Sneezing. Watery eyes. Runny nose. No, you haven’t been watching the latest Nicholas Sparks flick (though The Notebook still gets you every time), you’re having an allergy attack. The biggest culprits egging on your seasonal nemesis? Dirt, dust and mold. And one place you’re sure to find all three of these is on your floors.
In honor of spring and your impending big clean (hint, hint), we’ve put together a master list of fool-proof ways to allergy-proof your floors.
1. Remove your shoes. We know, we know, it’s a total hassle to ask guests to take off their shoes when they come over. But do you know how much dirt the bottom of a shoe carries? According to an article in WebMd.com, 85 percent of the dirt in our homes that comes from the outside is tracked in on our shoes and the paws of household pets. So wipe Buster’s paws after a walk and ask guests to wear fabulous socks — you’re officially a shoe-free household.
2. Get a good vacuum. Carpet is a hot-bed for all kinds of allergens. To really get a deep clean, look for a vacuum with powerful suction, cyclonic cleaning action, or one with an Anti-Allergen Complete Seal™ Technology. Use HEPA vacuum bags when possible–they’re said to trap 99 percent of dust and allergens.
3. Steam clean your carpets. You’re diligent about vacuuming (yay!), now it’s time to take it to the next level — a steam cleaning once a month. You can opt to hire a professional, or DIY with your very own steam cleaner.
4. Sweep often. Much like vacuuming, sweeping is a great start at keeping dirt at bay. But unlike vacuuming, sweeping should be done at least once a day (groan …we know). No wimpy brooms need apply — choose one with a great set of bristles that can fit into nooks and crannies.
5. Mop, mop, mop. Sorry to say, sweeping alone isn’t going to keep your floors allergy-proof. Once or twice a week you’ll need to bring out the old mop. You can make like a pioneer and bust out a bucket and rag mop, or step into the 21st century — and make the task that much easier — by investing in a steam mop.
6. Move the furniture. Just because your couch is covering the floor doesn’t mean it’s serving as a barrier agains dirt and dust. In fact, large pieces of furniture are probably harboring a dust bunny or two. Once or twice a month, thoroughly clean under each piece of furniture to nab any fugitive allergens.
7. Get in the corners. Dust loves to lurk in corners — so don’t skip them during your clean. For hard-to-reach places on hard flooring, get down and dirty with a paper towel and a little cleaning spray. For carpet, put those vacuum attachments to good use. Both involve a little elbow grease, but the benefits mean a dust-free home (and a little extra arm muscle!)
Have a tip you’d like to share? Let us know in the space below.