It is that time of year again. Sneeze, wheeze, cannot breathe time of year. Thanks to Mother Nature unleashing her power of reproduction in the land of plants many humans and animals are suffering.
In my own home there are three allergy sufferers. Astonishingly, I am not one of the three. Genetically I should be but luck of the draw (or freak of nature) I do not suffer too much this time of year. Thanks to a husband and two children who do I have a stocked cabinet of Flonase and Zyrtec. But the combat of allergies does not end there. Today I wanted to share a few home tips on keeping the allergens at bay from March until June.
Dust, dust, baby
Yo stop collaborate and listen you need to dust your house and not just once a week during allergy season. I’m sorry. Dust is your culprit for the sneezing and the accomplice to your mucus dam in your throat. Pollen acts like dust and well that’s just no good.
Grab a microfiber cloth (they allow sticking of the particles to occur a little better) and your favorite dusting spray (to protect your furniture and make your home shine) and plan to dust every other day. Look, you don’t have to be all into it, just hit the high spots. But don’t forget to give your blinds and shades a good pop too.
Also, if you have an available window of time you need to be sure you dust those blades on the ceiling fan. They are all about that dust. Speaking of windows, if you have treatments chances are you haven’t laundered them in ages. It’s OK and perfectly normal. Get them down and at least fluff them in your dryer for ten minutes to get the dust gone. Furniture made with soft, pillowy cushions need to be vacuumed because dust just adores hanging out in those cushions.
A key area you may be forgetting that is clogging up your nose is the air exchanges in your home. Those areas need a good dusting and you can use the vacuum to clean them out too.
I, I just died in your carpet tonight, it must have been the particulate matter inside…
Are you catching on to my little subheading themes?
If you have carpet then I’m so sorry. Carpet and allergies are like make out buddies. They just cannot get enough of one another. If ripping it out and putting in hardwoods, laminate, vinyl, tile, or any other hard surface isn’t an option then go ahead and keep reading.
The first rule of thumb is the no shoe rule for carpeted surfaces. Shoes bring in a lot of make-you-vomit stuff that carpet gives big hugs to. Let’s keep you healthy and keep the shoes in the foyer or on the porch.
Next up, just like dusting every other day you need to vacuum this time of year..a lot. Dust will get in those carpet fibers and build a new home. If you do not vacuum regularly (and kind of excessively) this time of year then you will have a carpet composed of nothing but pollen, dander, dead cells, and all the other components that make up dust.
Baking soda may also help neutralize some of the particulate matter of dust so feel free to sprinkle a bit on a few minutes before you vacuum.
Now you hard floor people, I’m looking at you. We do not have carpet but we do have dust loving surfaces. Where carpet sucks it in to “blend” our floors just let it group together in corners, at baseboards, under the table. Eww! These floors need a good vacuum/sweep just the same as the carpet. Fortunately, we will be able to eliminate more because hard floors do not give those big hugs to dust.
Did you tell them they were sleeping in the bed you made for me?
If you don’t know that song then you need to be schooled in 80’s country (Highway 101).
Bedding needs to be managed – no – micro managed. First off you need to strip it down, strip it down (I should go Luke Bryan here but will refrain). Remove the covers, sheets, mattress pad, etc. Sheets need to be washed once a week this time of year. I don’t care if you choose hot, cold, tepid water, just wash them. The dryer will do the work.
Your mattress is our next suspect. Remember that whole song that says if it’s over eight you must replace? Yeah, well I don’t have a mattress dealership so I could care less when you replace it. You can clean it, though. Sprinkle with some baking soda and the vacuum that bad boy. Some people like to “sun” their mattresses. I don’t suggest that since pollen is all crazy outside and why you would want to subject the thing you sleep on to that much pollen at one time is insanity.
If you have a mattress you can flip then do it post cleaning.
Check the blankets on your bed. You can buy all sorts of anti allergen materials now for bedding. This may be a good thing but it could also be a total marketing hoax. I will gladly tell you to always remember to buy 100% Cotton because its durable, washable, and just good for you. Microfiber bedding is bad news. Just like that cloth we dusted with this stuff is made to stick – to everything. That means if your pet sleeps up in the bed its hair is stuck to your bedding. All that dead skin, stuck. Dust..ooooh I’m stuck on you wa oh oh oh stuck on you (another song!)
It’s Raining Dust
There are some added things in your home that will allow dust to just live freely. I recommend you perhaps get rid of these items or at least clean them as suggested:
Fake plants – I guess their desire to be real and produce pollen makes them attract dust like none other. Toss them.
Throw pillows – Boy am I sucker for a throw pillow. Beat them regularly. I mean it! Take them out and beat them like they spoke bad of your mama. If it’s safe you can toss them in the dryer on fluff to get dust out.
Stuffed animals – My daughter is a stuffed animalaholic. I hate them and she loves them. Those things hold on to allergens tightly so like you did your throw pillows follow suit with your stuffed animals.
Rugs – Just like their big sister carpet they need to be taken care of just like carpet. Vacuum, my dears. If they are small then take them out and beat them well. All this beating talk is making me feel strange.
Window sills, panes, and everything else need to be vacuumed and wiped down. I hate that you guys that suffer immensely this time of year cannot benefit from opening windows. My heart is breaking over that. Seriously.
Pets – Please do not beat them or throw them out. Your fur baby may be a major culprit in your allergy distress this season. Keep your furry friend groomed. Brush their coats outside not inside. Prior to them coming in after say a potty break make sure to brush their coats to remove any excess allergens. There are some vacuum attachments now for dogs who shed. I haven’t ever used these but if you’re interested just google them. I have had friends who swear by them.
Now that we’ve come to the end of the road I just want you to know
After you vacuum make sure you empty your canister, change the bag, etc and wipe it out. You do not want all your work done in vain.
Microfiber cloths should be washed after use. Do not use fabric softener with these as it will kill that sticking ability.
Be gentle on your air. If you like to perfume your home this is not the time of year to do it unless it is a citrus scent. Your mucus membranes are already in peril. Try not to add to it with Hawaiian Passionfruit Berry Beach Burst.
I hope these tips help you breathe a bit easier. See you tomorrow!