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According to my allergist, I have been dusting my house all wrong for someone who has seasonal allergies. He told me to stop using a feather duster (or Swiffer type dusters like these) to dust shelves and doodads because they don’t actually remove dust. Dusters clean by throwing the dust on the shelves into the air. Oops! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience. If you make a purchase through these links I receive a small commission that allows me to keep the lights on. Thank you for your support!)
He also told me to stop using dusting sprays, especially the scented kind, because they can affect seasonal allergies too. He told me the absolute best dusting spray to use is plain, old fashioned water.
I cleaned and filled an empty spray bottle with water, sprayed it onto a piece of an old towel I cut up to use as dust rags, and was amazed (and kinda grossed out) and how much dust plain water on a rag picked up from a surface that didn’t look dirty or dusty. Oh, and the price is right too!
1. Pick up items from surfaces, the floor, nightstands chairs, etc. first.
2. Start cleaning and dusting from the top of the room and work your way down. This way any dust from say, wiping down wall decorations, falls onto the floor and furniture you haven’t cleaned yet instead of onto clean lower surfaces you will need to clean a second time from dust falling from high surfaces onto the lower surfaces.
3. Wash and remove curtains and window treatments. Wash/dust the windows and windowsills while everything is in the washing machine.
4. Dust the walls and any art or items you have hanging on the walls such as decorative shelving. I spray water onto an O Cedar mop with washable pads like this one and use it to dust the walls of my bedroom. For the tops of our armoires, nightstands, and artwork, I spray water onto a dust rag and go to town.
5. Dust/clean the light fixtures and switches. Make sure you do this while the light and switches are turned off!
6. Dust and declutter the tops of dressers, armoires, nightstands, headboards etc. if you did not do this in Suggestion 1.
7. Strip everything from the bed and wash it in the washing machine from the bottom up. Mattress pad, sheets, blankets, comforter, and pillows. If you have bed linens that are bigger than your washing machine at home, you may need to take a trip to a laundry mat to do this. Don’t skip this step! 90% of the time when my dust allergies are going into overdrive due to the a buttoned up winter house, stripping and washing the bed linens is a major source of relief.
8. After stripping the bed, pull out the sweeper and vacuum the bare mattress to remove trapped dust mites, skin flakes, etc. If you don’t already have an allergy mattress cover (you can find them here) on your mattress I highly recommend getting one for your mattress and also putting allergy pillow covers like these on your bed pillows because they really do make a difference!
When my allergist suggested using allergy mattress and pillow covers I thought it was more of a money grab expense (he gave me a stack of flyers of allergy free stuff I should buy after my test results) than something I would find helpful but spring pollen allergy overdrive made me desperate to try the covers so I did. He was right and I was wrong. I could tell the difference almost immediately.
Don’t be me.
9. Flip the mattress. This will even out the wear and tear on your mattress and make it last longer. I have a pillow top mattress and it is fine to sleep on when I flip it with help from my husband (we have a king size bed) to the non pillow top side 6 months out of the year.
10. Wash any throw rugs in the washing machine if applicable.
11. Move the furniture when possible and damp mop hardwood floors deep vacuum and consider shampooing the carpeting if you have it in your bedroom. Wall to wall carpeting is fantastic at trapping dust and dirt which is why most allergists recommend you remove it (including mine.)
Why do I have carpet in my bedroom? It came with the house. It is still in good condition, and would be a major project to replace on a whim that would most likely require a bazillion “one last trip to the home improvement store” (that all of my DIY projects seem to take) that we’re currently not comfortable making right now. For now, the carpeting stays.
In the meantime we bought a replacement battery for our Roomba from Amazon and promoted Red to Upstairs Maid (because it sounds more Downton Abby than the Robot Vacuum that is Lower Profile and Sweeps Under the Bed and Furniture unlike our larger Pet hair BobSweep.) I run Red daily in the bed room (Bob takes care of the living room at night when we’re sleeping) and deep sweep with the vacuum cleaner weekly (in theory)
12. If you have an air purifier, check and change the filters. You might also consider changing the air purifier and HVAC filters more often than recommended during high seasonal allergy times. We have a Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier (learn more about it here) that has two filters, a HEPA filter they say to change yearly and a prefilter (I buy it at a discount using Amazon Subscribe & Save) they suggest changing every 3 months that catches the big stuff like dust, pollen and bed dander. I change the prefilter monthly since the allergens it is supposed to catch change with the seasons, just to keep life interesting.
13. Wash, dust, clean anything else in your bedroom that I may have missed on this list. In our case that is Lacey’s Molly Mutt dog bed (you can get the details here.)
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