How NOT to remove allergens from stuffed toys!

I killed the bunny.

Have you ever failed to follow your own good advice? I did this weekend and ended up with a big mess on my hands.

We found quite a few stuffed toys that belonged to our grown daughter this weekend while we were cleaning out the garage to get ready for the community garage sale. They have been in a plastic tub for years so we thought we would freshen them up and keep some  out for our granddaughter to allergic-bunnyplay with when she comes to visit.

Now for almost 20 years we have been telling our customers the best way to remove dust and allergens from stuffed toys is to freeze them for 24 hours and then put them in the dryer for about 1/2 hour. The freezing temperature will kill any dust mites and the dryer shakes the dust and allergens loose and vent them outside. Pretty simple to do and it does not hurt the toy.

Why didn’t I listen to myself?

Well for some reason I decided the bunny needed to be washed. Needless to say it was a very dumb idea. When we opened the washing machine there was stuffing all over and as you can see, the head was almost torn off and there is a hole in the side of it’s head. I even had the machine set on the gentle cycle.

Sadly there was too much damage, lost stuffing  and looking at the fabric it would not have been possible to sew it up anyway. Funny, our daughter probably had the bunny for 10 plus years without tearing it up and I destroyed it  in 10 minutes.

Please remember to freeze and dry and not wash your children’s toys.

Wishing you the best of health,

Mike Krause

The Allergy Store


Tell Dust Mites to Freeze?

Freeze Dust MitesResearches with the University of South Carolina have been granted two patents for a novel way of cleaning to reduce allergens from dust mites. The patents are titled Methods and Compositions for Eliminating Allergens and Allergen-Producing Organisms. A recent university news release announced that the patents had been awarded to Michael Matthews, Jian Zhang and Allan Quick. and uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to “freeze clean” home fabrics.

We have been explaining to people for years that in order to neutralize an allergen effectively it must be subjected to extreme heat, cold, or an acid or alkaline substance in order to denature the proteins. When you spray ADMS or ADS anti dust mite sprays on your fabrics and rugs, you are denaturing the allergy-causing proteins using alkaline substances.

Grants by the National Institutes of Health and other sources funded the research into ways that carbon dioxide could be used to freeze clean surfaces. You might be familiar with carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice. The extreme cold temperature of the carbon dioxide not only will freeze the dust mite but it will denature the proteins from animals, molds, and pollens as well. In addition, the researchers discovered that the process also removed the odor from smoke.

The process has not been perfected yet. Currently, the researchers apply the carbon dioxide in the form of a vapor that freezes on contact with the fabric. As it freezes, the carbon dioxide forms micro particles of ice that are removed with a vacuum. Since the ice particles are immediately removed with a vacuum, they do not melt and the fabric stays dry.

The researchers were not looking for a new and better way to clean house. They were looking for a new and better way to sterilize medical equipment commercially. When they realized that their process worked on allergens as well as microbes, they begin to see home application for allergy control. Researcher Michael Mathews says, “..we realized that there was a critical national need to address the removal of asthma triggers from the home. These triggers, which are actually proteins produced by pets and pests, can be removed with our technology”.

They have not licensed the process to any cleaning companies and no equipment is currently available for home use of carbon dioxide vapor. But, relief may soon be on the way for millions that suffer from allergies and asthma.

There is no current estimate of the cost for a standard treatment of a home, but it does appear that a treatment is effective for about 6 months.

Until you can tell dust mites to “freeze” with carbon dioxide vapor, you can continue to vacuum with a HEPA filtered vacuum, spray ADMS Anti Dust Mite Spray on your fabrics, and keep the number of dust catching objects in a room to a minimum.

Even when the carbon dioxide technology has been adapted for home use, you will still need a zippered dust mite cover for your mattress, pillow and boxspring. It will be impossible to get the vapor to the depths of your mattress or pillow. So do not throw out those zippered mattress covers! They will continue to be your first line of defense, even after you tell the dust mites to “Freeze!”

Wishing you the best of health

Let’s Get Ready for Holiday Guests

Get bedroom ready for allergic guestsWe have gotten quite a few calls this week from people trying to get the house ready for a friend or family member with allergies that is coming for a holiday visit. When you have a guest with allergies, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

You want the visit memorable for the good times, not the allergies or the asthma attack!

While it may not be perfect there are things you can do right now to prepare a guest room for holiday guests with allergies.

  • Keep the pets out of the room.
  • Strip the bed now including the bedspreads, blankets, pillows and comforters.
  • Thoroughly dust and vacuum the room now.
  • If the mattress and pillows do not have a dust mite cover spray them with ADMS anti-allergen spray.
  • Wash the sheets and put the other bedding in the dryer to get rid of dust build up.
  • A day or 2 before they are due to arrive dust and vacuum again.
  • Put clean linens on the bed.
  • Keep the door closed.

If your guest is allergic to your pet, it may not be possible to completely remove all the pet allergen from your house before they arrive. It is better to concentrate on cleaning just a few rooms and keep the pet out of those rooms during the visit. Your holiday guest with allergies or asthma probably doesn’t need to use every bedroom and bathroom in the house, so don’t worry about those rooms.

Wishing you the best of health and a Happy Holiday

The Allergy Store