7 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Home Germ-free

Are you sneezing, itching and have a runny nose? No problem! 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:

“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 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 Canadian Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush every three months.  An additional tip would be to cover your toilet lid before flushing.

3. Clean your cell phones, tech and toys often:

We touch our phones so often throughout the day, and are big carriers of germs such as staph or flu viruses. Wipe down phones, tech and toys with a disinfecting product a few times a week to ensure it stays germ free.

4. No shoes in the house policy

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 throughout your home.

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 counter tops 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.  You may want to turn on your air conditioner.

6. Make hand washing fun

Kids are active, and can find messes anywhere.  Get children involved in proper hand washing and teach 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 throw 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 or steam clean the carpets and clean surfaces with an antibacterial product, and don’t let damp clothes sit in a hamper longer than a day. It’s best to hang dry them before putting them in the hamper or wash immediately.

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