Your home is where you spend the majority of your time; it’s the place you should be able to escape to and relax while avoiding the plethora of contaminants that surround us on a daily basis. Some of these hidden hazards can be tracked into our homes on our hair, shoes, and clothing including mold, germs, bacteria, and viruses. These same contaminants can quickly make their way into your carpeting, bedding, draperies, and upholstery in both new and old furnishings. Even if your house appears clean, or is brand new – boasting contemporary furniture and fixtures, modern area rugs or farmhouse-style sliding doors and barn door handles – there can still be unseen dangers present. While you may have a few trouble spots that need to be addressed, there are simple things you can do right away to assure your home is as safe and healthy as possible.
1.) Keep the Kitchen Clean
The kitchen is the hub of activity in most homes. People are in and out of the kitchen throughout the day for meals and snacks, making this a breeding ground for germs and bacteria to thrive in and insects to gravitate towards.
Sponges and wet dish towels are two of the biggest germ carriers in the kitchen since their dampness allows mold and food-borne pathogens to flourish, even after only one use. To help minimize the number of germs that breed in the kitchen, be sure to run sponges through the dishwasher on the hot setting at least once a week. Always squeeze sponges out well and store them in a place where they can air dry after each use.
For dishcloths, be sure that – even if you only use them to dry clean dishes with – you only use towels twice at most, then wash them in hot water afterward.
You’ll also need to keep your countertops clean and tidy; do this by wiping them down with a nontoxic sanitizing solution each time you cook such as white, distilled vinegar. This will kill lingering germs while keeping your countertops sanitary and sparkling.
2.) Maintain a Clean Bedroom
While you may not consider it, your bedding and pillows are full of dust mites, dust mites droppings, dead skin, hair, fungi, and dander that surrounds you each time you get into the bed. While you sleep, these little organisms contaminate the air you breathe and can cause allergies to be exacerbated. To help combat these nasty little fungi and pests, make it a point to wash your sheets and blankets once a week in hot water, vacuum the mattress at least once a month, and invest in a zippered, organic and washable mattress and pillow barrier cover. These tasks will keep the pesky allergens away and improve the air quality you inhale while you sleep.
Don’t forget to clean the fans when you dust. Dust and allergens can easily build up on fans which in turn get distributed around the bedroom every time you turn the fan on. When dusting the bedroom, preferably once a week, remember to clean the fan with a dust trapping material such as a microfiber cloth.
3.) Scrub the Bathroom
As luxurious and relaxing as the bathroom can be, bathrooms are one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. There are germs lurking everywhere in the bathroom and these germs and bacteria can be potentially dangerous for your health. When cleaning the bathroom, be sure you wipe from the ceiling and work your way down to the floor so you don’t miss the dangerous mold, germs, and bacteria that thrive in various areas.
4.) Wipe Down Doorknobs and Handles
Doorknobs and handles are perhaps the most overlooked, yet dirtiest, spots of the home. Handles get touched hundreds of times a day with dirty hands, hands that are cut or scraped, or hands that have touched eye and mouth regions which can invite thousands of germs to one tiny doorknob. Grab a toxic-free antibacterial cleaner and wipe the doorknobs down or spray them at least once a day to keep harmful bacteria away from you and your family.
5.) Choose Healthy Cleaning Products
Many of the chemicals that are designed to help you clean your home contain very harsh and toxic ingredients. While these chemicals certainly kill germs and get the job done, they also harm your health. There are more gentle, eco-friendly options available today that still get the job done. Using organic, plant-based cleaning sprays and wipes will get your home clean, kill harmful germs and bacteria while making your home a safe place to live.