How to Rid Your New Home of Old Pet Dander

You finally move into your new house, and you couldn’t be happier. The furniture is in place, and you begin to unpack, and suddenly your eyes start to itch. Then your nose starts running. You sneeze. It feels like an allergy attack, but what’s causing it? Soon you realize you’re allergic to cats and dogs, and the previous owners of your house must have had one. Even though you can’t see it, their dander is all over the place, and it’s making you sick.

Maybe you were aware that this might be a problem before you bought the house, but you decided not to let some silly allergies keep you out of your dream home. You decide to tackle the problem head-on, and do what you can to rid new home of old pet dander. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s how to do it. Just as a note, however – it’s best if a non-allergic person can do the majority of the work. If that’s not possible, wear a mask when possible and have some antihistamine on hand.

Perform a Thorough Cleaning

The first thing you should do is clean your home from top to bottom. You need to be as thorough as possible, because pet dander sticks everywhere. Clean every surface you can find, behind appliances, and wipe down the walls and any fans/fan blades. This will help a lot, but it won’t solve the problem of the dander completely, so you’ll need to try a few other things, too.

Replace the Carpet

Any carpeting in your home will be a danger zone of dander. It’s not always enough to get a professional steam cleaning done. The best course of action is to replace the carpet entirely. This will remove a large source of dander from every room. If there are any leftover curtains, drapes, or blinds in the home, it’s a good idea to replace them, too, or at the very least wipe them down or wash them in very hot water.

Use HEPA Filters

Remove the filters in your heating and air conditioning units, and replace them with high-efficiency HEPA filters. They will help clean the air of pet dander, so it’s a good idea to keep the fan running in your home when their air conditioning or heat is not on. The filters should be replaced every three months. You can also purchase HEPA air filters and run them in the rooms you spend most of your time, such as the living room and bedroom.

Wait It Out

After you’ve done all you can, you may simply have to wait it out. Eventually the pet dander will go away. As long as you don’t have another pet in the home, you can expect that the dander won’t persist much past nine months or so. It is very difficult to live in an environment that bothers your allergies, but it shouldn’t last forever. Arm yourself by taking a daily antihistamine that’s designed to prevent allergies, such as Claritin or Zyrtec. Make sure you have a fast-acting antihistamine on-hand, such as Benadryl, for times when your allergies are particularly intolerable.

Ashley Cole is a stay at home mother with an unfortunate dog allergy who often writes about her interests and passions. In order to make sure her work comes across in a professional manner she often proofs it with a grammar checker.

Photo Credit: Jan & Peggy

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