By the time you’ve reached your senior years, you have probably developed a consistent routine of home maintenance. However, it’s important to be aware of where germs, mold, and other things that can damage your health may be hiding in your living space. This is especially important when we get older, because our immune systems tend to weaken. If you suffer from allergies or a compromised immune system, make sure to be extra thorough and watch out for these common hazards.
Chemical cleaners may get your home sparkling, but inhaling the fumes can hurt you. Liquid furniture polish can even cause poisoning if you aren’t careful, so take care when applying. Don’t inhale too much and don’t spray it near your face to avoid poisoning and eye irritation. Ammonia-based all purpose cleaners can also irritate your respiratory system and skin. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: Disposable respirator masks and rubber gloves can protect you from these harmful chemicals.
You may be used to scrubbing areas in high-moisture areas such as showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets, but this isn’t the only place mold grows. If your home smells musty even after a full clean, it could be the result of mold in your carpets. Consider contacting a local specialist to help with the problem. Or, if you have access to a steam cleaner, try using a solution with vinegar, which is highly acidic and helps kill microbes and bacteria. However, patch test in a small area to make sure this will not ruin your rugs.
Water filters have become increasingly common and affordable because they’re a sustainable solution to single-use plastics. Whether you use a faucet attachment or a pitcher-style filter, always be sure to keep track of when you change the filter. Not changing the filter may cause your water to become contaminated rather than purified. To avoid this, try to change your filter about every three months.
While probably not the most dangerous item on this list, air fresheners can aggravate asthma or allergies. Because the oils are concentrated, they may also irritate your skin. In the long term, they can pollute your indoor air and even become a health risk.
When your shelves look a little grayer and less shiny than usual, you know it’s time to dust your living room. However, dust mites, tiny insects almost impossible to see with the naked eye, thrive in warm places. And because they feed on flakes of human skin, your bedroom—particularly your mattress—is the perfect place for them to hide. Dust mites can really irritate allergies and cause other symptoms like itchiness, sneezing, watery eyes, or coughing. Clean your sheets often and with hot water to kill them and keep your mattress mite-free.