Why you should wash with hot water and use the drier

When dealing with allergens attached to clothing it is very important to wash with hot water. Studies show that washing with water that is over 140F (60 Celcius) can kill 100% of all allergens. Even lowering the temperature slightly causes less allergens to be killed.

If you don’t want to risk damage to your clothes by hot washing, another way to completely kill allergens is by using a powerful steam cleaner which was shown to be just as effective as washing with hot water.

And if you really don’t want to use hot water another method recommended by the researchers was wash at a warm temperature and then rinse your clothes twice in cold water.

After washing is done it is then best to dry your clothes using a tumble drier. Drying clothes out on the line may be eco-friendly, but the pollen and dust they collect will make you miserable.

Cover Photo by Daniela Vladimirova

The Allergy Air Filter Guide

Types of Air Filters

For the sufferers of airborne based allergens, an indoor air filter is one of the must have anti-allergy appliances. However, choosing a good air filter can be a daunting task. Manufacturers often spout buzzwords which may mislead. This post will attempt to be a guide to helping you choose the best air filter for your needs.

HEPA Mechanical Filters

A mechanical filter works by using a fan to force air through a material, trapping dirt, allergens and dust in the material. The word “HEPA” is an acronym for “High Efficiency Particulate Absorption” and is simply a buzzword for a mechanical filter that is just really good at filtering. Really good means that these filters must remove at least 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns from the air passed through the filter. To put this size into perspective here are the sizes in microns of some common allergens.

Dust mite – 100 microns
Pollen – 10 microns
Mold Spore – 10 microns
Mold – 3 microns
Car Emissions – 1 microns
Asbestos – 0.7 microns

As you can see a HEPA filters will be capable of removing these common allergens from the air with ease. When purchasing a mechanical filter you will almost certainly always want to get a HEPA filter. These filters are not only used for allergy sufferers, but are also used in professional settings such as in medical facilities, cars and in aircraft to help stop the spread of disease. A HEPA filter will also make a large positive impact on your air quality if you have any pets like cats or dogs.

Look for HEPA filters in other products you buy as well, such as in your car and in vacuum cleaners.

There are not many disadvantages to purchasing a HEPA air filter other than the fact that you will need to replace the filter cartridge every now and then. A HEPA filter should always be your first choice when choosing an air filter.

Ionizers

Ionizers are air filters that use electricity to emit negatively charged particles known as negative ions which attach themselves to particulates in the air such as dust and pollen, and cause them to stick to a nearby collection plate which can be easily cleaned. This is essentially producing the same effect as static electricity, just like what happens when you rub a balloon on your head and your hair sticks to the balloon. Some of the freshest natural air is due to the effects of negative ions. That feeling of fresh air at a surf beach or after a thunderstorm are due to negative ions being produced by pounding waves and lightning. Many people also claim that negative ions can also give you a health boost and make you feel better in general, though there isn’t any scientific evidence to support this statement yet.

Only purchase ionizers that are fan forced. Non fan forced ionizers simply cannot filter the air effectively. A good ionizer will have a plate or rod that will collect the dust and allergens which will need to be wiped clean daily. Poor quality ionizers will simply emit negative ions into the air with no collection plate, causing dust and allergens to simply move around even more. However, once this has all been said, ionizers simply cannot clean the air effectively as a standard HEPA filter can.

One must also be very careful when buying ionizers that are also labelled as ozone generators. Ozone is a gas that can remove strong odors and kill mold, but is also poisonous to humans and can actually act as an allergen itself in high concentrations. All ionizers will emit some ozone, but small amounts of ozone are safe and will not affect your health. A good ionizer will be designed to emit as little ozone as possible, but an ozone generator will be designed to do the exact opposite. When purchasing an ionizer only choose models that claim to emit less than 0.05 ppm of ozone. If you already have an ozone generator, only use rarely it in unoccupied areas and be sure to fully air the room out after. Ozone is especially bad for you if you have asthma. If you have asthma or allergies and are currently using an Ozone generator, stop immediately!

