It’s that season again, when everything takes on a yellow tinge, including your lungs. Here are some tips to keep pollen outside where it belongs:
Start at the door. Put a doormat outside and inside the door to scuff shoes free of pollen. Then once inside, leave shoes by the door, and try to head for the showers. Don’t shake out clothing, but put it gently into an enclosed laundry hamper to be unloaded directly into the washer.
Ask visitors to leave their shoes at the door, too.
Indoor-outdoor pets are a problem. If you can’t wash your dog at least once a week, try cleaning him off with a wet towel when he comes in.
Run the home air conditioner, and a room HEPA air filtration system, if you have one. HEPA filters catch extremely fine particles, but both will help to filter the air, regardless. Change your filters often if the season lingers.
Use microfiber cloths to trap pollen that has settled on surfaces, working from top (blinds and curtains, for example) down to lower surfaces. To do a very thorough job, include ceiling and floor fans in your microfiber cleaning routine. Don’t forget windows and mirrors, which can be cleaned with window cleaner or a half-and-half mix of water and white vinegar.
Wash bedding and pet bedding at least once a week. White vinegar added at the end of the wash instead of fabric softener still helps to make clothes soft, but doesn’t include typical fabric softener residue that would attract even more pollen when you are outdoors. Also, clean the lint tray after each drying cycle.
Vacuum daily, and include seat cushions. It’s best if you have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, again, to catch the really fine particles. Mop floors with warm water and white vinegar.
Unfortunately, just as the weather is turning beautiful and we would love to open our windows to catch the fresh air, don’t. In fact, seal doors and windows if you find pollen accumulating around edges. Wait just a little while longer before enjoying open-air breezes.
Some tips from florists, who know a thing or two about pollen: use sticky tape rollers and sticky tape sheets for places where pollen has collected heavily. If clothes get pollen stains, soak them in cold water for a half hour, rinse and use stain remover, rinse again in cold water and air dry.