6 Allergy Hotspots Lurking in Your Home

Your pet's bed is an allergy hotspot.
Your pet's bed is an allergy hotspot. / Evrymmnt / iStock via Getty Images Plus
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There’s no place like home. It’s your personal oasis, a refuge from the outside world—except when it comes to allergens. If you’re like the millions of people who suffer from allergies, the mold, dust, and pet dander in your home could be making you sick. That’s why Mental Floss and Roborock have teamed up to give you a rundown of the most common allergy hotspots in your home and how best to clean them. 

1. Rugs and carpets

Though rugs and carpets add a cozy touch to our homes, they’re also hotbeds for dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other nuisances. These particles sink into the fibers of rugs and carpets, clinging to them and aggravating allergy and asthma symptoms. The most important thing you can do to keep these particles at bay is to vacuum your rugs and carpets at least once a week, preferably twice. Prioritize high-traffic rooms like living rooms and bedrooms first, and make sure you’re hitting the spots underneath each rug. Make it easy on yourself and opt for a robot vacuum that you can schedule to clean these rooms on a consistent basis. 

2. Your bedroom

The average person spends around one-third of their lives in bed. While that sounds pleasant on the surface, it also means that our pillows, sheets, and blankets are full of bacteria and other irritants that we unwittingly bring into the bedroom every night. And then there’s the mattress itself, which is a major breeding ground for allergy-causing dust mites that use our skin cells as a food source. To limit the presence of these unsavory critters, be sure to wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water and gently mist your bare mattress with a commercial disinfectant spray. For extra protection, use hypoallergenic coverings on your mattress and pillows, and be sure to wash those frequently, too. 

3. Curtains

Curtains are often overlooked when it comes to our cleaning routines, but they also harbor many of the airborne allergens that can make you sick. These bits of dust and pollen waft inside when you leave your windows open, and they’ll latch onto fabric curtains before making their way farther into the home if you don’t clean often enough. You can use a duster or vacuum to get rid of most of these harmful allergens, or you can choose washable curtains made from cotton or synthetic fabric and throw them in the laundry weekly.

4. Couches

The amount of time we spend in our bed is only rivaled by the time we spend on the couch every day. So it shouldn't come as too much of a shock to learn that your cushions are probably teeming with all sorts of microscopic unpleasantness. It’s important to vacuum and disinfect your couch weekly—and remember to be thorough. Get in between the cushions and underneath the couch itself, where giant clumps of dust tend to reside. You’ll also want to consider getting the upholstery cleaned twice a year.

5. Bookshelves

That dusty old shelf full of books, picture frames, and other knickknacks is another area where allergens thrive. And forget the feather duster: These spots need to be cleaned once a week with a damp cloth to keep those particles from collecting and spreading through the home. If a weekly cleaning routine isn’t in the cards, you might want to cut down on the number of shelves and unused end tables in your home to keep the clutter (and dust spots) to a minimum.

6. Your pet’s favorite spots

Our pets bring us so much joy—and unfortunately, they also bring a mess along with them. The beds and chairs that they love to spend time on quickly become caked in dirt and bacteria, especially if your pet spends any time outside. And because pet dander is lightweight, it easily becomes airborne and finds its way onto the carpets, furniture, and bedding throughout the home. So make sure to vacuum your pet’s favorite spots with extra care. Wash their toys, blankets, and beds in hot water to kill the dust mites—and if your pet sleeps in your bed, make sure to wash the sheets and pillowcases often.

Roborock’s line of robot vacuums includes a range of different options designed to meet your needs. The Roborock Q5 is capable of getting rid of dirt, pet hair, and other allergens, thanks to its 2700Pa of suction power. This model also has multiple customization options and a 3D mapping feature that accounts for household obstacles and furniture. For a truly hands-free experience, there’s the Roborock Q5+ robot vacuum, which includes all of those features along with the Auto-Empty Dock Pure function that empties the vacuum’s dustbin all on its own. And if you need a robot vacuum that also mops your floors, check out the Roborock Q7+ and the Roborock Q7 Max+. In addition, the Q7 Max+ has 4200 Pa suction power and comes with an auto-emptying function.