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Seasonal allergies can be brutal. The constant sneezing, wheezing, and congestion, which are hallmark pollen allergy symptoms, can ruin the season for you. It can feel like the pollen is just everywhere, in and out of the home.
While there’s not much you can do to control the pollen outdoors, there are things you can do to allergy-proof your home against pollen. This will help minimize your exposure to pollen at least while you’re indoors.
But first, it helps to recognize pollen allergy symptoms and understand what causes them.
What Causes Pollen Allergy Symptoms?
Pollen allergies are caused by pollen particles, which are produced by flowering plants.
Plants produce pollen in abundance in spring, which is their blooming season. These particles are so light, they are easily blown away by the breeze or carried away by butterflies and bees that come to get nectar from the plants.
Inhaling these airborne particles is what causes pollen allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose or congestion, itching, and irritation in the nose, eyes, and throat. These symptoms are a manifestation of the body’s immune system reacting to the pollen, which it perceives as a threat.
This article on how to reduce pollen allergy symptoms goes into more detail about what causes pollen allergies and what you can do to reduce the symptoms.
Unfortunately, because pollen particles are so light, they enter the home easily, making it difficult to escape exposure. Even if you avoid stepping outdoors, pollen particles can still find their way indoors through open windows, clothes, shoes, and pets. Once inside, the pollen settles down on various surfaces and triggers allergy symptoms when they are disturbed.
The key to minimizing exposure and the symptoms is to learn how to allergy-proof your home against pollen.
17 Easy Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home Against Pollen
Allergy-proofing your home against pollen is the single best way to control seasonal allergies naturally. At least while you’re indoors.
The best part is all of these tips are very easy to implement.
1. Keep Windows And Doors Closed
It’s tempting to want to keep your windows and doors open to let the refreshing spring breezes in. However, the ultra-light airborne pollen particles also get carried indoors with the breeze.
Closing the windows and doors limits the amount of pollen that gets indoors. At least keep them closed during peak pollen hours.
Check your local newspaper or local area website for the daily pollen count and peak timings.
2. Wipe Down All Surfaces
Trace amounts of pollen that do manage to sneak indoors settle on various surfaces and just stay there until they are disturbed.
When you touch the surface, the light particles become airborne again and can trigger your pollen allergy symptoms.
Couple of things to keep in mind when wiping down surfaces.
– DO NOT use a feather duster or dry cloth to dust surfaces as this will only disturb the particles and make things worse.
– Wear gloves and use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down glass, marble, ceramic, and granite surfaces. Microfiber cloths do a great job of trapping pollen particles instead of moving them around.
– Use furniture polish to wipe down wooden surfaces. If the pollen count is very high or you’re highly allergic, it helps to wipe down doors and door frames too.
3. Clear The Clutter
Clutter acts as a dust magnet or in this case, a pollen magnet. Things lying around trap pollen particles and other allergens, making it more difficult to keep your home clean.
To allergy-proof your home against pollen, remove everything that you don’t need or don’t use from tables, shelves, and countertops. Store them inside closed cabinets instead. Only keep things that you use daily outside.
This will make it easier to clean your home and reduce the number of places where allergens can hide.
4. Use Natural Cleaning Products
When you’re trying to control seasonal allergies, it’s important to use only natural cleaning products.
Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate allergies.
Natural cleaning products are free of harsh chemicals and are a better alternative.
You can make your own cleaning products using simple ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Plant Therapy offers a wide range of cleaning products with a variety of scents for different seasons and different purposes.
The Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate with Defender Blend has a bright and fruity fragrance that will freshen up your home, creating a clean and welcoming environment.
The Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate with Germ Fighter Blend wards off seasonal attacks on the immune system is the perfect natural cleaning solution to eliminate pollen.
5. Make Your Home A No-Shoe Zone
When it comes to tracking in trouble, shoes are the main culprit.
It’s impossible to avoid stepping on pollen particles that fall to the ground. These particles stick to the soles of your shoes and find their way to all areas of the house.
To prevent tracking pollen indoors, ask everyone to leave their shoes by the door before coming indoors.
6. Install HEPA Air Purifiers
Air purifiers add a powerful level of protection against pollen.
Look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters keep your home allergy-free by capturing even the smallest particles of airborne allergens.
Place the air purifier in the rooms where you spend the most time, such as your bedroom and living room.
Read more about how air purifiers work to eliminate airborne allergens in this article on how to reduce pollen allergies naturally.
The one limitation of air filters is that they can only trap airborne pollen particles, not those that have already settled on a surface. You’ll still need to wipe all surfaces to get rid of pollen.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology has a useful article on using air filters to reduce allergies.
