Allergens: reducing exposure

Controlling your family’s common allergies could be easier than you think. Learn how to reduce levels of allergens in your home, using simple cleaning tips and disinfectant products.

Cleaning to reduce allergens at home

Cleaning to reduce allergens at homeRegular and thorough housekeeping can help you in your quest to reduce indoor allergens. These simple tips, such as how to regularly use a disinfectant, aim to help you reduce allergens throughout your home, from the kitchen to the bedroom.

Reducing common allergens on surfaces

Floors and furniture are prime ‘landing spots’ for allergens that travel through the air, including dust mite debris, pollen and pet dander. Following these general guidelines can help to reduce these allergens.

  • Vacuum carpets and soft furnishings regularly to pick up dust, dust mite debris, and other debris. This includes all upholstered furniture, curtains, and other fabric items that you cannot remove, wash and replace
  • Look for a high-filtration vacuum cleaner fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA)
  • If possible, replace carpets with hard surface flooring
  • Damp-dust hard surfaces and floors regularly using cleaning products that are proven to remove allergens. Using a damp cloth or wipe will help prevent allergens from becoming airborne.
  • Remove surface clutter to make cleaning easier. Place hard-to-clean items in cupboards, drawers, or display cabinets with glass doors.
  • Always remember to wash your hands after cleaning

Reducing allergens in the kitchen and bathroom

The keys to reducing allergens in the kitchen and bathroom include regular cleaning, reducing moisture, and ensuring proper ventilation.

  • Keep the bathroom and kitchen well ventilated. Open windows and/or use extractor fans to help circulate and remove moisture.
  • Consider replacing carpets with hard surface floorings, such as tiles, linoleum or laminates
  • Remove any visible mould growth promptly using suitable disinfectant products that are proven to kill moulds
  • Damp-dust hard surfaces and floors regularly using cleaning products that are proven to remove allergens. Using a damp cloth or wipe will help prevent allergens from becoming airborne.
  • Regularly clean areas with disinfectant where mould is likely to grow, such as refrigerator door seals
  • Regularly clean shower curtains with a suitable disinfectant, or launder them according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Launder and replace towels frequently
  • Regularly clean and disinfect tiles walls and other hard surfaces where water is likely to collect

Reducing allergens in the bedroom

Reducing allergens in the bedroom is especially important, since so much time is spent there. Bedrooms usually contain many soft furnishings, which are ideal places for dust mite debris and other allergens to accumulate. Here are some tips to reduce your exposure:

  • Do not allow pets in the bedroom
  • Consider encasing mattresses, duvets and pillows in dust-mite-proof covers
  • Minimise soft furnishings and remove any clutter from the bedroom. Clutter collects dust, so it also collects dust mite debris.
  • If you must have soft toys, choose washable ones. Keep them off the bed and launder them on a hot wash (at least 55C).
  • Damp-dust hard surfaces and floors regularly using cleaning products that are proven to remove allergens. Using a damp cloth or wipe will help prevent allergens from becoming airborne.
  • Vacuum carpets and soft furnishings regularly to pick up dust, dust mite debris, and other debris. This includes all upholstered furniture, curtains, and other fabric items that you cannot remove, wash and replace.
  • If possible, remove carpet from the bedroom of any family member with allergies. Hard surface floors are easier to clean and do not collect allergens in the same way carpets can.
Always read the label and use only as directed.