Allergies, Eczema, Asthma and Dust Mites

House dust mites are present in most human environments, thriving in warm moist places such as mattresses, bedding and carpets, and feeding mainly on flaked-off dead skin.

Up to 85% of people with asthma are affected by the faeces of house dust mites. Those with the most common form of eczema, atopic eczema which is closely linked to asthma, are also affected by dust mites.

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Mites will not be killed in a cold or warm wash but mite allergens (faecal matter) will be made safe and washed away. Low-temperature cycles in washing machines don’t get rid of dust mites, say scientists, 30 or 40°C washes only killed 6% of house dust mites compared with 100% at 60°C, Korean researchers found.

Allergy UK agreed with these latest findings presented at an American Thoracic Society conference. They advise allergy sufferers use 60°C washes.

  • Hot tumble drying items for half an hour after outside drying also kills dust mites.
  • Dust mites love humid climates – dehumidify.
  • Dust mites are sensitive to dry conditions, changes in temperature, and ultra-violet light.

Use an organic cotton dust mite proof cover for NEW mattress and pillows, as a preventative measure to mites getting into the mattress and pillows.

A latex mattress is inhospitable to dust mites. No dust mite cover required.

Latex pillows are inhospitable to dust mites, wool or silk pillows, and doonas, are naturally resistant to dust mites.

Put blankets, pillows and doonas in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer for 48 hours to kill dust mites. You must wash these items after they have been in the freezer to ensure the residue from the mites is gone.

Every two to three months, children’s soft toys should be frozen in the freezer and then hung out in sunlight for six hours.

Dust mites cannot survive on hardwood floors, as opposed to carpet.

Always wet dust and wash cloth in a 60° wash.

Sonett Sensitive range for people with allergies, asthma, eczema, for babies, young children and all those who have sensitivities: 

Pin pointing allergies is often a process of elimination. Using Sonett Sensitive range of laundry and household cleaning products is part of that process.

  • Purely plant surfactants
  • Free from any petrochemical ingredients
  • Free from fragrances, colourings and complexing agents
  • Free from optical brighteners which remain on the skin, preservatives, enzymes, GMO
  • Completely 100% and rapidly biodegradable

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Do you have a fragrance sensitivity?

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I can’t walk down the cleaning isle in the supermarket without getting an instant headache, so I avoid that isle all together. I hold my breath in the perfume area of department stores. I offered to bring in a girlfriend’s washing to find the basket of laundry completely overpowering in residue fragrance from fabric softener. Like many, I have a sensitivity and an aversion to synthetic chemical fragrance.

Fragrance sensitivity can be defined as an irritation or an adverse reaction to chemicals in a perfume or other scented products such as air fresheners, laundry and cleaning products, scented candles, perfume, deodorants, cologne and cosmetics.

People with asthma or other respiratory illness may be more susceptible to fragrance allergies.

Common Symptoms of Fragrance Allergy

  • mild to severe headache
  • sneezing, coughing and runny nose
  • breathing difficulties, dizziness, and fatigue
  • loss of concentration
  • skin irritation, itching, and rashes
  • muscle aches
  • watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • wheezing
  • swelling
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Strong fragrances from perfumes or colognes can even trigger a migraine

Secondhand Fragrance

In a public place people are sharing what is now being called ‘secondhand fragrance’. This is the combination of harmful chemicals being released into the public air space from air fresheners, cleaning products, scented candles, plus all the products people are wearing (hairstyling products, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, perfume etc). Everyone is involuntarily breathing contaminated air even if they choose to not wear fragranced products.

Dogs have 20 times more scent receptor cells than humans, and the scent-processing section of their brains is larger than ours.
Dogs have 20 times more scent receptor cells than humans, and the scent-processing section of their brains is much larger than ours. They don’t need synthetic fragrance in their environment either.

