You spend a lot of time keeping your body healthy both inside and outside, but what about your environment. Our skin is the first thing our bodies have in contact with the environment. Think about that for a moment. Everything we move through in life, our skin gets hit the hardest. As a way to give your skin a break from your daily grind, there are ways in which you can keep you home purified and clean.
Here is the Goop guide on how to detox home allergens-
The rule of tidiness applies throughout the house—minimizing clutter and keeping floor surfaces, furniture, curtains, etc. clean can make a big difference. (For the dirty on toxic vs. non-toxic cleaning products, see here. Also, the simple DIY solution of vinegar and lemon is underrated.) Dr. Dinakar tells us that vacuuming the house with a good quality vacuum (a cyclonic vacuum or a vacuum with a HEPA filter—more on this below—and a double-layered bag or central vacuum) helps reduce allergen exposure. She also suggests that you wear a dust mask when cleaning if you have allergy issues—or…ask someone else to vacuum.
The allergy-sensitive among us swear by keeping air purifiers in the spaces where we spend the most time, be it a reading nook, or the kitchen. Portable air filters like Dyson’s are great because you can move them from a living space to the bedroom come nighttime—and filtering the air while you’re sleeping might be the most important.
Overall, keep humidity low, suggests Dr. Dinakar, via a dehumidifier or air conditioning.
If it’s a problem (and an option for you), replace carpeting with hardwood floors, which aren’t as conducive to dust mites and other allergens, and are easier to clean. We love a good throw rug—but just be sure to wash it or have it dry cleaned regularly.
As always, if you’re struggling, see an allergist, who can help you troubleshoot more precisely. In the interim, seasonal allergy sufferers should consider bathing before going to bed at night, as this removes the pollen that you’ve accumulated on your hair and skin throughout the day. Also, as nice as the fresh breeze is, avoid sleeping with the windows open. (What’s nice about the Dyson is that in addition to serving as an air purifier, it also has ten airflow settings for increased cooling in warmer weather.)
Here, some more tips for the allergen-prone to keep in mind, room by room:
Typical Culprit: Dust mites like warm, humid environments—i.e. bedding and carpeting.
- Cover your box spring, mattress, and pillows in allergen-proof, airtight, zippered covers.
- Wash laundry bedding weekly in hot water and tumble dry. (See goop’s non-toxic laundry staples here.)
- Try to keep pets out of the bedroom (sorry).
Typical Culprit: Of course, food allergens are a concern; also, even if your place is spotless, cockroaches can be a problem, too, especially on dense city blocks (as almost any longtime NYC apartment dweller will tell you).
- Block gaps through which cockroaches might be entering (crevices and cracks in walls, open window spaces).
- Store food in sealed containers (some organizing tips here).
- Once pets are done eating, put their food dishes away.
- Use a lidded garbage container, and otherwise clean up crumb-friendly areas (like under the stove/fridge, corners of countertop, cupboard shelving).
Typical Culprit: Anywhere that is wet/damp/poorly ventilated is a potential hotbed for mold and mildew.
- Step one is obviously to have any leaks repaired.
- In the bathroom, we use a mold/toxin-free showerhead—yep, mold can live in your showerhead, which is typically impossible to clean properly.
- Keep rooms ventilated, clean, and as dry as possible. If you have a damp basement, a dehumidifier may help (but be sure to service them regularly so you don’t unintentionally end up allowing more mildew to accumulate).
THE COMMON AREA
Typical Culprit: A combo of things, but similar to the bedroom, dust mites are probably at the top of the list.
- In your living areas, it’s mostly about being aware of where dust accumulates—whether it’s a pile of stuffed toys, or (sadly) a beloved, packed bookcase.
Pet allergies can be particularly hard to swallow. If you’re dealing with them: Keep the house as dust-free as you can, as it contains pet allergens. Dander (dead skin) and saliva are the big sources allergens with pets like cats and dogs, but if you’re family has a bunny, hamster, guinea pig, etc., be aware that the allergen source is the animal’s urine (i.e. hand the cage-cleaning duties off to a non-sufferer).
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