If you or someone in your household suffers from hay fever, you’ll know how unpleasant the symptoms can be – from a runny nose and itchy eyes to sneezing and congestion, allergies can disrupt your sleep and make day-to-day life difficult.
Think there’s nothing you can do? Think again!
While medications can alleviate symptoms, there are also some precautions you can take in your home to help reduce exposure to those pesky pollen grains in the first place…
1. Dust with a damp microfibre cloth
Microfibre cloths are effective at trapping and retaining dust thanks to their super-fine multi-stranded fibres. A dry duster can disturb settled dust and disperse it into the air, so use a slightly damp cloth to ensure dust and pollen isn’t just moved to another place in your home.
2. Don’t neglect upholstery, cushions and soft toys
All fabrics can harbour allergens, but some don’t get washed as often as clothes – if ever. Vacuum sofas with an upholstery tool to help remove dust and pollen, while curtains and children’s soft toys can be either machine washed or placed in the freezer for 24 hours and then hand washed (always check individual washing instructions first!).
3. Wash bedding at high temperatures
Bedlinen is in close contact with your face throughout the night. If pollen has transferred onto your bedding, you may find your symptoms interrupting your sleep. During allergy season, change your bedding even more regularly than usual and wash at 55-60°C to thoroughly remove allergens from the fabric’s fibres. Showering before bed is also a good idea when allergies flare up, as it removes excess pollen from your hair and body.
4. Opt for easy-to-clean interiors
Redecorating? Next time you choose soft furnishings, think about their allergen-harbouring potential. Roller blinds are easy to wipe clean and have fewer fiddly areas where dust can gather than Venetian blinds or shutters. Carpets, especially those with a deep pile, gather more dust than hard floors.
5. Try an air purifier
From pollen to dust mites, many common allergens are carried in the air. Designed to filter out dust, smoke, pet hair and other pollutants, air purifiers can offer extra reassurance, especially to those with asthma or multiple allergies. Try using an air purifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time, such as your bedroom, to help you breathe a little easier.
6. Choose an anti-allergen vacuum cleaner
Vacuuming is an effective way to remove allergies and irritants from your floors and furnishings. High-efficiency filters remove very small dust particles from the air sucked into your vacuum – but filters alone are not enough.
Shark goes one step further, creating a completely sealed unit to ensure allergens can’t bypass the filters and be released back into your home. Anti-Allergen Complete Seal captures and traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum cleaner, not releasing them back into the air you breathe*. Available on corded and cordless models, choose a Shark vacuum with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal for extra reassurance.
*Based on IEC standard 62885-2 Cl. 5.11 at 0.3 to 10 microns.