In my last blog post, I wrote about the disheartening trend in home decorating towards carpeting, especially in the bedrooms. We went over how carpet is a hotbed of dust mites and other household allergen activity.
However, I realize that in the real world there will be situations where you just can’t get rid of the carpets. In that case, you just have to do your best given the situation and try to minimize allergens in the carpet.
Start by vacuuming regularly with a high-quality vacuum that was designed for containing allergens and reducing your exposure. So, don’t let the handsome guy on TV with the cool accent convince you that his bag-less vacuum with cyclone technology is the best for you. It is not. He is just trying to sell you a vacuum. he is selling a vacuum that will not minimize the allergens in your carpet and will actually expose you to more allergens.
Ask yourself, If the goal is to reduce my exposure, why on earth do I want something that will send a cloud of collected particles up in the air when I empty it? Seriously, the entire concept of a bagless allergy vacuum is an oxymoron.
You want to look for a canister vacuum system. You want the canister and the entire vacuum system to be sealed so that allergens don’t leak out.
You want a vacuum with a HEPA filter. You want that HEPA filter to be post-motor, so the last thing that happens to the air before it is exhausted is that it is cleaned.
You want to make sure that you change that HEPA filter as recommended by the manufacturer. There are several brands of vacuums on the market, (Lindhaus, Nilfisk, Miele, Vapamore) that meet all of these requirements and we sell two of them.
Secondly, no matter how well you vacuum, allergens will be left behind. If you have carpets you are going to have to treat them on a regular basis to denature the allergens.
The standard product for removing allergens from carpets is X-Mite Powder. It is a tannic acid-based moist powder that will brighten the carpets and denature the allergens. It must be applied every 3 months.
It is effective, and that is why doctors recommend it. It is also a bit of a hassle for people with busy lives. You sprinkle the powder down, sweep it into the fibers with a broom and then wait 3 hours. You then vacuum up the powder and throw the vacuum bag away.
I prefer to minimize allergens in the carpet with a treatment of ADMS Spray. It contains no tannic acid and is perfect for light-colored and low-pile carpets. You get the same denaturing action with much less hassle. Just vacuum the carpet to remove loose soil and then lightly spray the ADMS down. In about 15 to 20 minutes it will be dry and you can be on your way.
In the best of worlds, there would be no carpet. But if you live in the real world, it is possible to live with those carpets and your allergies. You just have to work at the relationship.