Hidden Allergies in the Home and Where to Find Them

Although I feel pretty well versed on eczema and food allergies, I have next to zero knowledge on indoor allergies as my family doesn’t suffer from them. Thankfully we were spared from them as seasonal allergies and food allergies remain our close companions. Since I can’t speak to allergens that lurk in the most unsuspecting corners of our home (eek!), and I know that indoor allergies can be a big trigger for eczema and asthma, I’ve asked Kevin to share his expertise with us.

Bio: Kevin Gilmore is a Senior Writer at AchooAllergy.  AchooAllergy offers a wide variety of allergy relief and environmental control products as well as thousands of resource pages and articles about allergies, asthma, green products, and living better by eliminating allergens, irritants, and pollutants from your home.


Hide ‘N Seek – Hidden Allergies In the Home

With a short, mild winter nearly behind us, spring has come early for many parts of the country.  Unfortunately for seasonal allergy sufferers, the outdoors is soon to be a veritable festival of pollen, so as pollen levels already begin to climb, now is a good time to take a closer look at removing allergens in the home.

By now, most allergy sufferers are fairly knowledgeable about carpet and bedding being havens for allergens.  Similarly, the kitchen and bathroom can be areas where chemical exposure (via cleaning agents) can be a problem.

Carpeting and bedding, like pillows and mattresses, trap all sorts of allergens, from pollen and pet dander to the dust mite allergen and even mold spores.  And all of these areas can also be chalked full of chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).

Aside from these two big problems areas, as well as pets, there are also a variety of places around the home that can harbor hidden allergies for your children.

  1. Anything Upholstered – This includes couches, love seats, chairs, and ottomans, etc.  Upholstered furniture can collect dust (with the primary component being dead skins cells) and become a quaint little home for dust mites.
  2. Drapes – Curtains and drapes can collect dust, pet hair and allergens.
  3. Stuffed Animals – You often don’t think about cleaning your child’s stuffed animals (unless they’ve decided to feed Elmo peanut butter), but like anything with fabric or fill, they can and do collect dust mites and a whole host of allergens from the floors and anywhere Elmo tags along.
  4. Other Toys – Keep these in mind.  They can not only harbor allergens but also breed germs.
  5. Ceiling Fans – These are often forgotten about but if you’ve not cleaned the blades in a while and then wipe them off, you might be surprised the amount of filth you pick up.
  6. Air Vents and Returns – Vents and returns will always collect dust and allergens.  They so often blend in to the background of the home that you can easily overlook dusting them.
  7. Under the Bed – There can be all manner of things under a child’s bed, from snacks and dust bunnies to mystery spills and collection of toys, wrappers, and other stuff.  Cleaning under your child’s bed can be as important as encasing the actual bedding itself.

Though these are in no particular order, they all represent areas of the home that may escape regular cleaning and can hold hidden allergens that can all worsen the indoor air quality in your home.  In addition to your normal cleaning regimen, keep these areas in mind, and remember, you’re not only cleaning for appearances but also for your health.


  1. Susan H. on March 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Over the years, I have followed many of Keven’s tips to keep the dust and dander under control in our house due to seasonal allergies and eczema issues. We eventually removed all carpeting in our house…the first to go was in the bedrooms…much easier to see the dust and skin flakes on flooring and remove it. We also eliminated all drapes and blinds and put in shutters…so easy to wipe down and control dust. Couches are regularly vacuumed. I covered all bedding mattresses and pillows with protective coverings and washed regularly. Bedding and any stuffed toys were washed on a weekly basis and other toys I would wash in vinegar and water regularly due to food allergies and germs…I was always afraid of impitego. We avoided ceiling fans but did have table fans in the bedrooms…nightmare to clean. I tried to remember the air ducts and vents. We also invested in a HEPA air purifier. It’s a lot of work keeping the house allergen friendly…especially when you add in treating your child for eczema and cooking for multiple food allergies! In the end, you do what you have to do without even thinking about it…it all becomes normal.

    • Jennifer on March 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Wow! Good for you, Susan – I have to say that we’ve been really slack about all the allergens in the home as it doesn’t seem to aggravate Tristan’s skin.

      • Susan H. on March 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        I did it all more diligently when Michael’s skin was really bad because I was not sure what was causing his skin to break out. I must say, I don’t dust as much as I used to but I keep up the vacuuming and washing of the sheets and stuffed toys. I could really do with getting the couches and ducts cleaned. The rest, shutters, floors now that they are in it is just maintenance. Oh, and we have no more dog…now that really made a difference!

        • Jennifer on March 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          I’ve heard that about dogs, cats, indoor pets in general. Can be really hard on eczema, allergies, and asthma.

  2. ยูนิฟอร์ม on February 11, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these
    kinds of things, thus I am going to convey her.

  3. Mendy Landreth on June 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    What a helpful website! I just wanted to pass on what worked for me with stopping my horrible allergies to dust mites! It was such a simple solution that has kept me from having allergy attacks for years now! I had tried the general recommendations listed above, but was still having daily reactions until it dawned on me what I needed to do differently. Hope this helps your family & your readers too:
    Take care & keep up the great work!

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