We all love our fur-friends. Our pets are a part of our family. However, with them comes a host of airborne allergens which can become trapped in carpet and area rugs, and even swept into corners with hardwood and laminate.
According to US studies, more than 50 million adults suffer from pet-related allergies yearly and a whopping 90% of US households contain allergens from dogs and cats. Even if your family is lucky enough to have no noted allergies, you want to know how to accommodate visitors into your home.
The first recommendation is a good vacuum. Aside from preventing allergens, a quality vacuum is necessary for carpeted households. Even hardwood, luxury vinyl, and laminate flooring can benefit from a gentle vacuum as opposed to a broom. Brooms can be effective for pet hair, but the dander tends to not be picked up properly. A vacuum will do the trick quickly and efficiently. It's important to note that a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is going to be a solid investment for your home and regular cleaning of all flooring surfaces.
Once you've vacuumed your carpet and hard surfaces, be sure to go over any laminate, luxury vinyl, and hardwood with a good mop and approved cleaning product. Use unscented cleaning products, as products with a strong scent can exacerbate allergy symptoms in sufferers. Mopping in combination to vacuuming hard surfaces ensures your floors are getting a thorough cleaning.
Dusting hard surfaces is essential, as dust and other allergens collect. Dusting surfaces with a microfiber cloth ensures that any airborne allergens will cling to the cloth instead of simply being moved around.
Tips & Tricks
Other helpful tips to maintain a low level of allergens around the house are easy enough to incorporate into your day to day life. It is recommended to wash your bedding weekly, especially if your furry creatures like to snuggle there.
Vacuuming upholstery and couches is essential if your critters crawl up onto them; you might be able to deter them while you're home, but the reality is when the house is empty, your pup will jump up.
Lowering humidity helps decrease the number of allergens present. It's important to make sure that your bathrooms have fans, and while showering and bathing, make sure you're using these to reduce moisture.
Lint roll between regular cleanings. This reduces the overall amount of work and takes only moments per day.
Bathe your pet regularly. Luckily, most cats are excellent when it comes to self-grooming. However, your dogs may need a bit of extra love. Be sure to clean out the bathtub properly afterwards as well.
Remember that a thorough cleaning such as vacuuming or sweeping your floor will temporarily kick up more allergens into the air. If you have a house guest arriving with known pet allergies, it is best to clean your home and flooring the day before they arrive as opposed to the day of.
Nobody said pet ownership was going to be easy, did they? With such a high percentage of allergy sufferers, there are steps that can be easily put into place to ensure your home remains a happy home - for every member of your family. You'll enjoy breathing easier, and your pets will enjoy the extras of being pampered!
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