The fight against springtime allergens is one that seems to be never-ending, especially in South Carolina homes. Come early spring, when some states are still dealing with snow-covered streets, we're battling that bright yellow layer of pollen that settles over everything during spring in Charleston. We're walking sneezing and wheezing and complaining about congestion. While you can't completely combat allergens (unless you lock yourself up in an airtight chamber for the season), there are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of pollen that gets tracked into the home.
1. Anything you touch outside affects you. Your car, patio furniture, yard tools, and outdoor toys are all huge pollen catchers. Turn to storage solutions to cut down on the yellow stuff. Park in the garage. Cover or store outdoor furniture, and put toys and tools in a shed or garage.
2. Make sure to wipe your feet on an outdoor mat, and then take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house.
3. When doing yardwork, make sure to "decontaminate" when you go back inside. Put clothes in a hamper or straight into the wash, and shower as soon as possible.
4. Similarly, if you've been outside for a while, be sure to wash your hair before bedtime. The last thing you want is pollen on your pillow. Even trace amounts can affect your allergies. Another solution: wear a hat when you're outside.
5. Be vigilant about dusting! This one's sort of a no-brainer, but it's a step that can be overlooked due to busy schedules. Dust and vacuum often, and be sure to empty vacuum containers outdoors.
6. As tempting as it can be to leave doors and windows open when the weather gets warmer, those allergens will blow right in with the breeze. Keep them closed, and change your HVAC filters regularly.
7. Pets are a definite culprit when it comes to tracking in pollen. Brush or wipe their paws down when they come inside and bathe them regularly throughout the season.
While it's not possible to get rid of all traces of pollen during the springtime, following these steps will make it a little easier on you and your family!