Cleaning Pet Dander: Best Practices

If you’re a pet owner, you or your visitors may have experienced pet-induced allergies and symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Despite popular belief, pet allergies have nothing to do with pet hair. Instead, pet hair serves as a medium for other pet allergens, attracting pet dander, saliva, and urine.  

Pet dander triggers health problems, such as allergy attacks or asthma, in some people. So, how do you go about cleaning pet dander, and what is it? Dander refers to the dead skin cells of animals shed through regular activities.   

While you may diligently clean up after your pets, dander is microscopic. It can cling to clothes, furniture, walls, and other household surfaces. This post highlights a few best practices for cleaning pet dander to make your home more visitor-friendly and comfortable overall.  

Clean Your House Regularly  

While there’s no harm in cleaning your home occasionally, cleaning it regularly helps reduce the accumulation of pet dander and keep it under control. The following cleaning tips will come in handy:  

  • Vacuum soft surfaces, such as carpets and sofas.  
  • Use a sticky lint roller to remove dander on surfaces.  
  • Clean pet accessories like clothing and toys. You should also clean food and water bowls, rinse off bones, and wipe down crates to remove dander and saliva.  
  • Throw large items, such as blankets, into the dryer before washing.  
  • Dust well and often to eliminate pet dander that may have landed on walls, tables, nightstands, bookshelves, and other surfaces. Use a static duster or damp cloth to avoid stirring up the dust as you clean.  
  • Schedule professional house deep cleaning services to clear the dust and dirt in those hard-to-reach corners.  

Declutter the Space  

As mentioned earlier, pet dander sticks to just about any surface. Having fewer items in your space for dander to cling to and hide makes for easier, more effective cleaning.  

Try to get rid of unused toys, shoes, furniture, and other items you don’t need. A garage sale or donation works well for letting go of excess clutter.  

Bathe and Brush Your Pets Regularly  

Brushing and bathing your pets regularly sends excess pet dander down the drain rather than into your home’s air. If you have a very furry pet, consider brushing and bathing them as often as possible. For example, you may need to brush your longhaired dog every day, while others need no more than a weekly brushing.  

Talk to your vet if fido licks or scratches excessively, as these activities stir up dander and release it into the air. Your pet may have a condition such as dermatitis, and addressing the issue may help both of you.  

Use a HEPA filter  

A HEPA filter traps 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pet dander. Installing a HEPA filter will trap most of the pet dander, preventing your HVAC system from circulating the dander throughout your home.  

Change HVAC Filters Regularly  

When you have dirty or clogged air filters, dust and debris may eventually force their way through them. Replace your HVAC filters regularly to prevent such scenarios. Consider HVAC filter replacement every two months or so if you have a furry pet and more often if you have multiple pets.  

Dirty filters also force your HVAC system to work harder and longer than usual to keep your house comfortable. Longer running times increase the likelihood of circulating debris in the house.  

Use an Air Cleaner  

When dander gets in the air, you may notice allergies getting worse. Air cleaners work well at eliminating pet dander from the air. These units come in an extensive range of options, from portable models that you can move from one room to another to whole-home options that work with your HVAC system.  

These units reduce allergens and pet dander by pulling the air in your home through a series of filters that remove harmful particles. No matter what you choose, consider an air cleaner with a HEPA filter to be sure you’re eliminating even the super-small pet dander particles.   

If you opt for a tabletop air cleaner, keep it in your bedroom to limit the allergic symptoms when you sleep.  

Clean Your Home’s Air Ducts  

Air ducts can also harbour pet dander and allow it to circulate through your ventilation system. Too much pet dander circulating in your home can compromise your indoor air quality.   

You may need to call an HVAC professional to inspect your system for broken seals. Otherwise, pet dander may accumulate in your ducts and end up in your home’s air supply.   

A professional air duct cleaning removes built-up pet dander. It cleans the pet dander off the interior surfaces of the ducts, providing cleaner, healthier air. The process typically involves a powerful vacuum to remove contaminants from the ducts.  

Restrict Pets from Certain Areas  

In addition to cleaning pet dander, consider making some places entirely off-limits for your pets. Consider restricting your pets from areas in the house that may accumulate dander or where dander can cause serious problems.   

For example, you want to keep pets away from the bedroom of an asthmatic person and keep dander off of soft materials in the room where you spend most of your time.  

Use a Hard Flooring Material  

Pet dander sticks more easily to soft surfaces like carpets than hard surfaces like wood, tile, concrete, laminate, and linoleum. Therefore, replacing your carpet with a hard material can help minimize pet dander in your home.   

But even so, minute scratches and cracks on a hard surface can provide the perfect hiding spot for dander. Vacuum or sweep your floors regularly, and clean, mop, or steam the floor based on the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Need expert help cleaning pet dander? Our Toronto professional cleaning service can help you with everything from post-renovation cleaning to mattress urine removal.   

Call our experts at 416-923-3300 or email [email protected] to learn more about our service and schedule an appointment with us today. We guarantee exceptional results.