Holiday Guests Allergic to Your Pets?

Holiday Guests and Allergies

Two people have reminded me that Christmas will be upon me before I know it.  Thanks for the reminder!  Exactly who took my 2018 and will they please bring it back?  If you are expecting guests allergic to your pet, its time to take action!

Holidays are a great time.  Family and friends gather together for good conversation, good food, and good company.  But if you have pets and your guests have allergies, wheezing, sneezing, and a grab for the rescue inhaler can put a damper on the fun.

It doesn’t have to be like that!  If you do a little advance planning and work, you can invite guests allergic to your pets to safely share the holidays with you and your pets.

In this post, I am going to focus on the “day” guest.  This is a person that will be coming into your home for a few hours, but not spending the night.  I will cover overnight guests in another post to come.

There’s no time like the present

The time to start preparing is now!  The first thing you must do is understand what is the cause of pet allergy. Then you will understand how to control it.

Cats, dogs, and other furred animals secrete a protein in their saliva and urine that commonly misidentified by the immune system of a person with allergies.

Cat Grooming - Pet DanderEvery time the animals grooms itself or empties its bladder, bits of this protein stick to the skin and fur. It dries up and flakes off, either on its own accord or is shed with that bit of skin or fur.  Once it is off the animal, it becomes airborne and is inhaled by the allergic person.

The immune system of the allergic person has previously misidentified this protein upon a prior encounter with an animal.  The immune system thinks the protein is a germ. It has created a specific IgE for that protein and upon every subsequent exposure it thinks it is fighting the same germ again and again. The mast cells start producing histamine and it just goes downhill for the allergic person from there.

So, step one is complete! You now know why the animal makes the allergic person feel sick. The second step is to identify where the allergen has collected in your home and the final step is cleaning it up. 

Game plan

Look around the rooms where your guests will be hanging out.  Note upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, and draperies.  These fiber surfaces collect these shed bits of protein and when they are disturbed, they release the allergens back into the air.

Start applying Allerpet solution for cats or dogs about 2 weeks before your guests come to visit.  Just wipe the animal down with this mild denaturing agent. It will stop the animal from adding to the allergen level that already exists in your home. Do this at least once a week.

About a week before the big visit day, start spraying all the fiber surfaces with a denaturing agent like ADMS Anti-allergen Spray.  While primarily marketed for dust mite allergy, this product works great on allergens from cats, dogs, molds, pollen, cockroaches, and all the other common household allergens.

The day before the guests arrive, vacuum all the fiber surfaces thoroughly and then spray them down one more time with ADMS.

Special Note: You don’t want to vacuum just before your guests arrive. Most vacuum cleaners will just send the settled allergens up into the air, where they will be more easily inhaled by your guest.

The morning of the big day, reapply Allerpet to the animal (as an added benefit this is a great-coat conditioner so you pet will look great for the guests!) and lightly spray down any areas where the pet sleeps.

Relax and enjoy

 

Now, go knock their socks off with your awesome culinary talents!  Whether you order in or go all out cooking, your guests will be comfortable, your pet will be shiny and you will be thankful you read this post today!

Till next time

Cheryl
The Allergy Store

Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for all the medications and doctor visits. For additional information please click here to download your free copy of” You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living.

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Wash Your Allergy Mattress Covers

Its time to wash my allergy mattress covers again.  Thank goodness it doesn’t need to be done very often.  When is the last time you washed your allergy mattress covers?

People often ask if they need to wash the allergy mattress cover every week, just like their sheets.  No!  What a hassle that would be!

How often should you wash your allergy covers?

It’s already tough enough to have the discipline to wash sheets, blankets, and pillowcases every 7 days.allergy mattress covers with zippers Can you image if you had to wash your allergy mattress cover every week?

We recommend that you wash allergy covers at least once or twice a year, IF you are good about washing the other bedding weekly. That is a big “if”.  If you don’t wash your sheets often, you must wash your allergy mattress cover more often.

Yes, it is a chore to get the cover off and on the mattress, but it is necessary.  I wash mine several times a year.

How do you know when your allergy mattress covers need washing?

Let your nose be your guide.  If you have an allergy mattress cover on your bed, it is probably because you are allergic to dust mites.  Dust mites cause respiratory symptoms and eczema.  If you notice  your symptoms are returning even with weekly washing of the other bedding, it is time to wash your cover.

I also wash my cover when I do the big spring and fall cleaning in my house.  I pull everything off the bed, including my wool mattress pad and quilt and steam everything thoroughly with my Vapamore steam cleaner. It is also a great time to spray the box spring with ADMS and wash the dust ruffle. Since the bed is already taken apart, it is not a big deal to throw the cover in the wash with my sheets.  Be careful not to overcrowd the washing machine when you launder your cover.  Most of our allergy mattress covers can be washed in water up to 140°F, but we don’t recommend it.

