Whether you’re allergic to dust, pollen, or animal hair, it helps to know how to reduce allergens in your home. And with summer almost upon us, it’s peak time for various lingering pollen allergens in the air. Along with pollen, indoor allergens such as dust mites and animal hair can all trigger an allergic reaction, which can affect daily life.
But don’t despair, there are ways to reduce allergens in your home. Plus, it should also improve air quality, making it a bit easier to breathe. Just follow these 9 tips to reduce allergens in your home and make it a sneeze-free environment.
1. Don’t bring allergens from outside
If you have outdoor allergies, you probably bring allergens into the house through your clothes and shoes. In fact, studies suggest that half of the indoor dust that accumulates in our home is actually produced outside and brought with us. Also, if you have a pet, it also brings additional allergens.
When you enter your home, avoid dust by immediately removing your shoes, coats and outerwear. If possible, shower or change clothes after outdoor activities to avoid transferring allergens to your furniture. Also, place quality doormats on the inside and outside of all exterior doors, to reduce the amount of dirt that comes through the house.
2. Dust your house often
In addition to knowing how to clean every room in your house, dusting carefully is essential to reduce allergens. Experts recommend using a damp sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe down surfaces. This will prevent the dispersion of particles in the air. Either way, a vacuum attachment can also be used for hard-to-reach areas, such as corners, crevices and baseboards.
It’s always best to start dusting from the top (ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc.) and work your way down to the floors. Whatever you do, don’t make these cleaning mistakes, and save time. For more tips, see how to get rid of dust mites fast for deep cleaning.
3. Vacuum and mop floors regularly
Carpets often trap dust mites and allergens between the fibers, so you will need one of best vacuum cleaners to tackle this. Be sure to buy one with HEPA filtration, which traps tiny particles and airborne allergens.
If you have laminate, tile or wood flooring, you can remove dust particles by regular mopping or steaming. If you have hardwood and don’t want to damage it, check out how to clean hardwood floors for the best advice. In fact, wood and tile are ideal floor types for allergy sufferers.
4. Clean your sofa often
Like carpets, upholstery can be a breeding ground for allergens. This is often the case if pollen or dust transfers from our clothes into the fabric. Vacuum your sofas with the upholstery attachment once a week. Also, put your cushion covers or cozy throws in the washing machine, as they pick up dust daily.
For leather or faux leather sofas, you can easily wipe away pollen, dust and dander. But you might want to check how to clean a leather sofa to do it correctly, without damaging it.
5. Keep windows closed
We all love a cool breeze in the summer, but if you have seasonal allergies, opening the windows will only let in pollen. Make sure to keep the windows closed in the bedroom or wherever you spend most of your time, and turn on the air conditioner to stay cool instead.
Experts suggest you can open your windows from mid-afternoon until evening when conditions are dry. Most people with sensitive sinuses do best in a dry, air-conditioned environment free of pollen and dust.
6. Invest in an air purifier
If you have severe allergies you may want to invest in one of the best air purifiers to help improve air quality. Air purifiers are designed to filter out all unwanted airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and smoke.
Before buying, it is worth checking the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) if available. The higher the CADR, the faster the unit filters the air. Also, be sure to buy one that is suitable for the size of the room.
7. Wash bedding weekly
Dust mites thrive in warm environments, especially in the bedroom. Start by removing accent pillows and opting for dust mite-proof covers, like this Hospital Products Mattress Cover ($39, Amazon), for your mattress and pillows.
Experts recommend washing your bedding, including pillowcases, sheets, and blankets, on high every two weeks. The ideal temperature for washing your bedding is at least 130 degrees F, before drying on heat for 15 minutes, but check the care label for advice.
If you have pets, you’ll want to keep them out of the bedroom as they easily spread allergens. In any case, pets should be brushed regularly and bathed well to help reduce dander.
8. Get rid of fluffy carpets
No matter how comfortable they are, thick, plush rugs can easily trap dust and allergens. If you prefer rugs to cover your hardwood floors, choose a low-pile or no-pile style instead. Short polypropylene or sisal weaves are durable and easy to clean. Or if you want to splash out, wool is more mold resistant than synthetics.
9. Opt for non-toxic cleaning products
Commercial cleaning products often contain toxins that create unwanted airborne particles. Also, certain chemicals or fragrances can trigger allergic reactions. Always check labels when buying cleaning products to make sure they are non-toxic.
Better yet, why not make your own home cleaning products? White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent along with baking soda. If you want to know why, check out what makes baking soda and vinegar so good for cleaning.
Other tips to protect your home against allergies
- Regularly clean the air conditioning filters
- Make sure air conditioners are inspected often
- Reduce household irritants such as candles and perfumes
- When decorating, use low or no VOC paints
- Ideally, use portable air purifiers throughout your home
If you want to keep your floors effortlessly clean, it’s worth checking out the best robot vacuum cleaners. If you’re a die-hard Dyson fan, here’s how to clean a Dyson vacuum. Or find out why my Dyson is working great, but I’m moving on.