside of our homes is actually cleaner than the air inside of our homes. According to the EPA, indoor air pollution has reached epidemic levels in the United States over the past ten years. Indoor air pollution can lead to watery eyes, frequent colds, flu, sore throats, stuffy noses, allergies, lack of energy and asthma. The soft surfaces that make up your rugs and furniture are a critical part of affecting indoor air quality. They capture dust, dirt, pollen, dust mites and all of their products including bacteria. Once your rugs and furniture get full of those pollutants, they stop holding onto them and release them back into the air. The EPA has determined that proper cleaning can get your rugs and carpets up to 1500% cleaner. Keeping your home clean will make you and your family live a healthier life and it will ultimately leave your home looking more beautiful.
Steps to take to help decrease in-home allergens:
- Use a vacuum cleaner that has a Hepa Filter.
- Be sure to replace the bag when it is half full.
- Use a beater bar when vacuuming rugs and carpets as it will make your work even more effective.
- Use the hose connection on the vacuum to thoroughly clean all upholstered furniture, drapes and other window treatments.
- Dust mites and mold thrive in moisture. Keep humidity in your home lower than 50% with a dehumidifier, air conditioner, or heating system.
- When you buy furnishings, try to choose ones that are washable or made from materials such as wood and leather. Allergens can collect in places like upholstered couches and chairs, curtains and blinds.
- When you do laundry, soak your blankets, sheets, and pillowcases for four hours in warm water, detergent, and bleach. Then wash with detergent in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean your home frequently. Vacuum, dust, and wipe down flat surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Clean the air in your home naturally. Skip the plug-in air fresheners or electric air cleaners and instead, open your windows or turn on exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors.
- If you realize you or one of your loved ones are allergic to your pets, keep him or her out of your bedroom. Bathe pets once a week and always wash your hands after touching them.