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filters are used to remove pollutants like smoke, odorous gases and other airborne allergy causing chemicals like perfumes. Since these filters do not remove larger particles, they are usually used in conjunction with a HEPA filter. The disadvantage to activated carbon is that the filter needs to be replaced often, as once the filter media is full it can no longer absorb pollutants.

UV Filters

UV light is highly damaging to organic life. This is the reason why UV rays from the sun can cause cancer. By using UV light inside an air filter, any dangerous organisms such as germs and allergy causing mold spores are destroyed. Although UV filters are not particularly effective in practice for removing mold as mold requires very high power UV light to be applied to the mold for a number of seconds. In an air filter the time the mold spore will spend under the light may be minimal if there is no mechanical filter to trap it first. UV lights also lose brightness and thus effectiveness over time.

So what Filter do I need?

Hayfever allergy sufferers first and foremost need a good HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air. Other air filter methods simply do not even come close to the effectiveness of a HEPA filter. To help you choose a good filter we explain some further terminology which you will see displayed on many products.

Filter Airflow

The filter airflow is a measure of how much air the filter can move. The bigger the better in this case, and more air moved means more air filtered. Airflow is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute).

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)

The CADR of an air filter is a rating by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers on how well an air filter performs. There are separate CADR measurements for smoke, dust and pollen. A larger number indicates better performance.

Room Size Rating

It is very important to get a filter that is correctly rated for your room size. A filter that is too small won’t be able to sufficiently purify the air. All air filters will come with a room size rating given in square feet. Measure the rooms in your house that you want to purify and select a filter that at least matches the room size rating.

Recommended Air Filters

For the best value for money we recommend the Winix range of Air Purifiers.

The Winix WAC9500 is an excellent highly rated and well priced HEPA air filter which will suit most average sized bedrooms. In addition to the HEPA filter it also has a chemical filter and “PlasmaWave” technology, which is simply a buzzword for saying that it has a type of ionizer built in as well. If you are unsure be sure to check out the many positive reviews of the WAC9500.

Cover Image by theaucitron

Remedies for Treating and Preventing Mold Allergies

Mold is an extremely potent allergen that can exist indoors all year round in the right conditions. It is the mold spores that enter the air that when breathed in cause allergy symptoms.

You will likely find mold growing in damp conditions so you may notice that during certain times of the year that your mould allergies may increase. The difficulty with mold is that it can form on almost household surface, making prevention very important.

Mold can cause some serious health problems like allergies, asthma and other breathing problems. Many people experience these symptoms throughout the entire and do not realize it is their moldy house that is causing them. The elderly and parents with young infants need to be especially concerned about mold as the health effects can be much more severe in these people.

Places you might find mold

Mold can grow in any damp place but the most likely places are listed below

  1. Under the carpet. Beware of damp carpet as underneath there is very likely to be mold hiding on the floorboards. Also any carpet that has had liquid spills from drinks or plumbing leaks is suspect.
  2. On the outside of walls or ceilings. Mold can often be difficult to spot even on the walls.
  3. Above ceiling tiles.
  4. Inside walls. Damp walls may have large amounts of mold on the inside.
  5. In the attic or crawl space.
  6. In damp basements.
  7. On pipes.
  8. Windows. Check in edges and crevices of damp or leaky windows.
  9. Bathrooms. Unclean and poorly ventilated bathrooms may have mold growing on the tiles, walls and ceiling.
  10. Kitchens. Mold in the kitchen is most likely to be near appliances that can generated steam, such as the kettle or the stove top. Check the walls and ceilings near these appliances. Also dirty fridges are another prime place for mold growth.
  11. Furniture. Check behind old furniture such as wooden cabinets and upholstered seats.
  12. Your HVAC air conditioning/heating systems. A problem with the HVAC system could create an ideal area for mold to grow. Routinely check HVAC ventilation ducting, drain pans and grills for mold.
  13. Behind wallpaper.
  14. Stacks of paper. Old documents filed away could be a source of mold.
  15. Clothes. Clothes stored for a long time may develop mold spots.

