Cleaning with Allergies

Folks, allergies are no joke. Be it dust mites, animal dander, pollen, grass, or one of the many other common allergens found in homes, we have a way to handle the cleaning of your habitat that doesn’t involve stirring up your mucus factories. This page is going to cover the dos and don’ts of normal cleaning activities for allergy sufferers, as well as some articles that are helpful for preventative allergy cleaning.

Note: This document does not constitute medical advice. If your symptoms persist or interfere with daily tasks, seek the help of a medical professional.


  • While dusting, remember the three cardinal rules:
    1. Wear a mask.
    2. Wet dust surfaces.
    3. Vacuum anything you can!
  • Dusting is one of the biggest areas that allergy sufferers have the biggest issue with- dry dusting causes lots of particles of dust, pollen, dander, etc. to get into the environment and eventually into your nasal passages. That’s not something you want to happen. As the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) suggests, you should also run an air purifier to try and prevent airborne dust from settling, if at all possible. If not, that’s fine too, but make sure you have a HEPA filter on your AC unit at least!
  • Use a wet or treated rag instead of a duster.
  • Vacuum with a HEPA machine often- don’t forget the tops of door frames, baseboards, tops of cabinets, and your fans. These are places that a canister or hybrid vacuum is awesome for.
  • Dust often.
  • Run a HEPA air purifier.


  • Let’s get really serious. Carpet isn’t the ideal product for people with allergies, but sometimes it’s what you have and you have to work with it. The AAFA says that vacuuming will not be enough to get rid of dust mites in your carpet. Even with a HEPA vacuum, it won’t be enough. That doesn’t mean you have to give up and suffer! Make sure to vacuum one to two times a week, as suggested by AAFA and then get a carpet cleaning service (or a commercial grade machine that you own/rent) to come to clean your carpets quarterly. As always when cleaning while you have allergies, wear a mask. It helps a lot.
  • Vacuum with a HEPA machine once or twice a week.
  • Steam clean carpets every three months.
  • Try to avoid carpet, if possible.


  • As per the AAFA, it is suggested to wash bedding in hot soapy water once a week and encase anything else that cannot be washed that often (pillows, mattress, box spring, duvet, etc.) The biggest point here is to make sure you change your sheets often and have a zippered allergy cover on your bed. Make sure that if you have more than one set of sheets, you store them in an airtight bag or container so they don’t sit in storage and collect dust.
  • Wash bedding once a week.
  • Encase all objects that cannot hold up to (or cannot be washed) weekly washing.
  • Store extra sheets in airtight storage.


Other Fabrics
  • Rugs, furniture, curtains, blinds, fashion pillows, and other objects that collect dust that cannot easily be washed should be avoided if at all possible. But if you have them, like them, and are going to keep them, make sure that you clean them as often as possible via washing or dry cleaning. Dry cleaning does kill dust mites and can remove many of them, but it’s best to avoid these objects if at all possible. Make sure to buy washable stuffed toys and make dust friendly alternatives in your lifestyle such as pleather furniture and pull down shades.
  • Avoid extra non-washable fabrics.
  • Dry clean if at all possible.
  • Use dust friendly alternatives such as pleather furniture and pull down shades.


Air Filters – How to Shop Smart
  • Not all filters are created equal. Many of the cheap filters actually just have a charcoal filter installed. This takes care of odors, not allergens. Make sure the filter you buy has a HEPA filter. Also, make sure it will filter the micron size of your particular allergens. Not all HEPA filters are made equal, and some people may need higher grade filtration for their allergies. This will save you from buying a filter that works against pet danger, when you need one for pollen.
  • The hands down, no holds barred, best air filter on the market is the one they use in hospitals. It has passed rigorous scientific testing, is FDA approved, and endorsed by NASA. So, of course it costs a bomb, but man does it work! If you’re serious about really removing allergens from your home, consider upping your game with an Airocide.




By Jessica Carroll