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Allergy Proof Your Home

dust_miteAs we ease into warmer weather, we approach the terrible discomfort of allergy season. Every Spring, millions of Americans suffer through the sneezing, itching, wheezing and coughing cause by allergies to pollen, mold and dust-mites, among other things. They turn to their doctors and pharmacists for help dealing with the symptoms. But, there are things you can do to cut down on allergens in your home, and that can be vital if you rely on rentals. If you use a cleaning service, it’s a good idea to check these items against their list of services to make sure you’re getting the maximum protection. If you’re going to do some or all of this work yourself, a warning: Protect yourself.  Wear a dust mask and plastic gloves. Take a shower and Wash your clothes in hot water after you’re done. Don’t let fighting allergies give you an allergy attack!


People spend a large fraction of their lives in their bedrooms, so let’s start there.
  • Keep the windows closed.
  • Vacuum carpets twice a week with HEPA-Filter vacuum.
  • Wash bed linens once a week in hot water, and blankets and mattress pads twice a month.
  • Wash curtains and blinds once a a month, or replace them with shades.
  • Cover beds and pillows with dust-mite and allergen-impermeable covers.
  • Dust with a damp rag – You want to capture dust particles, not stir them up into the air!
  • Change your air filters every month to six weeks.
  • Keep pets out. Pets are magnets for dust and they’ll undermine all your other efforts if you let them in the bedroom.


In bathrooms, the key is to eliminate moisture. Here, the problem is mold.
  • Make sure the fan works and runs when people shower to reduce moisture.
  • No wallpaper. It’s a perfect place for mold to hide behind.
  • No wall-to-wall carpet. Bath mats washed once a week
  • Wash bath towels once a week in hot water.
  • Wash shower curtains once a month.
  • Clean those toothbrush holders!


Kitchens are also vulnerable to mold, and in addition need to be kept clean to avoid attracting cockroaches and other bugs.
  • Don’t leave food or dirty dishes out.
  • Clean refrigerator spills right away to avoid mold.
  • Run the exhaust fan when cooking to reduce moisture.
  • Replace carpet in the kitchen with tile or hardwood floors.
  • Scrub the garbage can and deodorize your garbage disposal.

More Help

For more help and advice, follow these links to the Mayo ClinicBetter Homes and GardensHow Stuff Works and This Old House websites.
Following these tips closely can help present your home as a better destination for rental prospects. If you’d like other home rental guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.