Tips for removing mold

If you’ve identified a moldy area you will want to treat that area as soon as possible. Be warned that even dead mold can still cause respiratory problems.

  1. Protect yourself. Always wear gloves and an N95 specified dust mask to prevent breathing in the spores. You may also want to use goggles to prevent the spores from entering your eyes.
  2. Clean moldy surfaces by scrubbing with detergent and water.
  3. Also use a mold destroying product like Concrobium Mold Control to kill and prevent further mold growth.
  4. Materials that are porous and infested with mold will need to be discarded and replaced. It is almost impossible to remove mold from these materials.

Tips for preventing mold

  1. Keep your house dry. If you live in damp weather purchase a dehumidifier. The EPA recommends that humidity levels be kept at around 30-60%. Make sure you get a dehumidifier that can measure humidity as adjust itself accordingly.
  2. Fix plumbing leaks immediately.
  3. Soak up carpet spills immediately.
  4. Increase ventilation throughout your house. Open doors between rooms and windows, use fans if necessary.
  5. Insulate your house. Keep your house warm and dry by insulating the crawl space and in between walls if not done already.
  6. Prevent condensation on windows. The dehumidifier should help with this, but if you still notice condensation you may want to use a product like Damprid.
  7. Install exhaust fans in steamy bathrooms, and/or ensure you open the windows after showering.
  8. Replace carpets with hardwood floors and use easily washed rugs instead.

Header Image by Judy

The Best Houseplants that Purify the Air

Whilst we will always recommend the use of a HEPA air filter for purifying indoor air, it is also vital to have some air purifying houseplants to supplement an air filter.

Back in 1989 NASA and other researches performed a study on the air purifying properties of indoor plants. The scientists tested various plants on their ability at removing common harmful cancer and allergy causing chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde xylene, toluene and ammonia from indoor air. The results showed that many indoor plants can vastly positively affect indoor air quality.

To get the most effect out of the plants the results showed that it is important to expose the root-soil area to as much of the air to be purified as possible. The NASA scientists also recommended that about 1 plant per 100 square feet needs to be used for efficient air purification.

Here are allergyassault.com’s pick of the six most effective purifying plants from the research, with the most effective shown first.

1) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)

peacelily
Peace Lily (Flickr)

The Peace Lily is an excellent overall air purifier. The research showed that it is one of the most effective removers of all six tested air borne chemicals benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldahyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia.

The peace lily is also known to produce very low amounts of pollen which is great for pollen allergy sufferers.

Caring for peace indoor peace lilies is very simply. They enjoy bright indirect sunlight and through and frequent watering.

Pet owners must be careful as the Peace Lily is mildy toxic to cats and dogs, but poisoning will only be a problem if a large amount of leaves are ingested.

Growing Instructions

2) Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Pot Mum
Pot Mum (Flickr)

Pot Mum is also known as Florist’s Daisy or Hard Garden Mum. The experiments showed that like the peace lily, pot mums were great overall air purifiers removing significant amounts of all six of the tested chemicals benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldahyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia from the atmosphere.

While standard pot mums flower and give off pollen, there are also the so called double flowering pot mum variations whose flowers do not have pollen making them ideal for pollen allergy sufferers. Chrysanthemums do however cause allergic reactions if touched on the flower or leaves in some people.
Pot Mums are hardy plants but do best when they can get plenty of sunlight and have well drained soil.  
Pet owners should be very careful however as Pot Mums are toxic to cats and dogs when ingested and should be kept out of reach.

Growing Instructions

4) Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Devil's Ivy
Devil’s Ivy (Flickr)

Devils Ivy is also known by many names such as Golden Pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, Australian native monstera, centipede tongavine, money plant, silver vine, solomon islands ivy and taro vine. It is also a good air purifier with the research showing that it was effective at removing 5/6 of tested chemicals benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldahyde, xylene and toluene, but was not so good at removing ammonia.

