Home/Blog/Essential Oil/Ten commandments of the allergy-friendly home

Ten commandments of the allergy-friendly home

Got allergies?  Here are the ten commandments you should live by to help make your home an allergy-friendly haven.  
Go forth… and stop those allergens from multiplying!

1. Thou shalt avoid fabric-covered furniture. 

Leather, vinyl or synthetic suede are the best choice for allergy sufferers.

2. Thou shalt love the sunlight and fresh air.

“Airing out” or ventilating the house regularly helps reduce humidity and mould growth.  With one exception: if you have pollen allergies, don't do this on high pollen count days (google ‘pollen count’ and your state to find out more).  Direct UV sunlight on rugs, pillows and cushions also kills mould spores, yeast and dust mites (but won’t eliminate their allergens). Make sure your home is well insulated and try not to use evaporative coolers or unflued gas heaters which can also cause damp conditions.

3. Thou shalt vacuum smart. 

Vacuum weekly to reduce dust mite allergens, particularly concentrating on mattresses and in between the seams on upholstered furniture.  A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter is essential if you have allergies, because these best capture and retain tiny particles of dust mite, cat and mould allergens.  Look for a double dust bag too.   
Be aware that even with a HEPA filter vacuuming will stir up dust mites into the air for at least 20 minutes so don’t vacuum around allergic people and pass the job onto someone else if you’re the one with the allergy.
Hepa Vacuum cleaner

4. Thou shalt dust smart.  

Damp dust cloths or electrostatic cloths clean surfaces far better, and stir up less dust, than traditional feather dusters.  
Dust wand

5. Thou shalt reconsider curtains.  

What are one of the biggest dust magnets in the home?  Heavy curtains and drapes - replace them with easy to clean venetians or flat blinds where possible.


6. Thou shalt not waste money on special mattress covers.  

A meta-analysis of 24 different allergy studies published in The Annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in March this year found that impermeable mattress and pillow covers made no difference in reducing dust mite allergies or their symptoms.  Considering a queen size allergy bed protector can cost up to $140, that’s a lot of money saved.
Couple cold 

7. Thou shalt use synthetic quilts.  

Dust mites love the airy pockets of warmth in feather and down quilts, and feathers can’t tolerate frequent washing.  Blankets and doonas should be washed at least every two months if you have allergies, with sheets and other linen washed monthly.  Using a special laundry treatment such as Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Dust Mite Wash will eliminate the need for using hot water over 55°C, as its natural formula kills 99% of dust mites using warm water, which suits most fabrics.  
Synthetic pillows are best too, and luckily there are some great options out there; latex and memory foam are ideal for allergy sufferers.  If you love your existing pillows, however, treat them weekly with Bosisto’s Dust Mite Spray – a natural, eucalyptus based treatment that’s highly effective at killing dust mites on non-washable items.

 (Tip: if you do have a feather quilt, try to leave it to air in direct UV sunlight as often as possible and give it a spray with Bosisto's Dust Mite Spray before bringing back inside.  Only wash according to manufacturer's instructions.)


8. Thou shalt leave sheepskin on sheep.  

Yes they make the bed toasty warm, but unfortunately sheepskin or woollen underlays on beds are a prime breeding ground for dust mites.  If you’re an allergy family ditch the woolly warmers and try an electric blanket instead (switching it on HIGH for a few hours may also help kill dust mites in your mattress.  However, make sure you always switch it off before sleep.)


Note: if you really can’t part with your woollen underlays (including infants’ rugs, pet rugs and pram underlays), you can wash them safely using Bosisto’s Dust Mite Wash: it contains no enzymes, phosphates or bleach which can damage the fleece or leather, and can be used in warm water around 30°C (sheepskin can tolerate temperatures of up to 40°C). For more tips on sheepskin care, click here

9. Thou shalt encourage thy kids to enjoy LEGO

...and arts and craft rather than cuddly soft toys which can harbour allergens.  Or - if this sounds a little harsh - at least try to keep soft toys out of the bedroom, and treat them regularly with a spray of Bosisto’s Dust Mite Spray.  (ps.  Yes, freezing toys also destroys dust mites, but who wants a bunch of dirty teddy bears amongst the icecream and frozen fish?  Plus, they’re all wet afterwards!… eugh)

10. Thou shalt not forget about thy robes… sorry, clothes.  

These too can harbour dust mites and pick up pollens and allergens from outdoors.  Wash your clothes regularly with a gentle, allergy-friendly laundry wash such as Bosisto’s Laundry Liquid.  It’s great for sheets and towels, too.

Click here to learn more about Bosisto's laundry & dust mite control products.