Spring brings so many amazing things—colorful flowers, sunshine, the opening of every ice cream stand within 50 miles…but it can also bring annoyances like allergies. Those spring blooms we love can spell disaster for our eyes and noses. Allergy sufferers rejoice! Taking care of pollen this spring is as easy as a little prevention and cleaning your carpets.
What is Pollen?
Pollen is a very fine powdery substance that comes from the stamens of flowers. In nature, this substance becomes airborne and lands on another flower for cross pollination.
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When these annoying particles land in your home, they only breed sneezes and itchy, watery eyes. Because you track pollen in from the outside, preventing it from entering your home is a matter of being diligent and keeping things clean. Here are some basic tips to keep pollen from taking over this spring.
Pollen sticks easily to fabrics which is bad news considering how much time we like spending outdoors in the spring and summer. Leave any outerwear such as jackets, sweaters, and shoes in an entryway or laundry room so you aren’t tracking pollen through your house. After close contact with nature, it may be a good idea to strip down in the garage or foyer and put those clothes straight into the washing machine.
Plan on showering immediately after outdoor activity to wash the pollen from your skin and hair. Even if you didn’t wear your outdoor clothes indoors, your body is still carrying allergens to your couch, sheets, and pillows where it can stick and exacerbate allergies even more.
Keeping pollen off your car isn’t possible, but keeping it from taking over is. If you can, park your car in the garage for protection. Be careful not to rub against the outer surfaces before getting in as this can transfer pollen to the seats. Spend a few dollars and get a car wash each week or wash it at home yourself. If you have a convertible, be sure to vacuum the upholstery after each ride.
Pets are great, but they have a lot of fur to carry pollen around in. Before going inside, give your fur babies a good brushing. Not only does this reduce pollen, but it also helps with shedding which means fewer hairs getting into your carpets. If you do brush them indoors, be sure to vacuum that area immediately.
While it’s tempting to open windows and doors during the spring to let in the fresh air, this also lets in pollen. The best way to curb pollen levels is to keep your house shut and use a good HEPA filter. These filters catch even the tiniest of particles. You can get them for your HVAC system, your vacuum, or even your car. Filtered air can really help cut down on the pollen count.
Pollen settles everywhere so dusting is important. Wet microfiber clothing are the best option for trapping and locking allergens. Dry dusting kicks them back into the air where they can spread through your air ducts to other parts of your home or settle right back down where you just cleaned.
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Keeping pollen out of your carpet is both your first and last line of defense. No home can be 100% pollen free, but levels can be managed with regular vacuuming. Pollen that has settled into your carpet becomes airborne as you walk. A quick pass over the floor with a vacuum each night will keep pollen in check better than a big vacuuming at the end of the pollen season. Empty vacuums outside so you don’t undo your hard work. You might also consider a professional carpet cleaning between spring and summer to minimize the amount of pollen in your home.
READ MORE: How Dirty Carpets Cause Asthma Problems
Allergy muddlers don’t need to fear pollen. They simply need to use a few preventative measures and a good vacuum to keep pollen from taking over this spring.