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Keep dust mite allergies under control with these 5 easy to do tips and cleaning schedule.
Did you know you can be allergic to dust?! I sure didn’t until my youngest son started getting these break out rashes all over his body. He didn’t have them all the time but when he did get them they made him super uncomfortable. He was getting them so frequently that we took him into his doctor and after a few tests it came back that he had a dust mite allergy. I was surprised to hear how common this type of allergy is and happy to learn how easy it is to mange.
We now have a pretty set cleaning schedule and have made some easy changes, like minimizing our decorations and using a new laundry detergent; and I’m happy to report he has almost no breakouts. Today I want to share with you some of the biggest changes we’ve made, and by biggest I don’t mean hardest, and how they’ve helped him (and our whole family) breathe easier and itch less.
1. Minimize Decorations and Clutter. One of the biggest places dust likes to make it’s home is in all the knick knacks and decorations we have around our home. As much as I love decorating and having seasonal items out it was creating more places for dust to hide out, and really more work for me to clean. I have minimized our decorations and try to keep our clutter to a minimum. Not only does it make our house seem more open but it has seriously cut down on how much time I spend cleaning too!
2. Wash Bedding Weekly. Another favorite home of dust mites is our sheets and bedding. Especially during these summer months when bedtimes get pushed back a bit and baths don’t always make it on the schedule. It’s important to make sure our beds are staying clean too. I noticed that a lot of the time my son’s rashes started in the morning when he first woke up which goes to show that his blankets and sheets were the main cause of his breakouts. Since I started washing our bedding weekly he hasn’t had any morning breakouts.
When we found out about his dust mite allergy I started looking for other ways we could help make these reactions not happen as frequently. When I was grocery shopping at Smith’s I spent some time in the laundry care aisle and saw the new all® free clear detergent. After seeing it was the #1 detergent recommended by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin I decided to give it a try. I also picked up a box of all® free clear dryer sheets and headed home. Not only did it all the stains out and clean our clothes but our clothes came out feeling softer too. And since I’ve switched the he hasn’t had any reactions on his tummy or legs like he used to. Note: all® free clear is not made to treat or prevent allergies. It is just one of the many things that has helped us keep ours under control.
3. Wash Stuffed Animals. This is one of the first thing our pediatrician told us to do. So as soon as I got home I
threw gently placed all our stuffed animals in the washer (it was 2 or 3 loads actually). Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle (or bag) exactly. I now make it a routine to wash his favorite few animals weekly with his bedding.
4. Clean out vacuum in between each room, after each use and clean filters regularly. This was a hard one for me to remember at first but it has made such a big difference. Isn’t it gross to see all the stuff our vacuums suck up?! I’ve started emptying our vacuum in between rooms (which isn’t too bad now that I only vacuum 1-2 rooms at a time) and after every use. There are areas of our home that get more traffic and dust than others, like our living room, and if I can keep that dust out of the rest of the house it makes life easier for all of us. I’ve also made a habit of cleaning all the filters at least once a month. It only takes about 5 minutes but makes a big difference in how well our vacuum works.
5. Change out your furnace/ac filter monthly. Most furnace filters say to replace every three months but with our sensitivity to dust we’ve started changing them out monthly. I don’t know if this is the main reason his reactions have been minimal but I do know our house seems to be fresher and our AC hasn’t been working as hard since we’ve made the change. Most stores sell multi-packs of filters and that’s what we get to make sure we always have one on hand. We also write the day we changed the filter on the filter itself as a reminder of when it was changed last.
I broke up all of these tasks, and the rest of our weekly cleaning, into easy to manage chunks and have been doing this cleaning routine for about two months now. It’s so much easier to spend 30 minutes a day cleaning versus 2-3 hours Saturday morning trying to get all the cleaning done. You can print your copy of this schedule here.
As you can see the changes we’ve made haven’t been huge or hard but they’ve made a big impact on our little man’s health. It’s so nice to not wake up to him crying because his skin itches or have him not be able to go out and play because of a bad reaction. If you have family with a dust mite allergy or sensitive skin too pick up a bottle of all® free clear detergent next time you’re at the store. And to get more tips on how to tackle sensitive skin concerns visit the all® community.