NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Spring has arrived in North Carolina and with the warmer weather comes the yearly coating of pollen.
The yellow gunk isn't just a headache to clean up, it can make life just plain miserable for allergy sufferers.
Here are some 16 curated pollen hacks to keep your home clean and allergies at bay. Our sources include experts cited by AccuWeather, the Associated Press, the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology, Cars.com, and Insider.com
1. Shower after coming inside and before sleeping to prevent bringing pollen to bed with you.
2. Keep your pets out of the bedroom during pollen season. They can track in the yellow gunk and leave it behind on bedding, carpet, and in the air.
3. Vacuum at least once a week, and make sure yours has a HEPA or small-particle filter to prevent pollen from recirculating.
4. Use stand-alone, reputable HEPA filters and air purifiers to catch pollen in the air.
5. Fresh air might sound nice, but an open car or home window can bring in pollen, so keep windows and doors closed.
6. Wash your bedding with hot water at least once a week. Don't dry the bedding outdoors, if possible, as pollen can accumulate.
7. Keep closets closed to prevent pollen from contaminating clean clothing.
8. Consider wearing the N95 mask (the one you use to prevent coronavirus) while cleaning to prevent pollen from aggravating your allergy symptoms.
9. Remove shoes and outerwear before coming indoors if possible, to keep from bringing pollen inside with you.
10. Remove textiles, such as rugs, curtains, and excess blankets, from the bedroom, as these can be magnets for pollen.
11. Clean and dust surfaces at least once a week with a microfiber cloth, which traps pollen, unlike brooms and traditional dusters which can actually spread pollen through the air.
12. Vacuum or wash your curtains, as these can be hidden places that pollen accumulated.
13. Replace air conditioning filter monthly to stay on top of pollen accumulation.
14. Bathe indoor pets once a week and wash their bedding weekly.
15. Make sure your car's cabin air filter is changed regularly to filter out pollen -- roughly every 15,000 miles. This filter cleans the air that circulates throughout your car.
16. Clean your car between pollen outbreaks and apply a coat of wax, which will make the pollen wash away more easily and might prevent sticky buildup.