Unpacking Winter: Allergy-friendly tips for winter clothes, décor and more!
It’s that time of year when you head to the back of your closet or the depths of your storage area to pull out your winter items. Jackets, sweaters, mittens, hats, even holiday décor and winter quilts are making their appearance in your home.
Outdoor allergens, like pollens, tend to become minimal once the first snowflakes fly, but taking these winter items out may stir up new allergens in your home. Here’s what you can do to minimize sneezing and maximize the coziness and hygge-friendly life this winter.
Whether you experience a mild or harsh winter climate, you’re sure to have a separate set of winter clothes that come out in fall and winter months. Think of clothing items like:
- Vests and socks
- Scarves, hats, mittens
- Snow pants
Depending on how these have been stored for the past nine months, it’s possible that dust mites have made a home in them. Additionally, if any of the items had lingering moisture from snow or the post-season wash, you may have concerns of mold. Before you bundle up, wash all your clothes with hot water.
Holiday décor is a breeding ground for indoor allergens – especially dust mites if it has been left uncovered for most of the year. Give each item a good and thorough cleaning before decorating your house for the season.
And if you bring in a live tree, wreath, or garland, they’re often covered with mold spores and pollen. One recommendation is to spray it with water and let it sit outside for a few days before bringing it indoors. Another option is to spray with a fungicide outdoors, then bring inside after 24 hours.
Some people take their winter coziness to another level by bringing out heavier, winter bedding – like thicker comforters, flannel sheets, and throw blankets.
Like with your clothes, it’s key to wash on high heat to kill off dust mites and their droppings, the elements that cause the most allergy symptoms. Some studies show that freezing items (home freezers) for at 24-48 hours kills most dust mites and their ability to hatch viable eggs. While you’re changing over your bed, it might be a good time to add a mattress cover that can help reduce dust mites in your bed for years to come.
Prep for next year
Once winter is over, wash all your winter items on high heat. Store in airtight bags or bins to keep dust mites away and avoid storing them in damp areas of your home.
You can get ahead of your symptoms entirely by treating the cause of your underlying allergy with disease-modifying allergy drop immunotherapy. Over time, your body learns to not react to the allergens that make you sick. Learn about a simple option called sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, following the La Crosse Method Protocol.
Get Started with Personalized Allergy Drop Immunotherapy
We can help you find a provider near you who is trained in the La Crosse Method Protocol for sublingual immunotherapy so you can start your journey to a happier, healthier life.