Happy Friday, y’all! After I moved to NYC from Denver in 2014, I started having the worst congestion – sneezing fits and a stuffy nose all.the.time. In 2015, I decided to go in for an allergy skin test to see what I was and wasn’t allergic to, and oh my! If you haven’t heard of allergy testing, you can about the process here or here. My allergy test results (and flared up red skin) were very visible. It turns out, I’m allergic to a handful of allergens, but I’m most allergic to dust mites, grass, and mold (side note: the cat lady in me was THRILLED that I am wasn’t allergic to cats or dogs #thankgod).
Knowing that dust and mold were allergens that live inside of homes, I wanted to learn how to reduce the amount of dust and mold in my apartment to help tame my congestion. Based off of my research, here are a few tips for reducing allergens in your home:
5 Ways to Manage Allergens in Your Home
Wash your bedding in hot water every week
LIttle dust mites live in bedding and in pillows, so do yourself a favor and make sure you’re giving them little chance to disrupt your beauty sleep by washing those bedclothes on a weekly basis. Living in an apartment with no in-unit laundry is so annoying (#firstworldprobz), but I’m committing to taking my bed clothes down with my other clothing for a weekly washing instead of when I randomly remember to strip the bed down.
Pull and elongate your shower curtain after you shower
This is a non-negotiable for me: after I shower, I always, always, always pull the shower curtain so it’s stretched out from side to side. I am terrified of mold, and this is one easy way to make sure it doesn’t grow on your shower curtain and takes only a second to do!
Clean your air filters at least once a month
Y’all, air filters can get so gross, I was shocked at what I saw the first time we cleaned ours. You have to clean your air filters in your home! I haven’t seen a specific time frame but for people with bad allergies to dust, I think that at least once a month will help manage your reaction to dust particles.
Confession: I immediately get grossed out and feel like my allergies are going to kill me whenever it’s time to clean the air filters, so I ask Cesar to do it. When you don’t clean the filters, all the air coming in from your heat to your air conditioning is getting filtered through heaps of dust – ughhh.
Vacuum, sweep, and dust weekly
Did you know that dust mites can’t live on hardwood? But they CAN live in carpet. If you have carpet/rugs, make sure that you’re vacuuming on a regular basis. I like to stream a Spotify playlist to the TV and do a quick “power half hour” of cleaning on Sundays.
Apply essential oils before bed
At night, if i’m congested I rub eucalyptus oil on my chest and below my nostrils, which opens up sinuses and nasal passages. There are other essential oil blends made specifically to help people be able to breathe better, too.
Do you have bad allergies? What do you do to keep your allergies at bay? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.