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How to clean a home for guests with allergies

By Alan J. Heavens
Philadelphia Inquirer
GF929A6JH.3
Westphalen/Hubbardton - WESTPHALEN/HUBBARDTON
To control allergies, wash pillowcases once a week, pillow protectors at least once a month.

Spring has been here for more than a month, but you’re probably still working through your chores for spring cleaning.

These tips come from Robin Wilson, a healthy-space designer and “ambassador” for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

• In the bathroom, get rid of your vinyl shower curtain. It holds mold more easily and off-gases. Use a nylon curtain instead. Use nontoxic cleansers, and always lower the toilet seat when flushing to ensure that spraying particles do not land near or on your towels, toothbrushes, or soaps.

• For bedding, wash pillowcases once a week, pillow protectors at least once a month, and replace pillows every three years. Cover your mattress with a hypoallergenic cover, wash it every two months, and make sure it is nontoxic, without formaldehyde-based fire retardants.

• Spring is a great time to paint a room. Use non-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints in your home, which won’t off-gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor, and stir up asthma or allergies. You can’t even tell the difference in how they look on the wall.

• Check for mold in dishwashers, under the fridge in the water pan, and in sink and bath drains. Change water dispenser and ice maker filters.

• Wash or freeze your children’s stuffed animals to kill dust mites.

After cleaning, use these tips from Benjamin Moore Paints to make your house more spring-like:

• Hang a mirror with a stylish frame. The mirror can fill the wall with a decorative accent while reflecting light and opening up the space.

• Declutter: Get rid of items that are weighing a space down. Collect the things that are lying around the house. Keep half of everything and invite your friends and family over for a treasure hunt through the rest.

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