Don’t wait to Start your Spring Cleaning

We recently shared information on Spring cleaning.  Now I know that many of you are in areas where there is still snow on the ground and a chill in the air.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t start your Spring cleaning.  With a little careful planning, you can get a jump on those Spring chores before the tulips are in bloom.start Spring Cleaning Now

First, consult a reliable source for accurate weather in your area.  That could be your local TV station or one of the many weather websites (weatherunderground, accuweather, etc) and find a day that will be sunny and dry.  I did an entire Spring cleaning in a bedroom in our rental cabin yesterday; and the temperatures never climbed out of the 40’s.  However the air was dry and the skies were clear.

Spring Cleaning  The Dust Mite Covers

First, take all the washable bedding off of the bed.  This includes all of your zippered covers for your mattress, box spring, pillows, duvets, and featherbeds.  Get them in the wash with some De-Mite laundry additive and your favorite detergent.

Spring Cleaning with Steam!

For your feather beds, comforters and other items that you cannot wash or do not like to wash you can use a combination of steam and sunlight to get rid of allergens and freshen these items up.  The high temperature of the steam and the power of the ultraviolet light will reduce the allergens that you can’t wash away.  A Vapamore steamer is perfect for this chore.  use steam for spring cleaning

I set up two areas for steaming:  one inside where I could hang the items to easily steam both sides and a second outside where they could hang in the sun to dry.  I used the fabric/upholstery attachment on the steamer to steam both sides of my Downlight comforter and featherbed topper.  The same attachment worked great on pillows and my two comforters that are not washable.  After each item was steamed, it went outside to hang in the sun to dry.  In addition, I gave each a light mist of ADMS antiallergen spray.  I couldn’t hang the pillows, but I able to set them in chairs!

Spring Cleaning the Floors

After everything was steamed and hanging outside, it was time to tackle the contents of the room.  I vacuumed the floor to get up any loose dust then sprinkled down X-Mite Powder to freshen the carpet and neutralize allergens. The contents of the room (furniture, wall hangings, knick knacks, etc) were vacuumed with the round dusting brush attached to my Miele vacuum and then wiped down.  Hard surfaces, such as baseboards, painted walls, and furniture were steamed with the Vapamore before wiping down.

By the time I had this chore complete, the washable bedding was dry as were the steamed items that had been hanging or sitting out in the sunlight. The zippered covers went back on the mattress, comforter, featherbed, and pillows.  Fresh sheets on the bed and then it was time to vacuum up the X-Mite powder and the room was complete.

Spring cleaning on a less than Spring like day.  It can be done!

Till next time
Cheryl

 

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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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