My boyfriend and I live in a house with two cats, so we know how much pet fur can collect over the course of only a week. I am also one of those people who always have a tissue on hand due to my year-round bout with allergies. We are so self-conscious about making our home comfortable for guests and ourselves, and even guests who may be allergic to cats. We have had many guests come and say they did not even know we had a cat in the house let alone two due to the lack of cat fur and other allergens. I attribute this to good old fashion dusting around the house and keeping even the dirt that is out of sight at bay. Here I want to share my tips on keeping your house allergy-free at home even if you are a pet owner.
Before you start your allergy-free routine
My favorite time to dust is on a warmer day where I can open the windows and let some of the dust you kick up go right out the window. If this is not an option for you, just be prepared to have some allergens in the air during the day while you are getting your cleaning done. You also want to be sure you have the right tools for the job. When I work to make my house allergy-free I use:
Another thing to keep in mind is that dust falls from the top to the bottom, and to prevent yourself from doing double work, you want to dust in this same order, from the top to the bottom. I have put the items in the order they should be dusted to prevent from having to clean certain areas more than once.
Lamps, Fans, and Light Fixtures
These items are usually the highest things up, so be sure to do them first. Use a bucket of warm soapy water and Viva® paper towels to wipe them all down. I LOVE Viva® paper towels since they are more like a washcloth than a paper towel and can be used longer than an ordinary paper towel. But I still get to dispose of it when I am done because what it picks up can get pretty gross. The best part about them is that since they are so soft, they seem to pick up way more dust than a paper towel does. But back to the light fixtures…
I think since many light fixtures are often out of eye view, they collect more dust than almost anything in the house. Be wary of where the dust goes after you clean the fixtures so you may properly clean the items below the fixtures as well. For example, we have a ceiling fan above our bed. My boyfriend recently washed it but made sure to remove our comfortable before, and promptly removed our sheets and washed those once he was finished dusting.
Wash the curtains
When it comes to dusting it seems that everyone forgets about the curtains that can also collect dust. We take all of our curtains down every few months and wash them. You will not believe some of the dust and fur and other stuff that collect on curtains when you look close enough.
I use any type of dusting spray and Viva® paper towels. I spray down the tabletops with a liquid duster and wipe with my Viva® paper towel. If you are dusting kitchen counters, I highly recommend you clean up any food debris first before dusting. tabletops that usually need more dusting are the ones in high traffic areas. Think a foyer table or side table in a hallway. Since there is so much traffic in those areas, we are constantly kicking up dust. I dusted our foyer table two weeks ago, and yet there was still an incredible amount of dust that came up for me.
Wash the blinds
Be prepared because this one takes a while. Don't even waste your time with the dusting spray because it leaves the chance to be too great that you may miss something. When it comes to dusting the blinds, I use a bucket of warm soapy water and the paper towels. I wash every panel one at a time making sure to clean both the top and the bottom. I know this part is a pain in the ass and unfortunately, there is no way around it. But when your home is allergy-free it will be worth it!
Vacuum the upholstered furniture
As I mentioned earlier, upholstered furniture gets the worse rap because it is often neglected in the world of dusting. We take all the pillows off of our coach and we vacuum each pillow individually. We vacuum every side of it, even the bottom since crumbs can get between the cushions and so can cat fur. We have a leather recliner as well and I make sure to take the bucket of warm soapy water and just wipe it down with a Viva® paper towel. I can usually clean our entire recliner with only 1 or two of these baby's.
Wash the baseboards
Ah, the baseboards the forgotten dust collector of the home. Do me a favor and take a look at your home's baseboards. Just get a close look at them. If it's pretty gross, never fear. I guarantee that there are many homes that are collecting gunk in this little-hidden area. These things collect everything from dust to fur to hair. It's almost as if it is their sole duty. Take a fresh bucket of warm soapy water and start wiping them down. This will take a little time but not as much as the blinds I promise.
Sweep or Vacuum the floor
Once you are done with all the other dusting, the last part is vacuuming the floor. If you have the opportunity to do so, and your own pets, I highly recommend you move the furniture so you can vacuum under it. If your pets are like mine where they love to hide under the bed and couch, then you should vacuum those areas. If you are a regular vacuum, you are going to see a substantial amount most dust in it this time around. People who have carpet, collect way more dust in their homes than people who do not, so be sure to vacuum at least once a week! If you have a hard-surfaced floor, get ready to sweep. Start on one side of the room and make your way to the other side making sure to cover the entire area of the floor.
Change your air filter once a month
Lastly, for preserved maintenance, be sure to change your air filter once a month. If you have pets, this is especially true. Changing your air filter every month is one of the best ways to keep the allergies at bay throughout the year.
This is a hefty dusting list I know but is usually what we do about once a quarter. We vacuum weekly as well as do some light dusting, but the heavy duty stuff happens once a quarter. I hope this helps keep your home allergy-free.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.