This is one of those years where it feels like allergy season hits with a vengeance! Without medical testing, it can be hard to pin down exactly what’s causing your symptoms, such as itchy eyes, runny nose, sore throat, or skin irritations. But there are a few tried and true tricks to reducing allergens at home, which can make you feel a lot better, year-round! Keep reading to learn more about how simple changes can have a big impact. These tips can help whether you’re allergic to mold, pet hair, or pollen!
Mold and Mildew
The key to controlling mold and mildew is stopping it as soon as you notice it! Common areas where mold and mildew can show up in your home are the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. Be aware of leaky pipes and fix them promptly; keep an eye on caulked areas like kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Clean the bathroom regularly, and make sure that there’s adequate ventilation in this room. Spray down bathroom tile walls and your shower curtain daily with a water and white vinegar solution to help retard mold and mildew growth.
Pet hair can be emotionally as well as physically affecting; after all, we love our pets but when pet dander makes us sniffle and sneeze, we need to do something. Try to avoid (or cut down) on the amount of time pets spend on your bed. Bed linens are great at holding onto dander, and dust mites (which are also powerful allergens!) like it too. Another trick to effectively manage pet dander is to keep a carpet-free home. Bare floors can be a lot easier to keep clean; carpet fibers have a tendency to hold onto allergens, no matter how frequently or how well you vacuum. Check your vacuum regularly to make sure the filter is in good shape; you might also want to consider upgrading your vacuum to one with a stronger filter, to catch smaller allergens you might otherwise miss!
Pollen and Outdoor Allergens
One way to keep outdoor allergens out is to keep shoes and boots at entryways – avoid wearing outdoor footwear through the house and you’ll minimize how much pollen gets spread throughout your home. Windows can be another place where outdoor allergens get in; launder drapes, vacuum blinds, and keep windowsills dust-free, especially when you have those windows open in spring, summer, and fall.
Some of us have a high sensitivity to household chemicals and cleaners. There are so many recipes available in books and online – and maybe even from your mom and grandma! – that tell you how to make your own, just-as-effective cleaning products, using simple ingredients. It’s worth a try! These DIY sprays, solutions, and pastes often require materials like baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice. These are all-natural scrubbers, disinfectants, and sanitizers. Plan ahead and stock these ingredients on hand and you might never be tempted to go back to those hard-core, chemically intense products again.