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Max Minute: Too Much Indoor Cleaning Could Aggravate Allergies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Many of us are cleaning our homes more often to keep the coronavirus at bay, but all that cleaning could actually be making your indoor allergies worse.

Most of us are spending a lot more time indoors than usual this summer, but if your indoor activities include a lot of cleaning, you could be kicking up clouds of allergens, and many cleaning solutions can also give off toxic fumes.

There's nothing like a good house cleaning to keep dirt and germs at bay, but all that cleaning can kick up dust clouds that may aggravate indoor allergies.

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Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Alice Hoyt says you can reduce misery by planning ahead.

"Take an antihistamine, use your nasal steroid spray before you start your cleaning, to try to have that on board to help you not have symptoms," she said.

CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez says when cleaning tight spaces, like a bathroom, be sure you have good ventilation, or at least run a fan to disperse cleaning solution fumes.

Open the windows or even wear a mask while tackling heavy duty jobs.

Keep an eye out for mold or mildew, especially in the basement.

"You really want to try to get it as dry as possible. You never want to have carpet on concrete, that can set up for mold," Hoyt said.

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Common allergens like dust mites and pet dander are common in bedrooms. Pillow and mattress covers can help keep dust mites at bay, but dust mite covers should only be washed every three months.

"The more we wash, the more loose the thread is, the more likely it is for dust mite particles to be able to come in and go into your nose when you breathe at night," Hoyt said.

We're also probably spending much more time with our pets these days, but if your pets go outdoors, they may track outdoor allergens inside, which is especially a problem as we head into ragweed season. Give your pets regular baths and try to keep them out of the bedroom.

For the top questions people have been asking about the coronavirus, visit, and go to to submit your question.

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