Lot of people think outdoors when they think of allergies: Grass pollen blowing around. Tree pollen coating cars.
But nationally known “healthy home” interior design expert Robin Wilson, an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and an allergy and asthma sufferer herself, says the battle against allergies starts right at home.
Here are Wilson’s tips for nipping the allergy sources in the bud.
1. Use synthetic pillows, not feathered ones. And use hypoallergenic pillow cases and covers. Wash your pillow case once a month. Replace pillows every three years.
2. Don’t use a vinyl shower curtain because it holds mold more easily. Use a less expensive nylon curtain instead.
3. Use non-VOC paints which won’t off gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor and stir up asthma or allergies. It looks just as good on the wall as regular paint. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are solvents.
4. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile and hardwood floors are a much better choice, but must be vacuumed or cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate dirt and dust. Shake out and vacuum area rugs on a regular basis as well. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
5. Watch for mold in the dishwasher and refrigerator pan which can build up quickly in the kitchen.
6. Once each year, empty out every room in the house as if you were moving, and give it a thorough cleaning from floor to ceiling, and don’t forget the windows and window sills.
7. Use slip covers on sofas and chairs which can be washed regularly to eliminate dirt and dust.
8. Keep pets out of the bedroom and bathe them often to reduce dander.
9. Always take your shoes off when going indoors to keep the outside world from coming in.