Devil’s Ivy does have flowers and so may not be good for pollen allergy sufferers, however they will rarely produce flowers when grown indoors. Touching the plant may also cause allergic reactions in some people.

This plant is very hardy but cannot tolerate cold temperatures. It also prefers bright indirect light.

Pet owners and parents must be weary as this plant is toxic to cats, dogs and children when eaten.

Growing Instructions

5) Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Snake Plant
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Flickr)

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue also goes by the names good luck plant, golden birds nest sanservia and snake plant. Like Devil’s Ivy this plant is effective at removing benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldahyde, xylene and toluene, but is not so good at removing ammonia.

The mother-in-law’s tongue will rarely bloom flowers so it is good for pollen allergy sufferers. Some people may be allergic to touching the plant.

Mother-in-law’s tongue is a very hardy plant, but prefers to be in bright light with a little direct sun. It only needs to be watered when the soil is dry.

Pet owners need to be aware that this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Growing Instructions

6) Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

dracenea
Red-Edged Dracaena (Flickr)

The Dragon tree is also known by the names Pleomele, Song of Idea and Red-Edged Draceaena. The Dragon Tree is another plant similar to Devil’s Ivy and Mother-In-Law’s Tongue as it is effective at removing benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldahyde, xylene and toluene.

The Dragon Tree can bloom flowers but will do so very rarely, so it is ideal for pollen allergy sufferers.

Dragon Tree’s are tolerant plants that prefer medium amounts of light, and dislike over watering. Only water when the soil is dry.

Pet owners need to be aware that this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Growing Instructions

7) Others

These are the “runner up” plants which will still purify the air, but not as effectively as the top 6.

Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Gerber/Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Lilyturf (Liriope spicata)
Flamingo lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) 

The Effect of Air Borne Chemicals

Exposure to benzene typically is by household products such as paints, glues, adhesives, inks, oils, cleaning products, tobacco smoke, hair dye, and gasoline. Benzene can irritate the skin and eyes. Long term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia, fertility problems and weaken the immune system.

Trichloroethylene is present in household products such as glues, adhesives, paint removers, rug cleaning solutions, paints and metal cleaners. Exposure to trichloroethylene typically causes reduced motor coordination, nausea, headaches and irritation to mucous membranes. Long term exposure can cause cancer.

Formaldehyde is present in household products such as plywood, foam insulation, synthetic fabrics and some shampoos. It is also released when natural gas, wood, gasoline or tobacco is released. Exposure to formaldehyde typically causes irritation for the eyes, nose and throat and can also cause nausea and headaches.

Xylene/Toulene are chemicals present in household products such as permanent markers, nail polish, paints, laquers, glues, adhesives, wood stainers, rust preventers, thinners and gasoline. Exposure to these chemicals can cause irritation to the eyes, throat and skin and also cause dizziness, nausea and headaches.

Ammonia is a chemical that is very commonly found in household cleaning products and fertilizers. Exposure to ammonia can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat

Conclusion

Houseplants are an effective air purification tool. They work night and day to purify the air and require little maintenance. Pollen allergy sufferers may opt to go for house plants that do not or will rarely bloom flowers.

Note that while plants will absorb harmful chemicals from the air, they will not do anything to remove particulates like dander, pollen and dust like a HEPA filter will.

Header iamge by Tahmid Munaz

30 Remedies for Cat and Dog Allergies

We all love our pets like cats and dogs, but it can be hard to show it if you have allergies to them. Thankfully there are many ways to overcome pet allergies.

The goal with pet allergy management is to reduce the amount of cat and dog dander (dead skin cells) in your environment, and also to reduce the effects of allergens on your body. Pet saliva, urine and feces can also be allergy triggers.

Here is a list of 30 remedies that will help you to overcome any cat or dog allergies you may have.

