Sneezing, itching and a running nose? No problem! While flu season may still be in full swing, we have the scoop on easy ways to keep your home germ-, virus- and allergen-free.
1. Clean and disinfect high traffic areas of your home:
There are a lot of places for germs to hide, such as the kitchen sink, cutting board, doorknobs, desks and entertainment centers. After making dinner be sure to fully wipe down the kitchen with an anti-bacterial sanitizer to minimize spreading those microbes (like E. coli) around the rest of the house. Wipe down doorknobs, desks and entertainment centers once a day, or every few days, as your family comes in contact with some many germs every day.
2. Store your toothbrush properly:
Health Magazine says, “The human mouth contains about 100 million microbes per milliliter of saliva. Those microbes eat the same food you do, and when you brush, food particles and bacteria stick to your toothbrush. The unhappy result: an overgrowth of germs on your brush.” After brushing your teeth we suggest rinsing your toothbrush with hot water and place it in an upright position. Placing it on the counter can cause it to come in contact with other germs, and placing it in a travel case causes excess moisture where bacteria can thrive. The American Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush every three months, but during those months you can even throw your toothbrush in the dishwasher for a quick clean.
4. Create a new policy – no shoes in the house
Where you go, your shoes go. Pollen, germs and other things stick to your shoes, so when you walk into your house, these microbes invade your home. Create a new family-wide policy: no shoes in the house. Removing your shoes at the door will help keep these germs from spreading across your house.
5. Look for places where mold might be hiding
Eliminate places where mold might be hiding, such as excess clutter, or food either on the countertops or refrigerator. And, you want to make sure you keep a climate controlled home between 68 and 74 degrees. Any warmer than that can create moisture due to humidity which then causes mold growth in your walls.
6. Make hand washing fun
Kids are active, and can find messes anywhere. The Visiting Nurses Associations of America, in partnership with the Clorox Company and Families Fighting Flu, Inc. has launched a program to help people ward off the virus. They created a handy refrigerator chart to get children involved in proper hand washing. It teaches them to keep track of all the daytime activities when hand washing is important: before mealtime, before playing with babies, after playing with friends, after coming home from school, after using the bathroom and after every cough or sneeze.
7. Wash your sheets and clothes at least once a week
We spend a lot of time in our bedrooms, so it’s not surprising this is a place where germs would congregate. We shed dead skin cells on the bedding, and across the room, as well on our clothes we through into the dirty laundry hamper. Wash bedding in hot water at least once a week. Turn up the water heater to a dust mite–killing 130 degrees before you wash, and turn it back down afterward. And consider using an anti-allergy mattress wrap, which can keep mite waste from contaminating your air. Wet-mop the floor and clean surfaces with an antibacterial product, and don’t let damp clothes sit in a hamper longer than a day.
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