How to Do Laundry to Reduce Indoor Allergens
If you or anyone in your household has allergies, how you handle your laundry can greatly affect indoor allergies. Laundry that isn't done correctly can harbor dust mites, mold, and other allergens. In this article, we provide tips to help you do your laundry in a way that reduces indoor allergens, including tips for pet owners.
Wash Your Bedding Frequently
Your bedding is one of the places where dust mites and their droppings accumulate the most. It takes hot water and frequent washing to keep the mites under control. We recommend washing your bedding at least once a week to reduce the number of allergens in your bed.
If you have pets, it is important to wash their bedding frequently as well. Pet dander is a common allergen, and washing their bedding can help reduce the amount of pet dander in your home.
Use an Allergen Vacuum Cleaner
It's nearly impossible to wash a mattress and box springs or soft upholstered furniture. For those pieces, try an allergen vacuum cleaner. These vacuums use ultraviolet light to kill dust mites and bacteria and then a dual filtration system to eliminate the 99.9% of the offenders from fabric surfaces. This can help reduce the amount of allergens in your home and specifically in your bed.
Control Mold and Mildew in the Laundry Room and Your Closets
The prevention and removal of mold and mildew is important whether it is growing in your laundry room or in your closet or laundry hamper. Not only can it cause breathing problems for those with allergies and asthma, it can also destroy walls, clothes, and shoes.
Laundry rooms can frequently harbor mold due to a leaky washer or poor air circulation. It doesn't take long for mold to begin growing, and it should be removed as soon as possible to reduce your family's exposure and prevent structural damage.
High humidity in closets or storage areas can cause mold to grow on leather shoes and purses and on clothing. Mold thrives on soiled areas like food stains and body soil, which can encourage its growth, so clean all items before putting them away and inspect your storage regularly.
Tossing damp items into a hamper can cause bad odors and begin mildew growth. The key to removing those odors is to get towels really clean (use hot water!) and use distilled white vinegar or baking soda to neutralize odors.
Clean Your Washer and Dryer to Reduce Allergies
Just like your laundry, your washer and dryer need to be cleaned regularly to ensure they continue to function properly and prevent the build-up of mold and mildew. To clean your washer, run an empty cycle with hot water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. For your dryer, remove the lint trap and clean it thoroughly with soap and water. Use a vacuum to clean the dryer vent and exhaust hose, and wipe down the inside of the dryer with a damp cloth.
Wash Pet Beds Frequently
Pet beds can quickly become a breeding ground for dirt, hair, and bacteria, which is why it's important to clean them regularly. To do this, start by removing any loose hair or debris with a vacuum or lint roller. Then, check the care label to see if the bed is machine-washable, and if so, wash it in hot water with a mild detergent. For beds that can't be machine-washed, you can spot clean them with a pet-safe cleaner or sprinkle baking soda on the surface and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming it up. Be sure to clean your pet's bed at least once a month to keep it fresh and hygienic.
Use Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
When choosing laundry detergent for your clothes and bedding, look for a hypoallergenic option that's free of dyes and fragrances. This can help reduce the likelihood of skin irritation and allergic reactions caused by the detergent. Be sure to follow the instructions on the detergent label and use the appropriate amount for the size of your load.
Dry and Store Laundry Properly
Avoid drying your clothes outside during pollen season, as they can easily collect allergens and other irritants. Instead, opt for an indoor drying rack or clothesline. When storing your laundry, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew growth. Use breathable containers or bags, and avoid storing laundry in plastic bags or containers, as they can trap moisture and lead to musty odors.
We hope these tips help make laundry day a little easier and more efficient for you and your furry friends
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