If you suspect that your dog has allergies, it’s a good idea to start a regular cleaning routine. Allergen particles are first carried through the air, but eventually will setting onto your furniture and flooring.
Some of the biggest allergen magnets in your home are carpeting and rugs. Carpeting, especially designs with a higher pile have a lot of nooks and crannies that allergens can settle into. It’s difficult to ever completely remove allergens, but with regular vacuuming (at least once a week), you can eliminate most allergens.
It’s important to know that many old or inexpensive vacuums may actually contribute to poor air quality in your home by throwing allergens back into the air. There are now several asthma and allergen friendly vacuums which include a small-particle or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Be sure to follow the directions for cleaning or changing these filters to keep them working efficiently.
In addition to vacuuming your carpets and rugs, you’ll also want to pull out your vacuum attachments and regularly clean fabric chairs and couches. Allergens can settle into your furniture and then be tossed into the air each time someone sits down. As mentioned earlier, if you have slip covers or area rugs, these should be washed in hot water every couple of weeks.
Allergens are not quite as problematic on hard surfaces like hardwood floors, tile and linoleum, since there are fewer places for them to hide. But, you’ll still want to clean these surfaces each week as well. I’ve found that it works well to either gently vacuum these surfaces or sweep with a broom.
Once the surfaces are clean of crumbs and dirt, I follow up with the following techniques to rid the floor of any additional dust or allergens. For my wood floors, I like to use a dry dust mop, such as the Swiffer Dry Mop. These do a great job of picking up additional dirt that I wasn’t able to pull up with the broom or vacuum.
For my tile and linoleum, I’ve recently started using a steam mop. Steam mops clean your hard surfaces using hot water – no chemicals or detergents. I use the Haan Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer , but there are many other brands and models as well. I’ve found this steam mop does a nice job of cleaning my floors, without leaving behind chemicals or sticky cleaning agents. The cleaning pads can be washed in the washing machine, which makes maintenance really easy. These steam mops certainly cost more than a traditional mop, but I’ve found it’s easier to use – which means I’m more inclined to use it regularly.
Allergy-proof Your House by the Mayo Clinic staff
Tips to Control Indoor Allergens by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America