Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on May 29, 2012


Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, MACP, FRCP. American Academy for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. American Lung Association.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: Hello everyone, I'm Dr. Sandra Fryhofer. I love this time of year, even the time spent doing spring cleaning, because I like to spruce things up for my family after a long dull winter. But if you're among the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies, spring cleaning can be critical to managing your symptoms. Begin in the bedroom. Dust mites have stayed cozy in your blankets, quilts and comforters all winter. You'll want to wash them in hot water that's 130 degrees or more or take them to the dry cleaners. These window treatments have been gathering dust and allergens all winter long. Take them to the dry cleaners or vacuum them thoroughly. Don't forget to clean or vacuum venetian blinds.

: Vacuum cleaner

Narrator: Speaking of vacuuming, even though you've been keeping up with that over the winter,now's the time to move furniture and appliances and sweep those areas. If your kids are like mine, I'm sure you'll find some little treasure they left behind that collects dust and mold.

: Vacuum cleaner

Narrator: Don't miss those hard-to-reach places like baseboards, windowsills, vents and return registers. Use an upholstery attachment to freshen up your furniture as well. If you have a high efficiency or HEPA air filter, turn it on high while you vacuum, or wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself from the flurry of allergens. It's also a good idea to change the pre-filters in your HEPA appliances too. In addition to your regular dusting routine, run a cloth over any stored china or nick-nacks, and across the tops of cabinets, bookshelves and ceiling fan blades. And don't forget old magazines or newspapers. It's amazing how dusty they can get. You can vacuum them, or better yet, go ahead...Toss 'em. Your spring cleaning for allergy control doesn't end inside. Check for roof damage and any evidence of leaks. And look for chipped paint. Both can lead to potential mold problems. You should also look for mold on the patio, deck and any outdoor furniture.

: Buzzing

Narrator: Next, examine the heat and air conditioning sytstems for debris or dead leaves on top of or around the unit.

: Leaves crunching

Narrator: Do the same fordead foliage and weeds in garden beds and in the lawn. Mold loves to breed in decaying organic materials. With just a little bit of extra effort you can not only have a clean house, but a healthy one, less likely to set off spring allergies. For WebMD, I'm Dr. Sandra Fryhofer.