Fighting Pet Allergens with Cleaning

Indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroach droppings can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms in millions of allergy sufferers. Carried in through the air, allergens can be found on furniture, floors, and other surfaces around the house. While no home can be completely allergen-free, thorough cleaning on a regular basis can help reduce the number of allergens to which you’re exposed. Try these 4 tips for minimizing indoor allergens, and breathe easier from now on.

Dusting Efficiently

One of the best ways to control indoor allergens is by getting rid of dust. That’s because dust mites — the most common trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms inside the home — thrive in dust. But be aware that dusting can actually make things worse by kicking up allergen particles into the air. Use a damp or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than scattering it, and consider wearing a dust mask when cleaning. Also, try to minimize clutter in your home, since it tends to collect dust.

Vacuum Frequently

Vacuuming — especially in areas that accumulate more dust, such as carpeting and furniture — can help control allergens in your home. But as with dusting, vacuuming can also send dust particles into the air and cause problems for anyone with a dust mite allergy. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which can trap small particles and prevent them from spreading into the air. Try to vacuum at least once or twice a week.

Wash Linens

Dust mites tend to thrive in bedding, pillows, and throw rugs. And since we spend so much of our time in the bedroom, it’s especially important to reduce allergens there. At least once a week, wash pillowcases, sheets, and blankets in very hot water — at least 130 degrees — and dry them in a hot dryer to kill dust mites. Also, encase mattresses and non-washable pillows, comforters, and other bedding in allergen-proof covers.

Carefully Choose Cleaning Products

Many harsh chemicals found in common household cleaners can aggravate or trigger symptoms in people who have allergies and asthma. If you are sensitive to allergens, switch to green, environmentally friendly cleaning products, which have natural and plant-based ingredients. Fortunately, there are many options today for people who are looking for green cleaners. You can also make your own natural products using ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.

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