How to make your bedroom allergy free

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An increasing hazard of modern life is environmental stress. This can lead to debilitating physical, emotional and mental conditions such as depression, asthma, fatigue, eczema and headaches.

Environmental stress is made up of a number of things including indoor air pollution from mould, animal hair and dust mites. Other invisible stresses can be harmful to our health such as EMFs and toxic materials.

This time of year, many people become more sensitive to pollution in the home because of increased pollen levels outdoors. It’s as if your body has a certain amount of ‘stuff’ it can cope with before getting overwhelmed and displaying symptoms of allergy.

You can’t control how much pollen you come into contact with, but you can help yourself inside your home. Here are some tips for keeping your bedroom an allergy-free haven. As you spend one third of your life in bed, make sure yours is comfortable and safe!

Organic Bed linen

Organic bed lined and towels do not contain pesticides, artificial chemicals or dyes and if you buy Fair Trade you directly help the farming communities who grow the cotton by providing facilities such as schools.

Wool Mattresses

Most regular mattresses are produced with chemical fire retardants and have manmade fillings. Next time you replace yours, choose one stuffed with wool or coir. Select duvets and pillows made from wool, organic cotton or kapok.

House dust mite

The house dust mite can cause sneezing, runny nose, tight chest and skin rashes. By using anti-allergy bedding covers, you can significantly reduce contact with the allergen. The house dust mite needs moisture to survive, so air your bed every day.

Soft toys are a favourite place for house dust mites to live. Once a month, give teddies and dolls a visit to the freezer for 24 hours and then wash them. This will kill the house dust mite, as will washing all bedding at 60 degrees.

Dust

When you dust, use a microfibre cloth soaked and wrung out in a strong tea solution. This will attract the dust, rather than simply moving it from one place to another. Furniture polish can be made from vinegar and olive oil.

Natural Carpets

Most carpets are treated with chemicals to make them fire and stain resistant. Wood flooring with natural fibre rugs such as wool or jute is a healthier choice. Bicarbonate of soda can be sprinkled onto rugs before vacuuming to freshen them up.

Wooden Furniture

Furniture made from MDF is hazardous because it contains formaldehyde, which is present in the resin binder. Furniture made from composite board, is often coated with laminates which may contain PVC to give a wood-effect finish. This can off gas VOCs into the room and is a major source of pollution during its manufacturing process.

Wood is one of the best environmental choices if harvested from renewable sources. Look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo, or use reclaimed wood. Natural beeswax or linseed oil can be used instead of toxic varnishes to provide a lasting finish.

What about you – how do you keep pollution in your bedroom to a minimum?

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3 Comments

  1. Only Best For Baby on June 16, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Thanks for these tips. We ripped up our carpet a few years ago and replaced it with wooden floors, this has made a huge difference to the air quality in our house. Now with 2 cats and a baby I’m especially glad we have wooden floors, I can see where the dust is accumulating!



  2. Bryan on June 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Great list, all practical points.

    The tip about putting soft toys in the freezer is great for those with young children, and should be promoted more (I’d heard same advice from a homeopath before).

    Would also suggest making an effort to regularly open your bedroom window and allow some fresh air to circulate can make a difference. Not always easy in winter, but should be done.

    Check all of the ingredients of polishes or other products you are using. Many ‘natural labelled’ ones can still mix one or two natural ingredients with other chemical ones, eg most beeswax polishes still include turpentine.



  3. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on June 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    All of our downstairs is hardwood except for the master bedroom. I try to vacuum every other day and I love to take our mattress out on a sunny day and leave it for a few hours. We only use microfiber towels to dust with and what a difference it makes using them. Really like this post. As always such a wealth of information!



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