Allow us to walk you through a certain kind of house.
In this home, upholstered furniture is protected by plastic slipcovers. Treasured collections and family photos are untouched by dust. There are no toys scattered on the floor or pets sleeping on the sofa. And no matter what day you drop by, there is always a broom propped up in a corner of the kitchen as if someone had just finished sweeping the floors before you walked in.
While such a place -- if it even exists -- is probably low on allergens, it's not the type of abode a modern family is likely to live in. So the question is, if you are an average person who doesn't live in a sterile, museum-like home, how do you keep allergens at bay? Actually, you're probably already doing a fair job of fighting them off with your regular cleaning routine. But the key to really going after allergens full-force is to know which ones you're up against and where to find them.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says the top allergens are dust, pet dander, pollen and mold. Dust, pet dander and pollen can be found throughout the house -- particularly in rooms that have carpeting, upholstery or bedding. Mold, on the other hand, tends to live in bathrooms, basements and kitchens.
Keeping pollen out of your home is largely a matter of prevention. You should keep windows closed, have family members remove shoes upon entering the house and wash your hair at night to avoid transferring the pollen to your bed. When it comes to dealing with the other three culprits -- dust, pet dander and mold -- a bit of elbow grease is involved.
Continue reading to find cleaning strategies for eliminating allergens from your home.