More and more people are suffering from allergies, and it's particularly troubling for parents whose children have them. Thankfully, the symptoms for most people are annoying and uncomfortable rather than serious or life-threatening. Still, it can really get you down, particularly when you almost always have a blocked nose, itchy or watery eyes and mild respiratory difficulties.
If you or members of your family are really suffering with allergic symptoms at home, you might be wondering what you can do to make things better. When you've already tried all of the obvious solutions, it's easy to give up and assume you'll have to live with it.
The problem could be within your carpet. Vacuum cleaning regularly isn't enough on its own when there are allergens deep within the pile. Follow this carpet routine and bring those allergens down to the minimum.
Stop using wet cleaning products
It's true that carpets need to be kept clean, but many of the products available for cleaning them can do more harm than good – especially for people with allergies.
When you use a wet cleaning product, a lot of it stays within the fibres for long after you clean, building up over time. Some of the chemicals used in cleaning products can make allergies worse, so they're best avoided.
Vacuum the right way
Cheaper, low-powered vacuum cleaners often just move dust around without really getting rid of it. Since dust mites and pollen particles are two of the main allergens found in carpets, you want to make sure they're gone. Get a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and notice the difference. Vacuum at least once a week, but increase the frequency until the allergy symptoms improve.
Use traditional methods
If you have problems with pet hair or dust build-up in your carpets, sometimes using a stiff brush and a bit of elbow grease can be more effective than vacuuming to deal with the worst of it. If you're able to, it's always best to do this before any other carpet cleaning, to avoid particles being pushed down into the fibres.
This is where the real changes happen. Steam cleaning your carpet effectively removes small particles, dust and dust mites from deep inside the pile.
As a way to kick-start your allergen-free carpet routine, steam cleaning should be done as soon as possible. This will make your other cleaning efforts more effective, as you'll be starting with a blank slate.
Once you've done this, you should repeat monthly, or more often if you have the time. It's especially important if you live in a particularly dusty house, have pets, or suffer especially badly with allergic symptoms.