1) Use Antihistamine Allergy Medication

Medicate your allergies with antihistamines, inhalers and/or nasal sprays. See your doctor for a medication recommendation . Histamines are a protection mechanism that the body releases when we come into contact with or breathe in allergens or dangerous bacteria/viruses. A normal body will release just enough histamine to protect the body from the invader. But a person who is allergic to something will have a body that overreacts to an allergen and releases too many histamines causing the allergy symptoms we all know. Antihistamines neutralize excess amounts of histamines in the body.

Remember that you can buy generic antihistamines online which have exactly the same ingredients as the brand names, but are much cheaper.

2) Do a Daily Sinus Rinse

Use a Neti Pot sinus rinse daily to clear your sinuses of any allergens. A Neti Pot is a small pot with a spout that is used for nasal irrigation. Nasal irrigation is the process of running saline water through your sinuses to wash out trapped dirt and allergens. This is one of the best natural ways to reduce the effects of sinus related allergies and after nasal irrigation you will feel clean and refreshed!

 3) Take Vitamins C and E, Quercetin and Probiotics

Vitamins C and E

Vitamin C has been found to lower histamines in the body. Histamines are what cause allergies. Vitamin E works to reduce a chemical which causes histamines to be released. Together these vitamins work to significantly reduce the effects of allergens. Often we do not get enough of these vitamins and require supplements to keep us topped off.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a natural substance that can be found in high concentrations black tea and food such as black plums, sweet potato, cranberries, blueberries, red onion, kale, capers, dill, buckwheat and watercress. You can also buy supplements online.

Probiotics

Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ which your body needs to stay healthy. Numerous studies show that probiotics can help reduce the effect of allergies. Probiotics can be supplemented by eating yoghurt and other supplements.

4) Use Herbal Remedies

For some people antihistamine medication can leave you tired, sleepy and groggy. An alternative to antihistamines are allergy reducing herbal remedies. Combined with vitamin supplements these herbal remedies can be powerful natural allergy remedies.

5) Consider Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)

Immunotherapy (also known as allergy shots) is a method to reduce your bodies reaction to a particular allergen. It works by administering increasing amounts of an allergen via an injection into your body. Over time your body will slowly adapt to the increasing amounts of allergen, increasing your tolerance to the allergen.

Immunotherapy is an involved process, initially requiring allergy shots every week for several months. The time between shots will be slowly increased to about once a month, but you will be required to keep receiving the allergy shots for 3-5 years.

Recently there have been studies involving sub-lingual tablets (tablets you dissolve under your tongue) as an alternative to shots which may be the way of the future.

6) Clean with a HEPA Equipped Vacuum Often

A HEPA vacuum is a vacuum cleaner with a special kind of filter called a ‘HEPA filter’. To be able to use the word HEPA, the filter must be able to filter out at least 99.97% of all allergens larger than 0.3 microns.

Most people think that it is pet fur which causes allergies. However, this is not entirely true. It is actually pet dander which causes the greatest allergy trouble. Pet dander is essentially dead skin cells that flake off your cat or dog and fly around in the air.

Pet dander is extremely small – about 5 microns in size. Normal vacuum cleaners will not be able to trap dander, and it will be released back into the air where you will breathe it in! A vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter will be able to filter pet dander and stop it from entering the air.

Pet dander easily accumulates in carpets over time. With pet allergies, vacuuming should be done at least once a week and ideally twice a week or more.

7) Use a Roomba to Vacuum Daily

Your pets constantly shed allergy causing fur and dander every day. It would be great if you could vacuum up the allergens every day with your HEPA equipped vacuum, but most of us don’t have the time for that.

Consider running a robotic Roomba vacuum every day while you are out at work. A Roomba is a robotic vacuum that will automatically vacuum your house. Roomba’s work great in houses with large uncluttered floor spaces, but will struggle in houses with cluttered or multi-level floors.

Roomba’s can also be fitted with HEPA filters, which is ideal for pet allergy sufferers.

