Sneeze Alert: How to Control Allergens In Your Bathroom
It’s no secret the bathroom can be a germy place. But did you know it can harbor allergens as well? The biggest allergy threat in your bathroom is moisture from the sink, tub, and shower—and the mold that can result. Dust mites enjoy warm, humid places, too. Try the following tips to help flush away allergens in the bathroom:
Keep things dry
Wet bathmats, towels, and surfaces keep the air in the bathroom moist, creating a breeding ground for mold. Moisture also attracts pests. To deter these allergens, wipe down wet shower walls, sinks, and floors after each shower or bath. As a general rule of thumb, wash towels in hot water, and dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Wash bathmats weekly to kill dust mites and help prevent mold.
Use an exhaust fan or open a window to let steam escape, as you shower or bathe. To properly ventilate a bathroom, a fan must have airflow of one cubic foot per minute for every square foot of bathroom area up to 100 square feet. For larger bathrooms, the ventilation rate is based on the number of fixtures—50 cfm for each toilet, shower, or bath, and 100 cfm for whirlpool tubs. Some larger bathrooms may require two fans.
Remove potential mold magnets
Carpets and rugs are a breeding ground for mold, so you’re best to keep them out of the bathroom if you can. Mold loves shower curtains, too. If you see mold on the curtain, replace it or wash it in the washing machine with the bathmats.
Stop mold where it lurks
Toilet bowls, the base of faucets, shower curtains, and shower door tracks are all favorite areas for mold. Clean these hard surfaces at least once a week. Try a household detergent mixed with water, or go with a solution made from ¾ cup bleach to one gallon of water. Be sure to ventilate the area and wear gloves when you clean.
Take down wallpaper
Bathroom mold can grow behind it. Instead, tile walls, or paint them with mold-resistant paint.
Contact your health care professional, if you suspect you or a family member may have allergies. You can find products at Bed Bath & Beyond to help control allergens in your home.
Content provided by HealthyWomen.org.