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Laundering for Allergic People

By HHI Staff

Those who have conventional allergies to dust, dust mites, and other household allergens will want to make sure to clean their clothes and bedding frequently, using gentle, low-odor products. This means, of course, they’ll need to purchase items which are not only easily washable and dryable, but also sturdy enough to withstand repeated launderings. In particular, how to care for bedding is a big concern. The following are some suggestions you may wish to follow.

 

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For sheets and pillows, it’s best to wash them weekly. Pillows (unless the manufacturer’s tags state otherwise) need only a short agitation cycle of about two minutes on a gentle cycle using warm water. However, you’ll want to use a full rinse cycle to make sure all the laundry detergent has been completely removed. Then place them in the dryer. (Again, that is unless the manufacturer’s tags state otherwise.) If you use pillow protectors to seal out dust mites, the pillows themselves might only need to be washed every 3 months.

 

Blankets, comforters, quilts, and mattress pads will need laundering at least every 3 months. However, for those who experience severe allergic reactions to dust mites, this can be done more frequently. Again, if you use allergen-impermeable protectors on the comforters and quilts, they won’t need laundering as often. All these items should be washed with gentle cycles using warm water, then dried in the dryer.

 

Electric blankets require special care. Only wash them for a short time, perhaps for only 2 or 3 minutes. Then, place in a dryer, but only if the manufacturer’s tags specifically recommend this. Otherwise, dry over two clothes lines. Don’t take your electric blanket in to be dry cleaned. This isn’t just because of the problem of bothersome dry cleaning odors your blanket would absorb, but also because the cleaning solvents could damage wiring inside the blanket.

 

By the way, don’t forget to launder washable area rugs and curtains regularly, too. Too often, these are overlooked.

 

It should be mentioned here that Aller Wash is an “anti-allergen laundry liquid” designed to remove and neutralize dust mite allergens from bedding and other items. However, it’s a scented product. If you want to avoid scents and perfumes, this product may not be the best choice for you.

 

(This article is from the archives of the original Healthy House Institute, and the information was believed accurate at the time of writing.)
 
(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

 

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Laundering for Allergic People:  Created on January 22nd, 2010.  Last Modified on May 14th, 2013

 

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