Interior Design: Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers
It seems that EVERYONE has some form of “the Crud” right now! And by “the Crud” I mean allergy symptoms, including runny nose, itchy eyes, cough, headache, and nasal drainage. There is nothing more frustrating then being stopped in your tracks by these pollen-related annoyances. So, what can you do to help yourself? First, start by adhering to these general tips:
- As much as opening the windows to let “fresh” air in the house seems like a wonderful idea right now, keep your windows closed… At least until the onslaught of springtime pollen has passed. Instead, during warmer months, run your air-conditioner as much as possible, remembering to change your air filters often.
- Pollen is the worst first thing in the morning (from 5-10am), so choosing to spend time in your yard after these hours may be a more advisable option. Also, when you come in from walking around in your yard, be sure to leave your shoes outside to avoid tracking allergens into your home.
- Use mattress and pillow covers that can be easily washed, which in turn, keeps your pillows and mattresses from being infested with allergens.
And after you have taken all of those precautions, here are some additional spring cleaning tips that may also reduce your allergy woes:
- Rake your yard to eliminate moldy leaves that may be causing your allergy symptoms to be magnified.
- Vacuum until you can vacuum no more! If you are in the market for a new vacuum, consider choosing one with a HEPA filter, then vacuum EVERYWHERE! You will be shocked at the strange places that piles of allergy-causing dust balls have accumulated over the winter months. (Take a peek behind your bed and refrigerator if you want to be shocked!)
- Launder your comforter, bedskirt, and pillow shams to eliminate allergens that have been collecting allergens in them during the colder seasons.
- Launder shower curtains.
- Consider switching over to eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products, such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and borax. What many people do not realize is that commercial cleaning products (even the hypoallergenic versions!) often leave behind a host of chemicals, which can actually irritate allergy sufferers even more than the pollen that they eliminated.
- Use a damp cloth (or electrostatically charged micro-fiber cloth) to dust your home, which prevents airborne particles from simply launching themselves into the air and eventually settling in a new destination.