Top Tips for Allergen Avoidance
Positive result for mattress –
Vacuum the entire mattress and under the bed, using a high-suction vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters – this will remove any surface dust (including skin flakes and allergen particles).
Once cleaned, fit approved allergen-proof covers on the mattress to prevent skin flakes going into the bedding and stop any remaining allergen particles getting out.
Considering replacing old mattresses.
Positive result for duvets and pillows –
You may be able to wash the duvet or pillows at 60ºC or dry-clean them (check washing instructions first). This kills off the dust mites and helps remove allergens.
Consider replacing old pillows.
Cleaned or new pillows and duvets can be fitted with approved allergen-proof covers.
Positive result for carpets –
Vacuum problem carpets using a high-suction vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to reduce allergens.
It may be worth considering hard flooring, such as wood laminate or tiles, which is less mite friendly.
Positive result for soft furnishing –
Sofas and other soft furnishings should not be ignored as a source of dust mite allergens, especially if used frequently. These should be vacuumed using a high-suction vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters the same way as mattresses and barrier covers used where possible.
General tips –
Open windows when vacuuming beds, carpets or any soft furnishings.
Wash bed linen (sheets, blankets, pillowcases) at 60ºC. This kills off the dust mites and helps remove allergens.
Children’s soft toys may also be a source of allergens. Buy washable soft toys. These can be washed at 60ºC and thoroughly dried.
Air beds frequently by pulling covers back to help any moisture evaporate from the mattress. An adult person sweats or breathes out around half a litre of moisture each night. Dust mites need this to survive, as they live best above 50% relative humidity. If your home suffers badly from condensation a de-humidifier will help reduce this.
Dust around the home using electrostatic or damp cloths. This removes surface dust without making it airborne.
Ventilate rooms to provide fresh, clean air. This will remove any airborne allergens and help reduce humidity. However, if you suffer from hay fever you should avoid this during periods of high pollen count.
Check allergen levels every 6 months.