An estimated five to 10 percent of Americans are allergic to pet dander.
With so many people suffering from this allergy, its little wonder that ridding homes of pet dander is a common and serious undertaking!
If you just discovered your pet allergy, or if you are thinking of moving to a house formerly occupied by pets, you likely hope to rid your home of the clinging pet dander that remains in your carpets, vents, and corners.
But how long does this take? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more!
Why is pet dander a problem after the pet is gone?
A common pet allergy misconception is that once the pet is gone, the allergy is gone. This is not the case—pets leave a lot behind!
You can also be allergic to pet saliva and pet urine, which is a concern if your house has carpet that may have been peed on.
Even if you got rid of your pet, you are not free from allergens in your home.
Houses that have recently had pets are full of pet dander, and even houses that have never seen a pet have at least a little dander floating around.
Pet dander is light, so it floats in the air for a long time before settling on a surface. And it’s sticky, so once it does settle, it can be difficult to remove.
It can also hide in air vents and circulate through the house, so it takes a while before you’ll notice an end to your allergy symptoms.
How long does Pet, Dog and Cat dander remain active in a house?
If you are in a house that formerly contained pets, you probably wonder how long it will take before the majority of the dander is gone and you can breathe easy again.
Every house is different, and your cleaning techniques won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s, so it’s hard to give the exact amount of time it will take.
However, allergy experts have made some estimates regarding the amount of time it generally takes to get a relatively dander-free home. Dr. Sean McGhee, an allergist, says that cat dander takes about four months to remove.
Fortunately, dog dander can be eradicated a little more quickly, since it doesn’t float around as much as cat hair and it’s less sticky.
However, there is a lot of variation when it comes to cleaning dander out of a home.
Some allergy sufferers have found that it can take six months to a year, and sometimes requires extensive measures such as replacing carpet with hardwood flooring.
Because of this, it’s best for home buyers with allergies to avoid purchasing a house that has recently housed a pet.
How to clean Pet, Dog and Cat dander from the house?
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If you find yourself in a house filled with pet dander, it probably didn’t take much for you to figure out that you are surrounded by allergens.
If you’re miserable with the sniffles or even asthma, you need to clean pet dander from your home as quickly as possible.
There are many things you will need to do in order to get cat and dog dander out of the house. Unfortunately, some of these things can be quite expensive, but they are necessary if you have severe allergies or asthma.
If the house has carpet, you will probably need to replace it. You can try having it professionally steam-cleaned, but if this doesn’t work, the carpet should go.
This is especially true if you have sensitivities to pet urine, since even well-trained pets have the occasional incident on the carpet.
Unless you’re just moving into the dander-filled home and bringing clean furniture, you will also need to do a thorough cleaning of all the upholstery and fabric in the home.
Vacuum each piece carefully, then launder anything that can be washed. If something cannot be cleaned well enough to remove pet dander, it’s a good idea to replace the item altogether.
It may sound a bit overkill, but you will need to wipe down all the walls and surfaces in the home. The bad news is that this is tedious work, but the good news is that it is extremely effective.
Pet dander doesn’t cling to flat surfaces the way it sticks to fabric and upholstery. Don’t forget to scrub in the corners!
Pet dander gathers in air conditioning systems and blows through your house for months after you’ve cleaned everywhere else. You can only do so much about this, but replacing your air filters frequently can help.
Finally, clean the air with an air filter. A HEPA air filter is effective at cleaning dander particles from the air so that you can breathe better. This will help to capture the dander that comes out through your air vents.
Of course, you can’t do one cleaning and expect to have a dander-free home. Since pet dander stay airborne for a long time, you’ll have to continue to vacuum, mop, and launder your home regularly.
The end result will be worth it, as you will be able to enjoy your home and breathe at the same time!
Trying to rid your home of pet dander is a daunting undertaking that usually takes anywhere from four to six months. It’s a lot of work, but the end result is worth it!
Once you’ve done everything you can do to remove pet dander, you will find that your home is a clean, comfortable, and safe place to enjoy living.