Keep Allergy-Free This Winter!

Aloe Vera Plant, credit:

Aloe Vera Plant

Got allergies?! Whether they are year-round or seasonal, there are a few things you can do around your apartment or house to help reduce your allergy symptoms – especially being extra cooped up in the winter time! Check out these tips and projects to improve your breathing air and allergies!

Whole Home
These things should be implemented in every room and space!

  • First, clean often – but do not use cleaning products that aggravate your allergies! Try natural cleaning products, and avoid things like furniture polish, oven cleaner, scented detergents and dish soap, strong pine-scented products, and fabric softeners. I prefer making many solutions myself, using vinegar, baking soda, citrus and olive oils, as well as other plant essential oils.
  • Use door mats at each door to the outside and get into the practice of using them! Depositing dirt and particles from your shoes will reduce the amount of allergens tracked into your house.
  • Use fabric curtains and roller blinds so you can wash them. If you have horizontal blinds, you should clean them th0roughly every 3 months, or at each season change.
  • Keep your windows and doors closed during high pollen times. Keep the sills and panes free of dust, plant & insects materials, and cobwebs.
  • Keep your A/C vents’ doors clean of dust and the filters updated seasonally, or as needed. Choose small-particle or HEPA filters.
  • If you have fans, keep the blades clean and free of dust.
  • Choose easy to clean furnishings that do not use fabric, or have an easily removable fabric case (like a beanbag). You can still find really comfy stuff!
  • If possible, have a carpet-free flooring like tile or wood, so you can easily clean it. Washable area rugs are a more allergen-friendly option than full carpeting. If you are stuck with carpeting, vacuum and wash it th0roughly every season.
  • Steep some plants and spices in water on the stove (open), like eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, and citrus.
  • Populate your home with plants that can help you by purifying the air! Try Aloe Vera, Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), Gerber Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’), Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures), Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium), Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata), Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), Azalea (Rhododendron simsii), Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’), Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’), Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii), Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata), English Ivy (Hedera helix), Variegated Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa), Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus), and Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida). Read more info here and here and here.

Where you sleep is very important – you spend a number of hours in one place, every single day! Reducing the allergens in the bedroom can greatly improve your opportunities to wake up refreshed and allergy-free.

  • Wash your bedding and pillows in hot water, and pillow cases weekly – they collect dust & allergens from your head and spread them to your face while you sleep.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum, you don’t want items around, especially made of fabric, that just collect dust over time.
  • Use dust-proof covers on your mattress and pillows.
  • As terrible as it may be for some of you, it may be best to keep your pets either out of your bedroom all together, or at least just off of your bedding. If that is not an option, keep them clean and thoroughly bathed weekly.

Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry Room
The areas in your home that have the most water will be most prone to collect mold. Mold agitates most allergies, and can be easily avoided.

  • Wash your dishes, sinks, and faucets daily. Wipe up any puddles.
  • Clean your refrigerator often, and any puddles or spills immediately.
  • Store all your food, in cabinets or the frig, in sealed containers.
  • If you have a vent or exhaust fan over your stove, use it! And clean it often – oils, dust, dirt, etc. collect on it very quickly.
  • Keep counters and floors free of crumbs or liquids.
  • Empty food waste daily, and keep it in a sealed (insect-proof) container.
  • Wash the edges, surfaces, and around the doors on your laundry machines, and dispose of the dryer lint, after each use. A surprising amount of allergens, hair, and grime will collect in and around your machines – and you don’t want that getting on your clothes!
  • Change your shower curtain liner.
  • Clean mildew or mold with a water and bleach solution.

…And, of course, your diet highly affects your allergies. Eat well, fresh, and varied!

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Author My First Apartment

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Chloë Elise is a writer and artist living (and renting) around the world. She is usually the roomie to catch bugs and put them outside, or to fill the house with little plants around every window. She spends most of her time writing, painting, tattooing, studying science, learning languages, building websites, making music, and searching for fossils. Find more info at Sima Tattoo, Yakbrother, or her personal portfolio.

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