8) User a Pet Grooming Attachment on your Vacuum Cleaner

Every time you vacuum, you can also groom your cat and/or dog using a special pet vacuum attachment. This works like brushing your pet, removing loose fur, but also has the added effect of sucking up any loose dander on your pet as well.

Use a low suction setting, and if possible train your cat and/or dog from an early age to enjoy grooming time.

9) Brush your Pet Often

Weekly brushing of your pet can help remove excess fur, dirt and dander. If possible, get someone who does not have pet allergies to do this task as brushing your pet can stir up allergens into the air.

Brushing also helps prevent cats and dogs from getting skin disorders, which can increase the amount of dander that is being shed causing your allergies to worsen.

10) Steam Clean your Carpets Often

Steam cleaning your carpets will destroy pet dander and kill any dust mites present in the carpet. While dust mites are not strictly related to pet allergies, you need to remember that allergens are cumulative. This means that any dust mites in your environment will increase your pet allergy symptoms even more.

Dust mites also enjoy feasting on pet and human dander. So if you have lots of pet dander in your carpets, it is likely that your dust mite population is also high.

11) Wear an Allergy Dust Mask when Cleaning

When cleaning or vacuuming (especially with a non-HEPA equipped vacuum) dust and pet allergens can be disturbed from carpet and surfaces and put back into the air where you can easily breathe them in.

Use a good allergy proof dust mask when cleaning or vacuuming to prevent breathing in any pet allergens.

12) Replace your Carpets with Hard Floors

The best way to avoid pet allergens accumulating in your carpet is of course to remove the carpet entirely! Consider this as a course of action if you can.

Also, try to reduce the amount of fabric curtains in the house as well, instead opting for blinds where possible.

13) Use an Allergen Neutralizing Compound on your Carpet

Of course, not everyone is in a position to remove carpet from their housing. You may be renting, or may just prefer the warmth of a carpet over a cold floor.

There are several allergy remedy products that you can spray on the carpet which will kill any pet allergens on contact. Some products work with steam cleaners, and others such as the Allersearch X-Mite Carpet Cleaner are powders which can be sprinkled on and then vacuumed off after a few minutes.

14) Clean the Walls and Ceilings

Pet dander is known to be sticky and can easily attach itself to the walls and ceilings of a house. Give your walls and ceilings a good wipe down every few months to ensure that the dander surface accumulation doesn’t grow too large.

15) Wash your Bedding and Clothes with Allergen Neutralizing Detergent

Since pet dander is sticky, it can be hard to remove from your clothes and bedding. Recent studies show that hot water at temperatures at or greater than 140 F (60 C) is required to neutralize pet dander and kill dust mites. Washing with only warm water is ineffective at neutralizing allergy causing particles.

If you don’t want to wash at such high temperatures, you can use a special allergen neutralizing laundry powder, like the products from Allersearch. These washing powders are extremely effective at neutralizing all allergens from your clothes and bedding and will do a much better job compared with standard laundry detergents.

16) Make the Bedroom off Limits to your Cat or Dog

It is a good idea to make your bedroom an ‘allergy sanctuary’ by banning all pets from being allowed in. A bed is a great allergen collector and since you spend a large chunk of your life in bed, it is good to keep this area as allergen free as possible.

You can humanely train your pets to keep out of your room using a sonic trainer. This is a device that emits a high pitched noise that only cats and dogs can hear. Train your pet to stay out of your room by using the device every time they try to enter.

Another method is to use an automated spray system. Place this by the door when you are out, and a motion sensor will detect a pet trying to enter and give a quick noisy blast of compressed air.

17) Train your Pets to use a Pet Bed and not your Furniture

It is also good idea to train your pets to stay off upholstered furniture. Upholstery is great at collecting allergens, and sometimes just sitting down on an allergen infested couch can cause an attack in allergy sufferers. Be sure to give you pets a nice bed for them to use though!

