JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A mild winter is to blame for those increased allergy symptoms, but a little spring cleaning can go a long way in relieving them.
Here are 10 tips from First Coast Home Pros on how to remove allergens from your home:
· Wash and dry all linens and quilts: Sheets and comforters can harbor dust mites. Wash in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry in a hot dryer to kill mites. Kennedy also recommends flipping mattresses during spring cleaning and using allergen-proof bed covers.
· Clean all light fixtures and dust all ceiling fans and air vents: Dust mites accumulate on ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Wear a mask and use a damp cloth or vacuum to wipe blades. Avoid using a feather duster as it can spread mites instead of trapping them.
· Wash and dust all baseboards, walls, door and window molding: Dust, pollen and pet dander often accrues on the lips of baseboards and molding. Wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth. Dab with a dry cloth to avoid mold growth.
· Wash each window inside and out: Sanitize windows to remove all pollen and mildew. Kennedy also suggests taking down blinds and cleaning shades individually.
· Move the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer and scrub under each appliance: Wash floors thoroughly to remove all dust and food particles which can grow mold and attract bugs such as cockroaches.
· Sweep, vacuum and mop all tile and hardwood floors: Mix a small quantity of ammonia, cleaner and warm water and apply to floor using a sponge mop. Rinse with cool, clear water and dry with a soft cloth. Make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from the ammonia. Kennedy also suggests mopping with a vinegar and water solution for maintenance cleaning.
· Vacuum and clean the carpets in each room: Vacuum to remove all dust mites from carpets. Mites can quickly and easily pass through vacuum bags, so use a high-efficiency filter or immediately empty vacuum canister into an outside trash bin. Steam clean to remove even more remaining allergens.
· Wash all area rugs: Vacuum and consult care labels before washing area rugs. Machine-wash on delicate cycle when appropriate and dry on a clothes-drying rack or slatted picnic table to keep the rug’s shape. Natural fiber rugs may require professional cleaning.
· Clean the inside and outside of the microwave, oven and refrigerator: Wipe all surfaces to avoid mold. Empty and clean drip pans and clean or replace rubber seals around doors.
· Dust all high objects: Use a damp cloth or vacuum to remove dust and mites from ledges, door and window frames, photos and cabinets.