skip to main content
10 Tips for Preventing Indoor Allergies

Allergies get rough during the spring. They keep many people inside, but the simple truth is that allergies can be just as bad indoors as out. Allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and bug droppings are usually even worse indoors than outside. You need a place to feel safe and comfortable on those really bad allergy days - and that should be your home. How can you reduce and eliminate the allergens so that you can breathe easier where you spend the most time?


1. Reduce Clutter

Cleaning is a big way to reduce allergens, but make sure you do it right. Dust most commonly accumulates in hard to reach areas. Often, people will dust around clutter so they can avoid having to organize it. Piles of books, games, clothes, and half-done projects will create extra nooks and crannies for the dust to sit and gather.

Dusting should begin with de-cluttering the area first. This might involve dusting objects as you organize them. Not only will this eliminate the range of surfaces and hard-to-get areas that accumulate dust, it will also help open up the space and make it more useable.

2. Dust Correctly

Dusting is actually one of the most common triggers for allergies and asthma. That creates a double-edged sword. If you don't dust, the allergens and dust remain. If you do dust, you kick them up and risk triggering a reaction now.

This is why you should always use a damp cloth or one that's been treated to attract dust. These cloths gather dust and cling to it, instead of just sweeping it into the air for you to breathe. It's a good idea to use a dust mask, too. This will protect you from inhaling the larger allergens.

3. Use Vacuum Attachments

When you're done dusting, vacuum. Don't just vacuum the floors. Your home's been closed up most of the winter. Dust settles everywhere, not just where it's easy to clean. Use those corner attachments to vacuum under furniture and to get high corners. Use the appropriate brushes for different types of furniture. Seating can get extremely dusty and has tons of creases that gather dust. Vacuum your stairs. If you have an electronic floor tool with a beater bar, use that on the carpet (turn it off for hard surfaces so you don't damage that flooring).

If you can, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will help the vacuum collect and hold even smaller allergens without recycling them into the air.

4. Do Your Laundry

You don't often think of your bedding as collecting allergens, but it does. Dust mites love sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. Try to do your bedding at least once a week, and don't let huge piles of clothes collect. Follow the care instructions, but as a general rule bedding can be done in hot water. This helps to kill dust mites.

Do your pet's bedding, too. It's easy to overlook the beds they use, but these need to be regularly washed as well. Where your pet sleeps is one of the primary places for pet dander to accumulate.

5. Groom Your Pets

The most common household pets shed fur. It's not their fault – people shed hair and skin particles all the time! What you can do to help is to brush any furry pets regularly. This will help gather loose fur. Pet brushes are designed to hang onto this fur rather than letting it go. You then peel it off and stick it directly in the trash.

If it's safe to take your pet outdoors, do this outside, so any fur that does get scattered doesn't land in the home. If you can't, it's OK to stay inside – the last thing you want is for a pet to run away. Just use an area like a mudroom or back porch that's away from the living spaces. Washing your pet also reduces their dander. Some pets (like many cats) wash themselves effectively, so consult your veterinarian on whether and how often to bathe your pets.

6. Power Wash Your Home

You may be surprised, but homes actually hold onto tons of allergens. They collect bits of debris throughout the winter. Tiny bits of dirt and broken-down leaves and twigs collect on the surface of your home. These collect moisture, which can damage your home's surface, encourage the growth of mold and mildew, and help allergens like pollen cling to your home.

Get your home power-washed to start spring. This blasts anything that's stuck to the surface away, eliminating the debris and restoring your home's ability to resist moisture collection.

7. Dehumidify Humid Spaces

Speaking of moisture, allergens come in many forms. Mold and mildew are some of the worst and can have severe long-term effects on your health. Any space that retains humidity and that doesn't dry out quickly is at risk of developing mold and mildew. This includes many basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

A dehumidifier is a worthwhile investment. It collects moisture from the air. Use it in closed spaces to keep the air dry. Mold and mildew need moisture to grow. When that moisture is denied, it can't thrive.

8. Get an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are worth it. They can collect and even eliminate a vast number of allergens and bacteria floating in the air. Look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Anything less won't make that much of a difference. HEPA isn't a brand, it's a rating for air filtration. A HEPA filter will collect particles down to a very, very small size. This includes pollen, dust mites, dander, and even smoke.

Some air filters go to even smaller measurements for an even more effective level of filtration, but you want at least HEPA. Pay attention to what kind of space the air filter is designed to treat. One designed to treat 500 square feet won't effectively treat a 2,000 square foot home, but it can treat a room or two. Some will treat 2,000 square feet or even more.

9. Green Cleaning Products

Many standard cleaning products can trigger allergens and asthma attacks. Green cleaning products aren't just made to be kinder to the environment. They're also kinder to you. Cleaning products with plant-based ingredients can be extremely effective, without triggering the reactions you're using them to stop.

10. Pest Control Makes a Difference

Pest control is very important. Bugs and rodents come into your home to find food and water there. Often, their droppings can trigger allergic reactions. Cockroaches are especially bad. Pests not only trigger allergic reactions, but they also carry bacteria that they can track around the home. This can harm you and your pets alike. Clean regularly, take out the trash often, fix any leaks or standing water, and if you find you have an infestation, don't wait. Call a pest control specialist immediately, before it gets worse.

Many of these practices are just about developing some new habits. Do each a few times, and you'll find these steps become easier and faster. Use elements like power washing and air purification, and you'll quickly find yourself breathing better in your own home. Contact Mobile Magic Pressure Washing to start reducing allergens outside your home.