Fragrance sensitivity at the workplace

Some employers are becoming aware of this issue, and are accommodating fragrance sensitive people. Some companies have stopped using air fresheners, and use fragrance-free cleaning products in order to minimise fragrance chemicals in indoor environments.

Baking Soda is an odour neutraliser.

Synthetic Chemical Fragrance

Up to 95% of synthetic chemicals used to make fragrance recipes are derived from petrochemicals. To make matters worse for the unsuspecting public, many products labeled as ‘unscented’ are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance. Products with the ingredient ‘fragrance’ contain endocrine disruptors called phthalates.

If we think of natural and organic essential oils, Lavender for example, it contains a myriad of natural chemical constituents, around 100, and one of those is linalool. In the entirety of a natural and organic essential oil this constituent isn’t usually a problem. However there is also synthetic chemical linalool, an isolated man-made ingredient, which is much more likely to result in a sensitivity.

Sure makes it difficult for consumers!

Do your homework, look for certifications and ethical brands that can be trusted. An ethical brand, is also transparent with their complete ingredient list, and will assist you with any ingredient questions.

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Natural and organic essential oils of lemon and lemongrass in Sonett’s laboratory

Sonett products are free from enzymes, petrochemical surfactants, synthetic chemical fragrances, dyes and preservatives, bleaching agents, optical brighteners, genetic engineering and nanotechnology.

Sonett has a sensitive range which is even free from natural and organic essential oils. There are those who are sensitive to nature’s aromatics as well.

The complete range of Sonett products has been independently certified according to the criteria of Ecogarantie, the premium label for ecological washing and cleaning products.

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Correct dosage for Laundry Liquid Lavender with Sonett Measuring Ball, available free when you add it to your webstore order.

Sonett since 1977
biodynamic | organic | wild harvested

Ecological, effective and economical household cleaning

Caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life, made Sonett come into life. By using 100% rapidly biodegradable raw materials such as purely plant-derived soaps, sugar surfactants and minerals such as sodium carbonate and silicates, we increase the washing performance of the water, and at the same time fostering its being returned to and reintegrated into the natural cycle.

We consider it our task to do the laundry and household cleaning in harmony with nature, and especially with the water, in a considerate and revitalising way.

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How often should you wash your sheets?

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Slipping into fresh sheets is one of life’s little pleasures!

You’re in bed for around 8 hours a night, naturally sloughing off dead skin cells, which dust mites feed on. You may perspire, there’ll be body oils as well, because one of the functions of your skin is as an elimination organ, and that phase is active during the night time.

Seven nights and you’ve clocked up 56 hours in bed!

The bottom sheet is likely to be more grubby than the top sheet, so if you don’t use fitted sheets you can wash the bottom sheet weekly, replacing the top sheet as the bottom sheet for the next week and alternating. That’s one sheet washed per bed per week instead of two.

If you have a bottom fitted sheet and a top flat sheet you can’t alternate so weekly wash is recommended.

Pillowslips should be changed daily for acne sufferers. If acne is present on chest or back, then sheets need to be changed daily as well.

While you’re laying in your bedding around 56 hours each week, you don’t want unnecessary conventional laundry optical brighteners or any other residues on sheets and pillowslips either.

Stay well aware from using products that use synthetic chemical fragrances, as many people are sensitive to them, resulting in mild to severe headaches, sneezing etc.

For washing bedding our favourite is Laundry Liquid Lavender alternatively if you wish to be completely free from even natural and organic essential oil aromas then useLaundry Liquid neutral. Of course there’s Laundry Powder as well.

TIP: Use a small squeeze of Liquid Gall Soap in your wash for an extra cleaning boost, particularly where body oils are present.

You’ll find you don’t need a conventional fabric softener with Sonett Laundry products, however, we do have Laundry Rinse which you add to the final rinsing water.

Laundry Rinse helps to rinse out any laundry liquid or powder residue and neutralises the rinsing water which is important for allergy-prone people. It also brightens up colours, smoothes fibres and softens fabrics.

