Spring is finally here and pollen is flying around like crazy! Instead of constantly loading up on antihistamines, you can alleviate your allergies by doing some indoor house cleaning. If you or someone you know has allergies, read these six spring-cleaning tips that will help all of the constant sneezing, wheezing, and wiping your nose that comes with the season.
- Air purifiers are a must. According to Dr. Christopher Thompson, an allergy specialist at Texan Allergy & Sinus Center, "HEPA air purifiers eliminate 99% of allergens in the air inside of your home." How cool is that? If you already have one, just be sure to change/clean the filters regularly, even more so when pollen times are peaking. Also, people forget that they need to clean the filter outside of their homes. A good way to remember to change it out is to add a repeating event on your phone telling you it's time to clean them! The more you keep your doors and windows closed, the longer your house stays with fresh, clean air.
- Remember to vacuum, mop, and dust the spots you typically forget to. When most people clean their house, thy typically sweep and mop the floors, and wipe the counter tops. Some of those areas that are usually forgotten about include light fixtures, ceilings fans, windowsills, tops of cabinets, frames, lamp shades, bed frames, bookshelves, etc. Many of these places probably haven't been cleaned in months! Use a vacuum with a hose to get to these hard to reach places and remember to empty the vacuum out in the trashcan outdoors. Emptying it in your indoor trashcan will release all of that pollen and dust in your home again.
- Change out or wash your filters. I can honestly say I always forget to do this one. It is important for your health to replace/clean your filters every few months depending on your household situation. If it is a vacation or single occupant home with no pets, replace the filter every 6-12 months. If you have an average suburban home with no pets, replace the filter every 90 days. If you have a dog, cat, or any furry animal, replace every 60 days. Add more than one pet and a person with allergies, then it is recommended to change the filter every 20-45 days. While you're at it, the dryer, vent hood/exhaust fan, and bathroom exhaust fan filters can be changed too!
- Wash and change when you enter the house. This one isn't really a "house" spring-cleaning thing, but if you are quick to change your clothes after being outdoors all day, this could keep pollen from sticking to other places in your home. If you have allergies, it's also a good idea to clean your entryways including welcome mats, hallway carpets, and mudrooms. Doing so will immediately make a difference!
- Wipe off your pets before they enter your home. Pet wipes are my favorite thing to use! They are basically like wet baby wipes but for animals. Pollen gets stuck in your pets hair and in between their paws and they are constantly bringing it back with them inside your house. Regularly bathing and wiping them are very helpful. I especially use the wipes when its been raining outside and my dogs paws are covered in mud!! Keep these close to your door and wipe them off before they decide to jump on your cozy couch and bed.
- Cease guests' pollen. It is a little too far fetched for majority of people to have a decontamination shower in their entryway because, let's be real, you'd end up having no visitors. So, washable entry mats and hooks/benches near the door are a good way to stop the pollen from moving further into your home. Washable mats are easy to maintain and people are more inclined to leave their outer layers at the front when they see hooks on the wall. Also, you can always resort to a no-shoe home and ask for others to remove their shoes as they walk in! I've had friends do this when their children are young and still crawling around on the floors.
Hopefully, these tips help to keep the allergies away! Happy Spring!