Get a pet bed that is machine washable and wash it often with anti-allergen laundry detergent. You can also buy special pet beds such as Dog Gone products which use nanotechnology based material that reduce the amount of dirt and allergens that can collect in a pet bed.

18) Bathe your Pet Once a Week

Bathing your pet once a week will keep their skin clean and healthy, reducing the amount of dander shed. Use an allergen neutralizing shampoo if possible.

If possible get someone who is not allergic to your pet to do this job.

19) Clean your Cat or Dog Daily with Dander Removing Solutions

It would be great if we had the time to bathe our pets daily, but most often we do not. An alternative is to rub your cat and/or dog down with one of the allergy reducing solutions like Allerpet C. These are wash solutions that you rub onto your pet with a damp towel which neutralize any dander on your pet.

20)  Clean your Cat or Dog Daily with Dander Removing Wipes

Slightly more convenient than the dander neutralizing liquids from the previous tip are pre-packaged dander reducing pet wipes. Use either this or the pet wash daily to destroy and remove pet dander. The liquids are more cost effective.

21) Use an Anti-Allergen Spray

Use ADMS based anti-allergen sprays on any furniture, curtains, walls and other surfaces that might collect pet allergens. These anti-allergen sprays contain an ingredient that is safe for your pets, but destroys allergens on contact. The spray will continue working to neutralize allergens for up to 3 months.

22) Use a HEPA Air Filter

Running a HEPA air filter will ensure that any allergens that make it into the air will be quickly removed.

When purchasing an air filter be sure to get one that has a HEPA filter, and also ensure you get one with a high CADR and one that is large enough for the room you are going to use it in.

CADR stands for clean air delivery rate and is a value used to compare air filters in terms of their ability to filter pollutants such as dust, smoke and pollen.

23) Cover Air Vents with a Fine Cloth

Whole house ventilation and heating/air conditioning systems can easily disperse pet allergens from one room to another via the ducting.

To stop allergens dispersing, stretch a fine cloth such as a cheesecloth or muslin cloth over vent openings in your house.

24) Wash your Hands

A simple but very important tip is to remember to wash your hands after playing with your animals. Be especially weary of touching your face with unwashed hands as the face is especially sensitive to pet dander.

25) Keep your Pets Skin Healthy with Vitamin Supplements

A cat or dog with healthy skin will shed less fur and dander. Give your pet daily vitamins to ensure their skin and fur coat remains healthy.

Also, certain skin disorders such as dermatitis can cause an abnormal amount of dander shedding in your pet. A healthy pet will be less likely to catch skin disorders. But do monitor your pet for signs of any abnormal skin conditions and take them to the vet should you find any.

26) Use Allergen Proof Bedding Covers

Bedding is a great accumulator of pet dander and fur. If you cannot keep your pets out of the bedroom, you need to take steps to ensure your bed remains as allergen free as possible.

Use allergen proof bed and pillow covers. These covers will prevent any pet dander from penetrating into the inside of your bed or pillows.

27) Keep the Litter Box Clean

Dog and cat urine and feces can also be an allergen to some people. If you use a litter box keep the it in an area that is not visited by humans often, and ensure it is kept clean.

28) Use a Nasal Passage Filter

Protect yourself from breathing in dog and cat allergens by using a nasal passage filter. These are small filters that fit over your nostrils and prevent any allergens from entering your body via breathing.

29) Use Allergen Blocking Nose Gels

Spread these allergen blocking gels around your nose. The gels can help prevent allergens from entering you nasal passage by creating a small positive charge around your nose which will attract negatively charged allergens towards the gel and not your nasal passage.

30) Get a Hypoallergenic Breed of Cat or Dog

Finally, a tip for next time your thinking about buying a pet. There are certain ‘hypoallergenic’ breeds of cats and dogs which shed less fur and dander than other breeds. These breeds are specially bred to help cat and dog lovers who have allergies.

No cat or dog breed is ever going to shed no dander at all, but these breeds can make it easier to manage the avoidance of pet dander.