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Dust Mites

House dust mites are present in most human environments, thriving in warm moist places such as mattresses, bedding and carpets, and feeding mainly on flaked-off dead skin. They are sensitive to dry conditions,
changes in temperature, and ultra-violet light. House mite faeces, get into the air easily and can provoke a strong allergic response when inhaled.

Up to 85% of people with asthma are affected by the faeces of house dust mites. Those with the most common form of eczema – atopic eczema which is closely linked to asthma – are also affected by dust mites.

Low-temperature cycles in washing machines don’t get rid of dust mites, say scientists, 30 or 40°C washes only killed 6% of house dust mites compared with 100% at 60°C, Korean researchers found.

Allergy UK agreed with these latest findings presented at an American Thoracic Society conference. They advise allergy sufferers use 60°C washes.

Hot tumble drying items for half an hour after drying outside in UV light also kills dust mites.

There is a close link between asthma and allergies, around 40% of Australians have some form of allergy, more than 80% of people who have asthma also have an allergy.
Source: Asthma Australia

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You may find our Are Your Laundry Products Safe? blog of interest.

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How to restore and care for your winter woolies

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Wool Care 

For restoring the protective hydrolipidic film to garments made from wool and silk.

Washing Machine: Dissolve only ½ teaspoonful of Wool Care in approximately 30-40 ml of hot water, then pour this solution into the fabric softener compartment of the washing machine for a wool/delicates wash.

By Hand: Dissolve ½ teaspoonful of Wool Care in hot water and fill bucket up to approx. 1 litre using cold water. Place in moistened stressed woollen clothing such as jackets, milled jackets, wool felt hats, jumpers etc into the lukewarm solution, wash through several times and leave to soak for about ½ – 1 hour. Rinse in lukewarm water, press out and leave to dry on a towel.

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Olive Laundry Liquid for Wool & Silk

– Effective, gentle wool care
– Pure plant surfactants
– Hand washing or delicate machine wash
– Maintains elasticity and softness of your textiles
– Delicate fragrance of certified organic lavender essential oil
– Free from petrochemical ingredients, synthetic chemical fragrances, colours, optical brighteners or complexing agents
– Free from preservatives, enzymes and GMO
– 100% Rapidly Biodegradable

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Olive Laundry Liquid for Wool & Silk neutral

Same benefits of Olive Laundry Liquid for Wool & Silk above, however neutral range is for the very sensitive, and those with allergies.
– Free from aromatic natural essential oils

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The Benefits of Wool

  • Wool is a breathable fibre that provides instant warmth unlike synthetic materials.
  • It regulates itself to individual body temperature and really is warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Wool is naturally water-resistant, repelling moisture vapour through its fibres and making it resistant to rot, mould and mildew.
    Wool is absorbent and healthy. Wool fibres naturally draw moisture away from the body and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without becoming clammy from perspiration.
  • Wool’s unique structure means that it doesn’t retain body odours.
  • Wool competes successfully with high tech manmade fibres in sports wear. Merino wool is generally accepted as the premium option for high performance base layer clothing.
  • Sustainable and renewable
  • Durable
  • At the end of its life, wool is bio-degradable in soil
  • Flame-retardant
  • Naturally anti-allergenic. Wool doesn’t collect static which attracts dust and dirt and so those with allergies to dust mites. Wool quilts, mattress protectors and pillows are recommended for those who suffer from allergies, asthma and/or eczema.

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How To Allergy Proof Your Home

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If you or a member of your family have hay fever or asthma, take a few steps to reduce allergens in your home. Some steps to reduce indoor allergens are complicated and time consuming, however there are some easy things you can do that may help.

Some steps may be more effective than others, depending on what particular allergy or allergies are involved.

Dusting

Dust with a moist cloth. Dry dusting just spreads it around.

Bedroom

Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 54 C. Remove, wash or cover comforters. Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.

Flooring

Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.