If you live in a place with high humidity, you should consider using a dehumidifier equipped with air filters for allergies. Dehumidifiers help reduce allergies by extracting excess moisture from the air along with any allergens trapped in the moisture.
7. Wash Hands And Hair As Soon As You Get Indoors
In addition to being light, pollen particles are also sticky. When you’re outdoors, airborne pollen particles settle on your hands, clothes, and hair, and because they’re sticky, they stay there. When you get home, you bring all of these allergens indoors with you.
To minimize exposure, it’s advisable to always head straight to the bathroom when you get indoors. Remove all external clothing and put it in a covered laundry hamper. Get into the shower right away and let the water wash away the pollen from your skin and hair.
If you don’t have time for a shower, at least wash your hands and face thoroughly before touching anything or walking through the house.
8. Clean The Curtains Regularly
Curtains are another pollen magnet, just waiting to trap the particles as they flow indoors with the breeze.
The best way to clean curtains will depend on the type of curtains you have.
If you have lightweight curtains, throw them in the washing machine to get rid of any pollen caught in the fabric.
If you have heavy drapes that can’t be removed and washed often, clean them using a vacuum with a brush attachment.
How often you need to clean your curtains will depend on the pollen count in your area and whether you keep your windows open.
9. Consider Getting Rid Of Carpeting
Carpeting traps all sorts of debris and allergens that get buried in the deep pile. Walking across the carpet releases lightweight pollen particles, which get airborne again easily. Inhaling these can trigger pollen allergy symptoms.
Consider removing carpeting and replacing it with hard floorings, such as hardwood or tile. These are easier to keep clean.
If you decide to leave your carpeting, be sure to vacuum it regularly.
10. Clean Hard Flooring Regularly
Hard flooring is easier to clean but it must be cleaned regularly to reduce allergens. Vacuuming followed by cleaning with a damp mop is the best way to keep sealed flooring pollen-free.
For unsealed flooring, you may have to limit it to vacuuming only as the wood will absorb the water and warp.
11. Use A Vacuum Cleaner With HEPA Filter
If you or anyone in your family has severe pollen allergy symptoms, it’s worth investing in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to trap small particles such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander from the air.
A vacuum with a HEPA filter works by creating a high suction force that draws air and debris into the vacuum cleaner. As the air passes through the HEPA filter, the filter captures the small particles, preventing them from being released back into the air.
12. Clean Upholstered Furniture Regularly
Pollen particles that settle on the upholstery get buried into the fabric. When you sit on the furniture, these particles get disturbed and become airborne again, triggering those allergies.
Use your vacuum with HEPA filter to clean upholstered furniture regularly and get rid of any allergens buried in the fabric.
13. Wash Bedding Regularly
The importance of washing bedding regularly cannot be emphasized enough. Clean bedding is pivotal to reducing exposure and preventing potential pollen allergy symptoms.
When you lie down and your head touches the pillow, pollen particles on the pillow cover are just inches away from your nose.
When you draw the sheet or duvet up to your chin, that’s another opportunity for pollen particles to come within inches of your nose.
Washing sheets and pillow covers regularly in hot water will get rid of any lingering allergens and prevent build-up.
14. Dry Clothes And Bedding Indoors
Clothes that are put outdoors to dry have a lovely refreshing look and feel.
Unfortunately, during peak pollen season, it won’t take long for them to be covered in pollen particles. These will find their way indoors easily.
It’s best to avoid leaving clothes or bedding outdoors to dry during the pollen season.
15. Clean Kids’ Play Area & Keep Toys Away After Use
Keeping kids’ play areas and toys free from pollen can be challenging especially as kids love exploring and touching everything. But there are a few things you can and should do to minimize exposure:
– Wash toys regularly in warm soapy water or water and vinegar. Do not use harsh chemicals to wash kids’ toys.
– Use a damp cloth to wipe toys that can’t be washed.
– Schedule a ‘bath day’ to wash all stuffed animals, blankets, and bedding.
– Encourage kids to put away their toys in a covered toy bin after they’re done playing. This can help prevent a buildup of pollen particles on toys lying around in the open.
16. Don’t Forget Your Pets And Their Toys
Every time your pet goes out, they bring back grime and pollen through their paws and fur. Even indoors, they ‘mop up’ allergens from the flooring every time they roll around.
As much as possible, try and brush your pet at the door, before they come indoors. Keep a soft towel to wipe their paws and any toys that they may have been playing with outdoors.
Learning how to allergy-proof your home against pollen is key to reducing pollen allergy symptoms and creating a safe and comfortable living environment for you and your family. Yes, it does take some time and effort but it’s worth it when you consider what happens when pollen particles enter your home uninvited.
Remember to consult with an allergist if you have severe allergies or if you have any questions about allergy prevention.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.