Thursday, December 2, 2010

Garden Allergens?

If you have allergies in the winter and wonder why you're still sniffling, here's some thoughts on the subject.  They're just this old girl's experience.

If you have:
  • Ever had your windows and doors open,
  • Have any carpet and drapes,
  • Use a sweeper,
  • Have indoor pets,
  • Wear your shoes in the house,
  • And are alive in 2010
Then folks you have allergens in your home during the winter.

Because I'm so often outside during the summer months, I am constantly in contact with some form of allergens and bring them into the house.  Pollen, mold, insect and animal residue and the list goes on. 
And then, there's my favorite little puff ball of allergens, Bitsey the cat. 

I'm not going to talk about the hows or whys of these allergens today.  Simply one measure to help.

Your sweeper has many places allergens can stick and then be recycled into the air of your home.  I've no experience with the super duper expensive sweepers which claim to filter all allergens but for us average sweeper owners, here's my tips:

  • DO NOT have your sweeper attached to an electrical outlet during the cleaning process!
  • The most obvious is to change the sweeper bags long before they are to the full line. 
  • Now comes the disassembly of your sweeper.  Not as hard as it sounds since most have simple locking parts.
  • If the sweeper has a cloth bag holder, remove and wash in a bucket of water.  I like to use "Green Works" as my soap because it doesn't add additional allergens and it smells good.  Line dry.
  • Some sweepers have filters.  Either wash the foam ones or replace the paper filters.  A filter with a tear needs replacing. 
  • Wash/rinse the inside of any tubes and attachments that are removable.
  • With a old damp cloth wipe any surfaces that can not be removed or submerged.  DO NOT submerge any electrical parts or attached parts. 
  • The brush devices comes off using a small screwdriver.  Check the belt for wear and if needed, replace.  Wash the brush device.  
  • Let all parts completely dry before reassembling.
And that, my friend, is one way to cut down on allergens in your home. 

Of course, the most obvious is to totally clean all surfaces in your home every half hour or so.  Yeah, me either. 

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