Curtains and blinds

Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double glazing if you live in a cold climate.

Furnishings

Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.

Clutter

Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in bins.

Pets

Keep animals out of the bedroom.

Air filtration

Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter.

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Living room

Flooring – Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Wash area rugs and floor mats weekly, and shampoo wall-to-wall carpets periodically.
Furniture – Consider replacing upholstered sofas and chairs with furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic.
Curtains and blinds – Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
Windows  Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double glazing windows if you live in a cold climate.
Plants – Find a new home for potted plants or spread aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mould.
Fireplaces. Avoid use of wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke can worsen respiratory allergies. Most natural gas fireplaces won’t cause this problem.

Kitchen

Stove – Install and use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Most stove-top hoods simply filter cooking particles without venting outside.
Sink – Wash dishes daily. Scrub the sink and faucets to remove mould and food debris.
Refrigerator – Wipe up excessive moisture to avoid mould growth. Discard mouldy or out-of-date food. Regularly empty and clean dripping pan and clean or replace mouldy rubber seals around doors.
Cabinets and counters – Clean cabinets and countertops daily. Check under-sink cabinets for plumbing leaks. Store food, including pet food, in sealed containers.
Waste – Place rubbish in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty daily. Keeping the kitchen free of food crumbs will help reduce the chance you will have rodents or cockroaches.

Source: Mayo Clinic Staff

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Allergies
Allergies have emerged as a major public health problem in developed countries during the twentieth century. Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world. An ASCIA-Access Economics Report estimated that in 2007:
4.1 million Australians (19.6% of the population) had at least one allergic disease.

Allergy Fast Facts (Australia & New Zealand)

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) currently affects
•1/10 children aged 6-7 years
•1/6 children aged 13-14 years
•2/5 adults
Asthma currently affects
•1/5 children
•1/10 adults
Eczema currently affects
•1/6 children aged 6-7 years
•1/10 children aged 13-14 years
•1/14 adults

Source

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Sonett uses natural and organic high quality plant essential oils for their aromatic products, as opposed to synthetic chemical fragrances and Sonett is a great choice rather than conventional products for allergy sufferers anyway. However, for some sensitive souls it’s best to leave out even natural and organic essential oils.

Sonett Neutral Range 
Neutral Range is highly recommended when there’s a baby or young children in the home, or anyone with allergies.

Sonett is completely and rapidly 100% biodegradable and uses purely vegetable surfactants plus full declaration of ALL ingredients!

For those with allergies, Sonett Neutral is FREE from:
✔ Fragrance
✔ Preservatives
✔ Colouring and complexing agents
✔ Petrochemical ingredients
✔ Enzymes
✔ GMO
✔ Optical Brighteners*

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*Optical brighteners – did you know?
Conventional washing powders or laundry liquids use optical brighteners which bind irreversibly to the skin from the laundry. It remains on skin until skin cells slough off! All Sonett Laundry products are FREE from optical brighteners.

Optical brighteners don’t whiten, they just reflect light making your eyes think your whites are brighter. The problem with using optical brightener chemicals is that they’re designed to bind to the clothing and remain. If you were able to rinse them off, they wouldn’t be doing their job. Because they remain on your clothing, your towels and your sheets, they come into regular contact with your skin. This is not ideal for your skin and may cause rashes, irritations, and sensitivities. Since they are not readily biodegradable, they can also be harmful to fish and other animals and plants.

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Detox your home from unnecessary chemicals with 3 of our aromatic cleaning favourites

All-Purpose Cleanser
500ml RRP $7.50
An everywhere cleaner from kitchen to cars

Orange Power Cleaner
500ml RRP $8.90
Super effective and eco-nomical, yet gentle on hands

Multi-Surface and Glass Cleaner
500ml RRP $8.80
Manages to clean and put good vibe aromatics through the home. This is the one you need when you have guests arriving at any moment!

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“Out of clutter comes simplicity.”
– Albert Einstein –

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