Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Sean Busch.

For millions of Americans, sneezing and stuffy noses are simply a way of life. We do our best to learn how to remove allergens from our homes, but what happens when you're actually allergic to cleaning products?

To help alleviate your seasonal (or year-round) suffering, our guide not only outlines the best cleaning products for allergy sufferers but it also walks you through a new cleaning routine. 

12 Ways to Clean for Allergies 

Research by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology determined that 99% of homes had at least one detectable allergen – and nearly 75% had between 3-6 detected allergen levels. Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce indoor allergens with these simple, natural cleaning tips

1. Stick to a Cleaning Schedule

cleaning products for allergies

Cleaning and disinfecting your home can seem like a daunting job. By breaking your weekly cleaning schedule down into a few daily tasks, you’ll make it far more manageable – and ensure that you haven’t overlooked a room or a surface. 

2. Switch to Allergen Free Cleaning Products

allergen free cleaning products

According to the AAAAI, asthma and allergic reactions to cleaning products are a lot more common than people think. To reduce indoor allergens. get rid of toxic cleaning products and replace them with cleaning products for allergy sufferers

3. Cut Down on Clutter

how to clean for allergies

Home surfaces collect allergens, and if those allergens are alive (like dust mites), they can really thrive. Not only will reducing clutter keep your space tidier but it'll also shorten your cleaning routine:
  • Give everything a place. 
  • During weekly cleanings, “rehome” misplaced items as you go (we like to keep a basket handy to speed up the process).
  • Donate or sell unused items before bringing new ones into the home. 

4. Wear a Mask to Avoid Breathing in Dust 

how to clean with dust allergies

Whenever you dust or vacuum, wear a mask to avoid breathing in airborne particles. You can use an N95 or even an old t-shirt (as long as it covers your nose and mouth). If you're using a washable mask, throw it in the washing machine with a hypoallergenic laundry detergent.

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allergy friendly cleaning products

Don’t touch your face while cleaning and plan to take a shower immediately afterwards to remove dust from your skin and hair. We also recommend throwing your clothes in the washing machine. 

5. How to Clean with Dust Allergies 

cleaning products for allergy sufferers

You should be dusting at least once per week, but dry-dusting with rags and feather dusters actually help spread particles throughout your home. When you're cleaning for allergies, the products you use really matter. 

To collect and remove dust effectively, spray Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner on the surface with one trigger pull per 2’ x 2’ area. Next, use a clean, folded microfiber towel to wipe using a “Z” pattern. 

6. Invest in Hypoallergenic Products for Your Home...and Bed!

hypoallergenic products for home

Your bed is an ideal spot for microscopic invaders to thrive, so if you regularly wake up with a stuffy nose, you might be responding to dust mites. These tiny arthropods prefer warm, humid places like pillows, mattresses, and other upholstered surfaces. Both their bodies and waste are allergens – and they live off discarded flakes of human skin.

While it’s nearly impossible to remove or prevent all dust mites, you can reduce their numbers by removing their "food" source:

  • Use zippered, allergen-proof pillow protectors and mattress protectors.
  • Wash blankets, sheets, and pillow/mattress covers in hot water once a week. 
  • Even if you use a mattress protector, clean your mattress twice a year with your vacuum and a carpet cleaner.
  • Manage the humidity in your home to make it less habitable for dust mites. Aim for less than 50%.

7. Vacuum Well & Vacuum Often 

To remove indoor allergens on furniture and floors, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends vacuuming once or twice a week. During allergy season, increase that frequency and use attachments to target curtains, blinds, and corners (and other less-obvious areas where dust tends to collect). 

best vacuum for allergies

8. Choose the Best Vacuum for Allergies

When it comes to cleaning for allergies, a great vacuum is a must. One that’s poorly-designed (and spews out dust) can actually do more harm than good. 

Look for a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA). HEPA filters are mechanical air filters that remove at least 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. For perspective, a single human hair measures around 80 microns. 

Allergy sufferers should also look for a vacuum that collects debris in a bag or bin. Emptying bagless models creates a dirt cloud that can be tough to contain. 

Our Favorite Vacuums for Allergies 

  • Canister: The Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction comes with a sophisticated filter system that traps 99.9 % of fine dust and offers six suction settings. This makes it ideal for all types of floors. 
  • Upright: The Shark Rotator Professional is an upright, bagless vacuum designed for carpet and hard flooring. Containing a HEPA filter and Anti-Allergy Seal Technology to contain allergens, this model is easy to maneuver around corners.
  • Robot: The GOOVI HEPA 1600PA Robot offers powerful suction and either remote or auto cleaning modes. Set it to clean at the same time every day and it’ll automatically return to the base when it needs charging. 
  • Cordless: The Dyson V10 holds a powerful charge for upwards of 35 minutes, functions on hardwood and carpets. Its fully-sealed filtration system traps 99.99% of particles.

