Whether you suffer from asthma, allergies or simply want to ensure the air in your bedroom is as clear as possible, there are several easy measures you can take to limit the amount of dust that collects in one of the most used rooms of your house. We spend more time breathing air in our bedroom than any other room, and shed more skin there too (unpleasant sounding, but true!) as we get changed in and out of work, casual clothes and pyjamas.
The amount of dust in your bedroom can irritate existing allergies and asthma, or even just create an irritation without any prior allergy having existed. Opening the windows to let in the breeze can only clear your room for a short time, so setting up your room to be dust-free from the outset is the best way to go about cutting out that stuffy nose and horrible heavy-headed feeling in the morning.
There are many ways you can reduce the amount of dust in your bedroom, and you can of course use any or all of these methods, depending on how much work you are willing to do. Incidentally, when carrying out any amount of cleaning work in a dusty room, you may find it beneficial to wear a filter mask. They’re very cheap from any DIY or hardware store, and can save you a stuffed nose.
Carpets – The first major storage area of dust mites and their droppings is the carpet. If you can, replace carpeting with wooden floors (hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring can be obtained fairly cheaply at DIY stores for easy home-fitting). If this is not an option, you could consider treating your carpets with Tannic Acid, which kills the mites. It’s not as effective as removing the carpet however, can irritate some people’s allergies, and needs constant reapplication.
Furniture & Furnishings – Any flat surface in the bedroom is a perfect place for dust to gather. Try to limit such surfaces (floor to ceiling wardrobes is a good way to get round clothes storage) and get rid of all upholstery. Upholstered furniture simply adds another layer of fabric for mites to make their home, so ensure all surfaces and chairs are metal or wood, which can be scrubbed every now and then, and don’t store dust and mites.
If you have any clothes that cannot as yet be stored in a closed drawer or wardrobe, store them in zippered plastic bags, and make sure shoes are off the floor.
Avoid heavy curtains or Venetian blinds, use light fabrics or, ideally, window shades. The thicker the material the more space for dust mites to live and breed, and for dust to collect. Venetian blinds, obviously, provide multiple flat surfaces for dust to settle, so are not ideal either. When washing bedding, wash the curtains too.
Beds – One of the worst storage areas for dust mites and collected skin cells, mattresses are impossible to clean completely. If possible replace your regular bed with a waterbed, which is easily cleaned and provides no chance for dust mites to hide. Many stores will sell allergy-safe bedding covers and pillowcases, so use those or bedding with a Dacron content. When washing bedding, ensure you are washing at temperatures above 130 Degrees Fahrenheit. It goes without saying that it’s a good idea to avoid wool-blankets or other such comforters on the bed.
Pets – Of course if you already have animals you are not going to want to get rid of them, but just making sure they don’t get into the bedroom can make a world of difference. As mentioned before, you spend more hours in your bedroom than in any other room, so it’s worth excluding any fur-covered pets.
Cleaning – Try to clean the room completely and thoroughly every week, using a damp cloth on all smooth surfaces (including window sills and the tops of any high cupboards) to pick up dust rather than just kicking it into the air. Open windows to air the room while you wash bedding and furnishings, and vacuum any
Air Purifying – Using dehumidifier and air conditioners can help regulate high temperatures and moisture that can increase mite breeding. Only use air conditioners when absolutely necessary however, as they can dry the air so much as to be harsh on nasal passages.
When already firmly settled in a home, you can’t really move, but if you have a choice then it’s a good idea to avoid basement living. You can translate all these practices to the rest of the house too, with the living room being perhaps the next most important room to target.
For mild allergies, just putting some of these measures into practice can lead to quite some relief, and for serious asthma and allergy sufferers you can create a virtually dust-free room by doing everything talked about in this article, leading to better quality of life and often a reduced need for medications.