Washing Away Curtain Allergies
Hot-water-washable, lightweight curtains, such as allergen-free organic cotton curtains that you can safely wash in hot water to kill dust mites, mold and some bacteria, make ideal window treatments when compared with allergenic polyester or wool, for example, or the dyes or chemicals used in such synthetic and natural materials. Wash your curtains in 130-degree-Fahrenheit water at least monthly, and cooler water when needed between monthly washings to cut costs and reduce fiber breakdown and fading. Heavy draperies attract and entangle more allergens, and present a challenge to take down and wash frequently.
If you don't mind cleaning numerous slats by hand, opt for anti-static vinyl, metal or wood blinds. The anti-static feature only slows down dust buildup. Use the vacuum cleaner's upholstery brush, a slotted blind duster, or a damp cloth to clean blinds at least every other week. Smooth vertical blinds catch less dust than horizontal blinds due to their positioning. Shutters can have larger and fewer slats to clean than mini or wide-slat blinds.
Wipe-clean accordion-like cellular shades and smooth roller shades have less surface area than slatted blinds, equating to less dust buildup and less potential for allergens. Avoid any window treatment made from common allergy triggers or irritants, such as burlap, hemp or jute.