How to wash your allergy covers

We recommend that you wash in cooler temps with De-Mite (the product I personally like) or Allergen Wash. It is just as effective as hot water (even more so) and it is much kinder to the fabric. If you have a cover made  of the urethane coated fabrics, it is important that you do not use liquid chlorine bleach when you wash your allergy mattress De-Mite contains tea tree oilcover.  Bleach will damage the urethane backing.

 

Make sure that your mattress, your allergy mattress covers, and all the bedding is completely dry before you put the bed back together.  You don’t want anything damp as that could promote mold growth, not a good thing!  The best night’s sleep is that first night in bed after everything has been scrubbed and washed.  What a great feeling!

Til Next Time

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Spring Cleaning – Living Areas

start Spring Cleaning Now
Spring Cleaning

Have you started your Spring Cleaning yet?  Because we don’t have four seasons in South Florida only the calendar says it is Spring. We are about halfway through the dry season.  But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do that annual deep clean.

History of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning comes from a time when we relied more on wood, oil and coal burning sources for heat.  By the end of winter, after a home had been closed up for months in an effort to keep it warm the air was stuffy and most surfaces had accumulated ash and soot.  Warmer days meant a time to open the windows and doors and scrub away soot, ash, and dust.

You might not have a house full of ash and soot, but if you haven’t done a deep cleaning in awhile, there is no time like the present!  Don’t let the thought of a good Spring clean stop you before you get started.  While the idea is to clean every surface, that doesn’t mean you have to tackle the whole house at once.

For example, when I start a big cleaning job I break it down into rooms and tell myself I only need to do a few rooms at a time.  I generally start with the formal living and dining room and toss in a hallway or half-bath because these rooms are not filled with loads of “stuff” and I can finish them with minimal effort and get a feeling of accomplishment.

Develop a Spring Cleaning Strategy

It helps to have a plan of attack and assemble your cleaning supplies in advance.  I started last weekend and was able to accomplish quite a bit in just a few hours.  I always start at the top and work to the bottom.  This means first knocking down any cobwebs in those corners where the walls and ceilings meet before I clean the walls. Yes, that is right…I clean my walls at least once a year if not more often.

Because I have a Miele vacuum cleaner with an adjustable wand I have no problem reaching up the length of the wall to the 10′ ceiling.  I just put the smooth floor brush on the wand, fully extend it then start at the top and vacuum down.  If you have washable curtains of slip covers, this is a great time to get them in the wash.  I washed mine last week with a little De-Mite laundry additive to get rid of any dust mites that might have collected there.

Next tackle the woodwork. If you have crown molding, start there then work down to any chair rail and lastly baseboards.  Give all the furniture a good dusting and if knickknacks are washable, take them to the kitchen sink and give them a good washing.  Otherwise, dust with a damp cloth.  This is a great time to treat your upholstered furniture with a denaturing agent like ADMS Dust Mite Spray. After you vacuum the cushions and give them a flip, just spray lightly.

Finally clean the floors.  I used my Vapamore steam cleaner to clean my tile floors.  It does such a fantastic job of cleaning and brings out the natural shine in the tile.  I do confess that I covet the new Primo model.  I have the old style MR100 and I have to keep a towel handy to purge and it doesn’t have the nifty retractable cord.  I would say that when mine is ready for replacement I will get the Primo, but unfortunately I know that my steam cleaner is like my Miele vacuum cleaner and is so well made it won’t need replacing for many years to come.  If you have sealed wood or laminate floors, you can steam clean them as well.

If you have carpet, vacuum thoroughly, including the little cracks by the baseboard and then treat with X-Mite Powder or ADMS Dust Mite Spray.  If you use the X-Mite Powder, be sure to sweep it in thoroughly and then go on to cleaning the next room.  X-Mite needs to sit on the carpet for 3 hours to work properly.  If you are using the ADMS Spray, just lightly spray after you vacuum and call the room done.

You might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about the windows.  That is because I don’t try to Spring Clean inside and outside at the same time.  I used to clean windows when I cleaned a room, but I found that gathering the extra supplies and running in and out just seemed to make the process last longer.  Now I clean all the windows in one fell swoop.  That is usually after I have the majority of the home deep cleaned or I can sweet talk my dear husband into doing it for me.

I also find it helps to set a time limit.  For example, I will tell myself I am going to deep clean “insert name of room/rooms” and I am going to have it done in “x hours”.

Otherwise I will make myself crazy and a 2 to 3 hour project will consume 6 or 7 hours.

If you have Spring cleaning tips, I’d love to hear them….just post your comments.
Til Next Time!

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