Weekly Wellness: Am I Sick? Or do I need a cleaning lady?
Sneezing? Watery eyes? Runny nose? Feeling congested and miserable? It might be a cold, or it might be a dust allergy. Dust allergies are a response to dust mites which are microscopic organisms that feed off of house dust and moisture. And they happen to be one of the most common indoor allergens out there.
The solution sounds easy enough, right? Clean your house. But it’s also important to clean the right way. Here are some tips:
- Try to clean at least once a week.
- Use a damp dust rag rather than a dry one so that the moist cloth captures the dust.
- Vacuum using a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Carpets house dust mites so try to vacuum carpet at least once a week – more is better.
- Wear a mask, gloves and long clothing when you clean (to create a barrier between your mouth/nose and the contaminants).
- Leave the house for a while after a deep cleaning – dust and dust mites can become airborne after you clean and can take a couple of hours for them to settle.
- Get rid of unnecessary clutter (a.k.a. dust traps).
- Wash your bedding weekly. Washing sheets in hot water and drying them in a hot dryer helps to kill the mites that may be trapped in them.
- Clean your couch cushions. Using the nozzle attachment of your vacuum works pretty well.
- Change your AC and heating filters every three months.
- If you’re super-allergic (and have the means), hire a cleaning service.