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Tips for allergy-proofing your apartment from interior designer Robin Wilson

When was the last time you washed your pillows? Cleaned your curtains? You could be aggravating your allergies.

“How well is your space designed for your lifestyle? You could have the most beautiful bed, but could be allergic to down and not know it,” says Robin Wilson, an interior designer, author and expert on allergy-friendly environments who recently launched a line of hypoallergenic bedding, Robin Wilson Clean.

With New Yorkers in the midst of an earlier, longer allergy season, Wilson, who’s also an ambassador to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, shares her tips for allergy-proofing every room in your apartment.

Entryway: Leave your shoes at the front door

Photo Credit: iStock

"Use a mat to wipe off your feet outside the door and inside the door," Wilson says. "Almost imagine an air conditioning filter." She also advises leaving your coat near the door, too. "You won't want to be in a situation where you're putting your pollen-filled, subway-filled coat with your clean clothes."

Bedroom: Follow the rule of three for your pillows

Most people haven't washed or replaced their pillows
Photo Credit: iStock

Most people haven't washed or replaced their pillows for six years, says Wilson. But to limit the dust mites and pollen collected by them, she recommends washing the zippered pillow liner every three weeks, washing the pillow itself every three months and replacing the pillow every three years.

Kitchen: Clean your refrigerator

Refrigerators can harbor mold, but some people forget
Photo Credit: iStock

Refrigerators can harbor mold, but some people forget to maintain them. To keep yours clean, Wilson advises people to clean the drain pan under the refrigerator, which can collect water, as well as replace the water filter, if you have a dispenser.

Living room: Wash your drapes

Curtains collect dust and pollen. Wilson recommends washing
Photo Credit: iStock

Curtains collect dust and pollen. Wilson recommends washing them every six months, or, more realistically, every year. She likes cotton or linen panels that can be easily washed.

Bathroom: Use a nylon shower liner

A vinyl shower liner
Photo Credit: iStock

A vinyl shower liner "is going to hold mold," Wilson says. "Use 100 percent nylon. It is also washable. Hotels and hospitals use nylon."

Office: Dust your computer, printer and phone

Photo Credit: iStock

"So many people work from home today, and the home office can really be a pollutant in your home," Wilson says. She recommends remembering to dust under computers and printers, using compressed air on your keyboard and telephone dial and wiping down the phone with an antibacterial wipe to keep the space clean.

Apartment-wide: Filter the air with plants

Wilson recommends getting dracaena and peace lilies for
Photo Credit: iStock

Wilson recommends getting dracaena and peace lilies for your home because they are natural air purifiers. "When you're at work you can have the plants actually filtering your air for you," Wilson says. Pet owners, though, take note: Both plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

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