9. Shampoo Carpets for A Deeper Clean 

asthma and allergy friendly cleaning products

At some point, your carpets will need a deeper clean to remove pollen, dust, and grime. If you're someone who's had an allergic reaction to carpet cleaner, our 99.96% natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo is hypoallergenic and free of ingredients like sulfates, bleach, petrochemicals, perfumes, artificial fragrances, and dyes.

At least once per year, you can shampoo washable surfaces by hand – or invest in a carpet cleaning machine for far more thorough clean. To avoid mold growth, take extra care to ensure that the water is fully dried.

Note: If someone in your home suffers from serious allergies, it might be worth investing in a carpet shampooer can provide a professional deep clean (at a budget-friendly price).

10. Watch out for Mold

house cleaning allergies

Mold generally thrives in warm, damp places (like the shower, under the kitchen sink, and in HVAC units). There are thousands of varieties of mold which can cause breathing problems and can trigger asthma attacks. 

However, it's less likely to grow when indoor moisture is controlled: 

  • Mop up spills immediately
  • Use humidifiers if your home has high moisture levels
  • Turn on exhaust fans in bathrooms after bathing 

If You Spot Mold...

Mold requires a heavy-duty approach. After cleaning the area with non-toxic surface spray (to remove surface dirt), follow-up with a diluted bleach solution or a commercial product that’s specifically designed to kill fungus. Always follow usage instructions and ventilate the area before and after cleaning. 

Pro Tip: DO NOT attempt to remove black mold, especially if you have severe mold allergies. If you spot large areas of mold and/or you suspect black mold, immediately consult a professional.

11. Keep the Outside Outside

cleaning for allergy sufferers

A little fresh air is nice, but it might be best to keep windows closed – especially if your area is experiencing high pollen counts. If you can’t resist, consider leaving just one window open at a time to reduce the flow of pollen coming into your home. Also consider:

  • Machine-drying clothes and bedding instead of line-drying. 
  • Keeping shoes, coats, backpacks, and bags in a separate mudroom /storage area. 
  • When washing windows, keep one open at a time.
  • After doing yard work – or spending time outside – take your clothes off at the door, throw them in the washer, and immediately take a shower. 

12. Invest in an Air Purifier 

how to clean house for allergies

Air purifiers improve indoor air quality by removing microscopic particles from the air. From commercial air sanitizers to smaller, portable models, there’s one for every budget. Asthma- and allergy-friendly models, however, are tested and proven to meet strict indoor health standards.

Pro Tip: We suggest using MERV-10 (or better) air filters in your HVAC systems. Consult the owner’s manual to select the right one.

Yes, You Can Be Allergic to Cleaning Products

It’s not just dust and pollen that can cause sniffling and sneezing. Certain chemicals and fragrances can aggravate allergies and other respiratory issues like asthma:

allergy to cleaning product

1. Synthetic Fragrances

We equate floral or citrus smells with cleanness, but synthetic fragrances in cleaning products can result in respiratory problems, headaches, and skin irritation. The FDA considers fragrance a “trade secret,” so companies aren’t required to disclose these ingredients, meaning that you won’t necessarily know what’s in your cleaning products. 

2. Ammonia

Often found in glass cleaners and liquid dish soaps, high concentrations of ammonia exposure can lead to burning of the throat, nose, and respiratory tract. 

3. Bleach 

allergy to bleach

Bleach is commonly found in disinfectants, laundry detergents, and various other cleaning products. In addition to skin irritation and poisoning, bleach inhalation can cause respiratory issues, resulting in throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. 

4. Formaldehyde

Commonly used in shampoos and commercial cleaning products, formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasers) can irritate the upper respiratory tract and skin.

5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is found in many detergents, soaps, shampoos, and other foaming personal care items. There’s still more research to be done to assess the health risks of SLS exposure, but it may increase the risk of coughing, sore throat, and skin irritation (in individuals with sensitivities).  

The Best Cleaning Products for Allergy Sufferers

allergen free cleaning supplies

You can try everything to control indoor allergens, but these tips won’t work if your cleaners keep causing unwanted reactions! Instead, choose hypoallergenic cleaning products that won’t irritate your senses.

Puracy formulas are tried and tested to harness the power of plant enzymes, the foaming properties of coconut-based cleansers, and leave a delicate scent of plant-based essential oils. And every Puracy product is free of:

  • Animal byproducts
  • Bleach & Chlorine 
  • Parabens
  • Caustics 
  • Dyes
  • Artificial fragrances & perfumes 
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde & formaldehyde releasers
  • Phosphates
  • Sulfates
no allergen products for home