Think this is extreme? I know a woman who moved into a rental that previously had two dogs that shed, a black lab and an older dachshund. She’s very allergic to pets. The location was perfect and quiet, just what she needed since she is a light sleeper. The carpets were cleaned professionally. So, you’re thinking, that’s it right? Carpets cleaned, it’s now an allergy free home and she can move in. Not so fast. Here’s what she did to assure herself she could actually live in this dwelling. She bought a brand new vacuum cleaner with incredible suction. It sucked up a staggering amount of dog hair. Next, she took Allergy Defender solution and sprayed it in the air. Pet dander reduced? You bet.
If you’d like some relief we’ve got some ideas, but first, a bit of “science”.
Pet dander’s quirkiness
Pet dander sticks to everything. Carpets, walls, curtains, mini blinds, ceiling fans, inside air ducts, bedding, clothes, doors. You get the picture. Everything.
Pet dander is airborne friendly! You move from one room to the next, it sails into other rooms even if Fluffy or Fido are confined to only one room.
Pet dander can stay active for up to 30+ weeks. Removing pet dander from your household is a long process, almost eight months! So, reducing pet dander in your home requires attention to detail and patience.
Now for some tips:
Remove pet dander from soft surfaces
Soft surfaces include upholstery and carpet. You can vacuum chairs, couches, carpets and you should. Frequently. In addition to vacuuming to cut down on cat or dog dander, we suggest using a rubber glove. It works really best in the crevices of upholstery and along the baseboards where carpet is installed. Have you ever vacuumed and noticed it does not suck up hair and dirt right next to the wall? Next time, run your rubber-gloved hand on the carpet against the wall. You’d be surprised at the dirt and pet dander that you pick up.
Control dust and dander on hard surfaces
Spring Cleaning is not a fad. Where cat and dog dander causing allergies are concerned, thorough cleaning is pretty much weekly. But, who has time to do that? Here’s an idea: wipe down flooring near baseboards instead of cleaning the whole floor. Don’t forget behind the toilet.
Air filters are important, too
Your heating or air conditioning unit works off and on all day blowing heat or cool into your home and pet dander gets drawn into your systems air filter. It’s important to change your filter monthly because a dirty one can harm your unit and won’t help keep allergens at bay. If you have more than one pet, change it every 2 weeks.
Air filters are rated similar to movies
The industry standard is called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). This reporting value ranges from 6-13, the highest number being the most able to filter out dirt, dander, pollen, bacteria, viruses and more. The lowest number 6 is usually made of fiberglass “threads” and can filter only larger particles such as dust.
“If you suffer from breathing problems such as allergies or asthma, then we recommend a filter with a MERV 13 rating. MERV 13 rated filters have a dust spot efficiency of 80-90%, and they are highly efficient filters both for residential and commercial use. MERV 13 filters remove a higher range of particulates, including larger amounts of bacteria and even some viruses, and they are best for people suffering from breathing problems.” according to AirFilters.com site.
A higher rated filter (above 13) could lessen the airflow in your HVAC and could damage the unit. So, if you have an older unit, or just don’t know what filter to use, call your local HVAC company and see what they recommend. I just called one in my area and they said to use a number 13.
Caution if shopping at big box stores
Since MERV is the industry standard you’d think that would be good enough, right? Guess again! Two other ratings have surfaced compliments of Home Depot and Lowes. Lowes has a dropdown menu, online, to choose MERV rated brands. Lowe’s own rating is called MPR (Micro-Particle Performance Rating). Home Depot created their brand labeled FPR (Filter Performance Rating). They also mention MERV on their site for specific filters.
Carpet cleaning for pet dander
If you’re about to clean your carpet, vacuum before. Vacuuming before brings up the dry stuff- dirt, dust, hair and what have you. Vacuuming before will also make your carpet cleaning water cleaner and that means it’s better for cleaning your carpet. In other words, dirty water could cause staining. After your carpet’s clean, spray Allergy Defender in the air and on your carpet, upholstery etc. Pet dander will be floating in the air and it’s important to keep those allergens down to the ground where they will dry out.
Vacuum cleaners, bags and filters
Change bags when full. Wash reusable ones often. Let dry out before installing it back into your vacuum. Let’s be honest, we all avoid this unpleasant task because it’s dirty and dusty! But delaying this task only adds dust and dirt back into your home, and dust and dirt can reduce flow of air to your vacuum. If you’re purchasing a new vacuum, buy one with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filter. These are very good for eliminating pet dander and reducing pet allergies. The filters reduce airborne particles up to 99%!
Don’t forget to take a rag and wipe down the edge of the carpet next to the wall. You’d be surprised at the amount of dander the vacuum did not pick up.
Don’t be exposed
By all means create a safe place in your home. We suggest your bedroom where pets are not allowed. Since pet dander is sticky, change your clothes before stepping into your room. Put them in a laundry basket and bring the hamper into your room so your pet can’t sleep on your clothes while you’re snoozing. Clean this room often. Clean your bedding weekly. Yes, even dust weekly. And Spray Allergy Defender daily if need be. This should be the cleanest room in your home; your safe spot away from pet dander so you can breathe easier and calm your mind and body from any allergens. Can’t you just feel the “Ahhh” now?
Purchase a HEPA air filter
Just like the HEPA vacuum cleaner, these handy machines clean your air to 99%. Consider putting it in your bedroom since you spend half your time there. Best Products.com or Wirecutter.com are both good sites to determine what’s best for your pet free zone.
Keep your air quality clean
Candles, harsh cleaning products and yes, even essential oils can add to poor indoor air quality. Not only that, but these products are harmful to your health. Why? Scented products contain chemicals that can cause serious problems for many people, especially those with asthma, allergies and environmental illness. Did you know approximately 4,000 chemicals are used to make fragrances, and several hundred can be used in a single product. Why breathe them in?
Tips using Allergy Defender
Spray every room, not just where your pet frequents.
Spray at least once a week, more often, even daily if allergies are a real bother.
Spray the product in the air, let settle, then vacuum.
Spray Allergy Defender on your upholstered furniture and use a rubber glove to gather hair hiding inside crevices
Why Allergy Defender works on pet dander
This product is unique in the allergy-removing arena. It is made of minerals. These minerals attach themselves to allergens, drop them to the ground and dehydrate them so they can be easily vacuumed up.
Clean your carpet frequently. Vacuum before you carpet clean.
Wipe down flooring along side baseboards once a week. Don’t forget the bathroom.
Replace MERV rated air filters once a month if you have one pet. Two pets? Change them twice a month. Be sure to budget for this expense.
If possible, purchase a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
Reduce your exposure to pet dander by creating one room in your home that is pet free.
Refuse to use candles or air fresheners. These products all add to your indoor air quality burden.
Brush your pet outdoors. Have someone else do it if allergic.
Have your HVAC system professionally cleaned.
Wash your face and hands frequently.
Talk to an allergist. Often times you might think you’re allergic to pets only to discover your allergist finds you’re allergic to something else!
If you visit friends who have pets, consider wearing a mask. We’re not kidding. It can keep pet dander at bay. And who knows, it might even prevent having to use stronger medication such as an inhaler.
And what about the woman who professionally carpet cleaned her house and bought a new vacuum? It’s been seven months now and she’s still allergy, pet dander free.
Allergy Defender is a whole house solution. Spray it in every room to reduce pet dander even if your pet is allowed in only one room. Consider purchasing a bottle today for an allergy free home.