Our homes are a source pride and comfort; for many, decorating and adding just the right touches to each room help make a house feel like the perfect place to relax and entertain guests. However, there are parts of a home that can carry illness-creating germs, and because we see or use them everyday, they often get overlooked.
While it’s scary to think that our homes have the potential to make us sick, it’s nothing to panic over. There are very easy ways to suss out these issues and keep them from becoming problems for your family, and most of them just involve some elbow grease and soap and water. Here are some of the best tips for finding those pesky little germ farms and getting them clean.
Start in the kitchen
While every room in a home has the potential to carry germs, the kitchen is one of the worst culprits. The refrigerator, especially, should be well cared for, in part because raw meats and vegetables can carry the E. coli bacteria. Wash all fruits and veggies as soon as you get them home from the market and give the bins they’re kept in a good wash down with warm water and soap often. It’s also a good idea to wipe down all trays and shelves and clean out the fridge/freezer once every couple of weeks so that old food doesn’t have a chance to get moldy.
Any utensils that sit out on the counter–which can acquire grease and dust–should be washed before use, and the blender/food processor should be washed thoroughly after every use with soap and hot water.
Check the filter on your furnace or air conditioning unit often, especially during the hottest and coldest months when it runs the most. The filter catches quite a bit of dust and other nastiness from the air, but when it gets full it not only makes the unit work harder, it also doesn’t do its job quite so well, meaning you might acquire a nasty cough or allergy-like symptoms. Change the filter often and keep a few spares handy during winter months. Also, check the system itself to make sure there are no leaks, which can lead to mold throughout your home and can cause various illnesses, including respiratory problems.
It’s also a good idea to regulate the temperature in each room in your home so your body doesn’t have to work so hard to stay warm or cool off. Programmable thermometers are extremely helpful in keeping homes at a steady temp, meaning you can stay healthy and possibly save money.
Wash your sheets
You may feel safe going a couple of weeks without washing your bed sheets, but it’s important to change them often–once a week is good. This is because dust, dead skin, and mites–yes, tiny, microscopic bugs–live in the material and can cause allergies and make us more susceptible to illnesses like the flu. This is especially true when the room is closed up all the time, so open the windows now and then and air out the space, and make sure to vacuum too.
The bathmat is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, so give it a wash in warm water a couple of times a month at least, and hang it up to dry after you use it. It’s also a good idea to dry off as much as possible while you’re still in the shower so you don’t get the mat completely wet, which can lead to mold and mildew.
Hey! Do you have any other tips on preventing pesky toxins from entering the home? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Photo via Pixabay by Kaboompics
About Charlotte Meier
Charlotte Meier loves helping people ensure the safety of their families and their homes. She enjoys collecting resources and educational materials to share with people who wish to keep their homes safe. She has recently put up her own blog at http://homesafetyhub.org/.