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Good Reasons To "Flip" Your Home Maintenance Routines


From pulling out blankets, replacing smoke detector batteries, varying the decor and flipping mattresses, many people literally start "flipping" their home routines when the seasons change.


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Among all of the flipping, the bedroom is often the place to start - changing out bedding and preparing for the next season, and the host of allergens that each new season brings. Beds are usually thought of as a sanctuary - a safe haven for rest and rejuvenation. But if many people - particularly allergy sufferers - really knew what was lurking beneath the sheets, they might think of their bed as more of a litter box than a sanctuary.

Lying beneath the cleanest, most luxurious linens and inside the fluffiest pillows lurk microscopic allergy triggers, including dust mite droppings, pollen, fungal and mold spores and cat and dog dander. Trying to sleep among the estimated 10 million allergen particles found in an unprotected mattress can surely disrupt a sensitive person's peaceful slumber.

"While indoor allergies are year-round, it's obvious that the effect of those allergens is increased significantly when seasonal allergies arrive and worsen symptoms altogether," says Dr. Clifford Bassett, allergy expert and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Long Island College Hospital. "Protecting your pillow and mattress with allergen-[barrier] products ... is one of the most important steps allergy and asthma sufferers can take to minimize their symptoms. For maximum allergy relief, it is ... [sensible] to build a complete allergen-filtration bedding system that protects pillows, mattresses and box springs."

Whether you suffer from allergies or not, the allergens inside the typical pillow and mattress are not what most people would want to breathe. But for allergy and asthma sufferers, the problem is more severe.

With these simple yet effective changes, you can keep allergens in check in the bedroom:

  • Encase your mattress, box spring and pillows in effective allergen barrier covers.
  • Wash bed linens weekly in 130-degree Fahrenheit water.
  • Consider traveling with your pillow protector to help minimize symptoms in hotels or while on the road.
  • Remove dust-collecting clutter from the bedroom and other areas of your home.
  • Place nonwashable plush toys in a resealable plastic bag and put them in the freezer for three to five hours every week to kill dust mites.
  • Furnace filters should be changed frequently during allergy seasons.
  • Use a low-cost home hygrometer to help keep humidity below 50 percent, as dust mites thrive in higher-humidity environments.
  • Install easy-to-clean hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring.
  • If you have carpeting, use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter and/or one approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute to reduce airborne dust.
  • Shampoo hair nightly and change clothes before entering the bedroom to avoid transferring outdoor pollens into your bedroom.
Sources: Napsnet, Carpet and Rug Institute, HC Staff
Good Reasons To "Flip" Your Home Maintenance Routines:  Created on October 1st, 2009.  Last Modified on January 21st, 2014


About IEHA


The International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) is a 3,200-plus member organization for housekeeping management. Executive housekeepers are managers that direct housekeeping programs in commercial, industrial or institutional facilities, including upscale hotels, hospitals, schools, and other public places. The non-profit was founded in 1930 in New York City, and is now located in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of the state’s capitol.