Even though the weather has turned colder, indoor allergies are still an issue, especially since you’re going to be spending more time inside for the coming months. Allergies caused by dust, dust mites, pet dander and other indoor sources can grow worse if you’re not cleaning your clothing and linens properly. Breathe easier this winter by cleaning clothing and fabrics using methods that help prevent allergic reactions.
Hot water whenever possible
Dust mites on towels, drapes, bedding and rugs are a leading cause of indoor allergies. The best way to eliminate dust mite allergens is by cleaning items in the hottest possible water safe for the particular material. Drying the items in the clothes dryer is more effective at dealing with dust mites than hanging outside, and as outdoor hanging is unwise in winter, that’s an easy tip to follow. Not every item of clothing, drapery or rug is safe for hot water washing though so if you have any doubts take it to a professional cleaner for care.
Bringing items out of storage
If you had sneezing fits when you pulled clothing, blankets and lined drapes out of storage, that’s probably because they’d collected dust mites during the warm months. Wash all items you bring out of storage before using them to remove allergens. It’s also a good idea to wash stuffed animals and other plush toys in a net bag at least once a year to reduce dust mites.
The right cleaning products
Laundry detergents often contain harsh chemicals that can complicate allergies. Clean items with detergents that don’t contain added dyes, perfumes or phosphates to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction. Cleaning with chlorine bleach can make allergies worse as can fabric softener so look for alternative ways to freshen and brighten clothes such as vinegar and baking soda. Freshening clothes without dryer sheets eliminates the skin irritation and breathing issues such products can cause.
Keep washing machines clean
Even though you may switch to gentler cleaning products for your laundry, the residue of harsher, harmful detergents can linger in your washing machine. Clean your washing machine by running it through a few cycles without any clothing and wipe out any residue along the seal of front-loading machines. Cleaning your machine before washing large loads or items just out of storage helps reduce allergy issues.
Allergy sufferers should make their professional cleaners aware of their problems so that the cleaner can avoid the use of certain products that can make allergies worse. At Embassy Cleaners, we want your clothing, household items, and the entire house to be as comfortable and allergy-free as possible.