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How to Reduce 5 Common Household Allergens

Reduce indoor allergens with our expert tips so you can cut allergens before they begin to form.

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pug home allergens sneeze allergiesAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Reduce Indoor Allergens at Home

When pollen and mold levels are high, allergy symptoms might force you indoors. But indoor allergens are troublesome, too. They can cause sneezing, a stuffy or a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Your best bet for beating indoor allergies is to banish the things that trigger them. For starters, vacuum regularly, preferably with a HEPA-rated vacuum cleaner so you’re not blasting allergens back into the air. When you dust, use a damp cloth to help trap the allergens. The following examples are a few specific allergy triggers and ways to combat them. Keep the air pure and keep out allergens as well.

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cat allergens Sonsedska Yuliia/Shutterstock

Pet Allergens

The Cause: Dead skin flakes and saliva in dogs and cats, and urine in rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and mice. Although some animals trigger more allergic reactions than others, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet.

The Fix:

  • Keep pets out of your bedroom.
  • Regularly wash or replace your pet’s bedding and toys.
  • In extreme cases, consider replacing carpets with hard-surface floors.
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Mold growthFamily Handyman

Mold & Mildew

The Cause: Dampness.

The Fix:

  • Repair roof and plumbing leaks.
  • Keep damp spaces—such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements— clean and well-ventilated.
  • Replace vent switches with timers to fully vent moisture during and after showers.
  • Don’t install carpeting on concrete or damp floors.
  • Don’t store items like towels, bedding or clothes in damp areas.

Check out our 10 tips for removing mold and mildew.

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The Cause: Saliva, feces and body parts of cockroaches, which are often found in urban areas and in the southern United States, release allergens and that can cause issues with asthma and allergies.

The Fix:

  • Block any cracks or gaps in walls and windows where cockroaches can enter.
  • Repair roof and plumbing leaks to eliminate the water sources needed by cockroaches.
  • Apply bug barrier products around your home’s exterior perimeter.
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pollen allergens bee flowerSue Schweisberger/ Birds and Blooms


The Cause: You may not consider pollen to be in the indoor allergens category, but spores can make their way inside your home.

The Fix:

  • Keep doors and windows closed to prevent pollen from drifting in.
  • Weatherproof around your doors and windows to seal any gaps.
  • Change your air conditioner filter regularly.
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dust mitesSebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock

Dust Mites

The Cause: Warm, humid areas such as bedding and carpeting.

The Fix:

  • Allergen-proof covers on bedding.
  • Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry with high heat.
  • Consider replacing carpeting with hard-surface floorings like tile, hardwood or vinyl to eliminate dust mites. If you don’t want bare floors, use washable area rugs.

Studies show that the average six-room home in the United States collects 40 lbs. of dust each year. Sounds impressively awful, right? While it’s impossible to get rid of dust completely, here are our top tips for keeping dust at a minimum so you and your family stay healthier.