Short on Time? This is How to Clean For Allergies and Asthma

Sometimes we get asked, “What’s the best way to vacuum the house for allergies and asthma?”

But partway through our explanation, the person interrupts. They say they don’t have time for all of that.

We understand. That’s why we created this quick guide about housekeeping for asthma and allergies.

We’ll cover the essentials to avoid asthma flareups and allergy attacks.

Let’s start with carpets as they can harbor a host of allergens.

Short on Time? This is How to Clean For Allergies and Asthma

Allergy-proof your home: carpet care

Your carpet is the perfect hideout for dust, pollen, dander, and dust mites. But the next four tips will ensure that your floor stays clean see you can breathe easy.

  • First, are bagged vacuums better for allergies?

Our answer is an unequivocal yes. It’s completely worth the investment to get a bagged vacuum with a HEPA filter.

HEPA filters catch and trap nearly a hundred percent of the most common allergens.

But why bagged instead of bagless?

Think about when it’s time to empty the vacuum. Many of the best vacuums for carpet have a no-touch release to drop debris into the trash can. But wouldn’t you prefer that dirt to be contained within a ba, so there’s no dust cloud when it drops? Plus, with a bag, you don’t need to worry about sanitizing the debris cup.

  • Second, what other features should I look for in a vacuum cleaner for allergies?

Most house cleaning specialists recommend reducing clutter to cut down on dust. A shag rug, or any plush carpet, if it’s not well-maintained, is a dust trap. So a good vacuum for high-pile carpet is a good choice in house.

But that doesn’t mean you need to throw out all the décor. Instead, what you need is a vacuum with the right characteristics to maintain high-pile carpet. That’s how you’ll cover all the bases with one tool.

In other words, get a vacuum with powerful, adjustable suction, the ability to turn off the beater bar, and the necessary attachments.

If you can turn off the brush roller, your vacuum is safe to use on shag carpet.

Next, the attachments can make cleaning the rest of your home a snap. You won’t feel tempted to skip steps if you can dust the drapes, vacuum the upholstery, and clean the stairs with your vacuum.

Also, a vacuum cleaner with these characteristics is suitable for cleaning bare surfaces like tile floors.

  • Third, how can I prevent allergens from entering my home?

To cut down on dust and pollen, take off your shoes and coat outside (or just inside) the door. Dust mop, sweep or vacuum the entryway twice a week.

Put down a mat to wipe your shoes beforehand, too.

And if possible, use your air conditioner or HVAC system instead of opening the windows. Just don’t forget to change the air filters.

  • Fourth, will carpet cleaning help reduce allergens?

We’re sad to say that shampooing the carpet may multiply allergens like mold or dust mites. (1) That’s because damp carpet helps them to flourish.

Instead of doing it yourself, hire a carpet cleaning service that won’t leave your floor damp for hours on end.

In the meantime, keep one of the best carpet stain removers on hand for quick cleanups.

In summary, a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, adjustable suction, and useful accessories is the number one defense against asthma triggers in the home.

But what if you don’t have carpets?

Allergy-proof your home: bare floor maintenance

A vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration can help you maintain bare floors better than a dust mop or broom can.

Vacuuming is better than dust-mopping or sweeping

You can use vacuums on:

  • laminate floors
  • hardwood floors
  • tile floors

because they capture allergens instead of shuffling them around.

The one thing all these vacuum cleaners will have in common is that you can turn off the brush roller. This prevents scratches on the surface of the floor.

Again, get a package with all the attachments you’ll need to maintain your home. You’re much more likely to keep things in top condition if it’s not hard to do.

For example, experts recommend dusting with a damp cloth to capture more particles without launching them into the air. (1)

But we say get a dusting attachment for your vacuum cleaner; then you can get the job done faster with less mess.

Damp-mopping to reduce allergens

Avoid problems with your hardwood and laminate by damp-mopping so that the floor doesn’t stay wet for long. Too much water and your floor will lift or warp.

Instead, use a pre-mixed liquid appropriate for your floor type. You’ll find that there are cleaners for laminate floors, tile, and hardwood that have little to no fragrance. They’re biodegradable and safe for use around children and pets.

Even if you vacuum once a week, it’s smart to use a damp mop at least once a month or more to maintain your floor and keep allergy triggers to a minimum. (2)

The fastest way to get the cleaning done when you have allergies or asthma

Cleaning the house can be problematic if you’re dealing with asthma and allergies. Here’s our advice on getting the job done quickly with the least amount of suffering.

To begin, make sure the floors are picked up and ready to mop or vacuum.

Next, don a face mask and start dusting at the top of the first room and work your way down. Use your vacuum cleaner attachment to take care of drapery, lampshades, and so on.

We know how difficult it can be to work while wearing a face mask. If that’s not your style, turn up the air purifier to take care of the dust you kick up.

Now, vacuum the floor and damp-mop it if needed.

If you don’t want to clean the whole house at once, don’t fret. Do one room per day instead of waging war for hours on the weekend.

The most important zones to maintain free of allergens are your bedroom and anyplace else where you spend a lot of time, like a home office.


We hope you’ll find it easier to keep your home clean in the future. Get yourself the best vacuum you can afford because that will make the job so much simpler.

Check back with us soon as we’re always researching and reviewing the best products for cleaning the home.


1 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 20, 2014, accessed May 20, 2019

2 by Theresa Cannizzaro, Respiratory Therapist, published September 2, 2016, accessed May 20, 2019