11. Wash all your bedding in very hot water every week. It’s the best way to kill those pesky microscopic dust mites that love your bed even more than you do.
12. Follow your dryer vent and make sure it’s vented to the outside. For every load of laundry you dry, 20 pounds of moisture has to go somewhere! If your dryer is vented to the garage or basement, you’re just asking for mold buildup.
13. Clean the tray under the fridge with a bleach solution and sprinkle with salt. The tray is a veritable mold magnet. Adding salt reduces the growth of mold and bacteria. Also, clean under the refrigerator occasionally; food can become trapped there, become moldy, and the mold spores are blown into the kitchen every time the compressor kicks in.
14. Water your plants sparingly and put pebbles on top of the dirt to discourage mold spores from getting into the air. Overwatering houseplants can contribute to the growth of mold. Also, water might leak through the plant onto the carpet.
15. Spend this weekend decluttering. Throw out or give away coats and other clothing you haven’t used in the past year. Put sports equipment in the garage or basement where it belongs. Slip shoes into hanging shoe bags. When you finish, you should be able to see all your closets’ floors and back walls. Now give everything a good vacuum and you’ll have significantly reduced the amount of dust in your house.
16. Keep your bedroom door shut so your dog and/or cat can’t get in. Let him bark or meow. You spend more time in your bedroom than any other room of the house, and this keeps down cat and dog dander, to which many people are allergic.
17. Choose a doormat made of synthetic material. Doormats made of natural material (wicker, etc.) can break down and become excellent feeding grounds for mites, mold, and fungus, and then get tracked into the house. Wash all mats weekly.
18. Clean all dead insects from your porch lights. As they decompose, they can become an allergen source.
19. Put a shelf by the front door for shoes and encourage your family and guests to remove their shoes before entering to reduce the amount of dust, mold, and other allergens tracked in. Keep some soft slippers in a basket by the front door for people who don’t want to walk around in their stocking feet.
20. Read labels and avoid foods that contain the additive monosodium benzoate. An Italian study found that monosodium benzoate triggered allergy-like symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sneezing, and nasal itching, in adults without allergies. The preservative is often found in juices, pie fillings, pickles, olives, and salad dressings.
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