Posted on: September 9, 2015 Posted by: Comments: 0

Last Updated on September 1, 2022

Do the sounds of your family members coughing and sneezing from allergies rival the echoes of a freight train passing through town? As a person with many allergies, I have looked for ways to try and banish the microscopic, mayhem-causing critters and wanted to share some tips:
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Dust mites love to make a home for themselves in your carpet. To evict these sneeze-inducing annoyances, make sure to vacuum at least once a week. For high traffic areas, you may even consider vacuuming two or three times a week. Ensure the vacuum cleaner you’re using has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) and be sure to deep-clean your carpets a few times per year using a steam cleaning machine for best results.


Your bedroom can collect a surprising amount of dust, which unfortunately presents itself by wreaking havoc on your sinuses. Wash bedding sheets and blankets once a week in scalding hot water and use the high heat setting to dry them.  Don’t forget to dry clean or launder your comforter on a regular basis, too.  To protect pillows, rather than attempting to throw them in the wash, buy protective coverings for your bed pillows—that way you can slip off the protective covering and easily launder once a week.

Stuffed Animals

While they may be cute, your kids’ favorite stuffed animals are likely to give dust mites yet another place to call home. Throw stuffed animals in the washer every two to three weeks and make sure the water is hot enough to kill bacteria—which is typically around 140 degrees. For stuffed animals that can’t be washed, experts recommend bagging them up and tossing them in the freezer for a few hours; the extreme cold is just enough to kill these pesky nuisances.

Window Treatments

Washing window treatments are typically on most people’s to-do list for spring cleaning, but experts recommend cleaning blinds and drapes more frequently than once year to get rid of irritants. In between washes, rev up your quest to ban dirt and grime and use the attachments on your vacuum to get rid of accumulated dust.


A warm, damp environment is a breeding ground for mold and can send your allergies into a tailspin. To help avoid mold in your bathroom, make sure you use the fan or vent every time you shower; as it functions to eliminate moisture in the air. Make sure to wash floor rugs weekly, and clean shower surfaces with a cleaner that removes mold and mildew.


Your family pet could even be causing your allergies to act up. Dander, mold and pollen can all accumulate in your precious canine or feline companion’s hair. To eliminate these allergy aggravations, make sure to brush your pet weekly, preferably while you’re outdoors. For those with extreme allergies, not allowing pets to lay on furniture may help to significantly reduce your symptoms.

Remember, anything that collects dust can be a trigger for allergy sufferers.  While you’ll never be able to completely eliminate dust and allergy-inducing irritants from your home, spending time on a regular basis following the tips outlined above will significantly reduce allergens that may be hiding in your home.


Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®
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