In Allergy, Blog

Post-Holiday Allergy Clean Up: Eliminating Allergens in the Home

It’s after the holidays and the thought of cleaning right now probably makes you want to go right back to bed. The good news is that if you’re heading back to bed, you’re already exactly where allergy and asthma sufferers should begin their holiday clean up!

“Why should I clean the bedroom? I am hardly there during the day!” you say.

The reason is simple.  The bedroom is where you spend the most consecutive hours out of the 24 hours in the day.  If there is another room you sleep/stay in more, then these rules apply there too.  

Eliminating Dust Mites

Where do you begin? Since we’re already on the topic of getting back into bed, let’s start with your mattress.  Invest in allergen pillow and mattress casings.  They will keep dust mites out, so that you are not sleeping on a dust mite dome.  

Declutter the bedroom.  Many of us have heard about the zen bedroom.  Make it happen.  The simpler the bedroom is, the less you need to dust! If you have a fan, dust the blades.  There is no reason to have a spinning dust mite dance party.  

If you have pollen allergies, keep the windows closed.  Do not invite more party guests.  Remove the carpeting.  Dust mites love to cozy up in the carpeting.  If you can’t remove the carpet, try to vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum at least 1x/week.  That will keep the dust mite load in the carpet to a minimum.  

Dust at least once a week.  No, not sprinkle more dust in the room, but rather, wipe down the room weekly.  Clean the air ducts.  We don’t need to blow the dust mites around in the room.  Invest in an air purifier.  The air purifier does not need to be a fancy, magical one.  It just needs to cover the square footage of the bedroom.

Wash the sheets and pillowcases in hot water every 1-2 weeks.  Hello hot water, good-bye dust mites.

Keeping Your Pet Allergy in Check

Oh, look, there comes Boomer! (Gratuitous use of my niece and nephew’s dog’s name).  Our cuddly, loving animals are unfortunately huge allergy triggers.  

Ideally, dogs/cats/birds/guinea pigs/rabbits/hampsters/etc. should not be in the bedroom.  If you can’t bear to hear them cry/whine/wail outside the bedroom, then have them stay in the bedroom, but off the bed.  

Okay, okay- I understand that you can’t do that to the Good Boom (substitute your own pets’ nicknames).  Then, have your pets lay down at the foot of the bed on their own covers that are washable in hot water.  Try to keep them physically as far away from your face as possible.  It’s ok to wait until you wake up for snuggles and kisses!

Congratulations!  You made it out of bed and plugged in the air purifier.  Don’t go back to bed just yet. Doing one thing alone doesn’t solve the allergy riddle.  You need to work on all the pieces together consistently.  Having a comprehensive approach to allergen control in the bedroom has been shown to be the most successful. Exhale In-Home Allergen Testing can help you do just that!

So, go out and have a great time! Just make sure that the bedroom you come back to is one where you can relax, recover, and dream…….Goodnight………………..


Priya Bansal

Dr. Priya Bansal attended a six-year BS/MD program with Penn State University and Thomas Jefferson Medical School. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Illinois in Chicago and was board certified in both specialties. She then became board certified in Allergy and Immunology after her fellowship at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Bansal served as President for the Illinois Society of Allergy and is currently a RSLAAIS governor for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). Dr. Bansal joined the Exhale team to continue her mission of aiding in the alleviation of suffering for children and adults with allergies and asthma. “As a doctor and as the mom of children with asthma, allergies and food allergies, I could not be more excited about the incredible difference we are making in the lives of our clients,” Dr. Bansal explains.
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