How to Keep Your Home Healthy and Clean
Patrick is a home support specialist at Home Air Quality Guides, a company dedicated to helping people learn how to create a cleaner, healthier and more comforting environment inside their homes through the use of portable air purifiers and air cooling products.
Something that many of us take for granted is the cleanliness of our own homes. We think that as long as it looks clean, then there isn’t much we need to worry about.
However, invisible contaminants throughout your house could be affecting your health and well-being without you even knowing it. It’s these microscopic germs and particles that are the most dangerous and if you’re not careful you could end up getting sick or developing a serious illness. Your home should be a safe haven that’s not only comfortable but healthy too. Below are some of the most common (and unseen) trouble spots for germs to hide inside your home, as well as tips on how you can clean them.
Although it’s small in size, your kitchen sponge can carry thousands of bacteria, mold, germs and food-borne pathogens. These microorganisms thrive in moist environments, which make sponges the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of harmful things.
Now, you may be thinking that your only option is to throw away your kitchen sponge after each use, but there’s actually a simpler, more cost-effective solution.
To kill off germs in your sponge, dampen it and then place it in the microwave on the highest setting for 90 seconds. Wait for one to two minutes for it to cool down before touching it. This will sanitize the sponge and stop the spread of microorganisms. Follow this procedure after each use and you’ll be set.
Counter Tops and Sinks
Kitchen countertops are often neglected surfaces that we don’t clean until they look visibly dirty. However, if you only wait until you see grime before giving them a good scrub, then you’ve probably already given food-borne pathogens and bacteria (i.e. salmonella) enough time to multiply and spread around your house.
Countertops in the bathroom are also areas that don’t get as much cleaning attention as they deserve. This often results in the growth of mold, mildew and other types of bacteria that can infect people inside your house.
The same thing goes for a sink that is in the kitchen and bathroom. This area is one of the most contaminated places inside the home because it stays moist and rarely gets thoroughly cleaned.
To keep your home as healthy as possible, make it a habit to wipe down your countertops and sinks after each use with a cleaning spray that includes bleach. This will destroy any germs before they have the chance to multiply and spread.
In a day’s time, the human body sheds up to one million skin cells. In a year, that equals about 8 pounds or 3.6 kilograms. Much of these cells end up collecting on our bed sheets and if not properly taken care of dust mites can invade your bedroom.
Washing your bed sheets on the hottest setting at least once per week is the best way to keep your bedroom germ-free. The cold cycle won’t sanitize them.
For extra protection, you can also purchase dust mite covers for your mattress and pillows.
Doorknobs and Handles
It’s rare that any of us disinfect the door handles inside our home, yet these are the most touched objects around the house.
Making it a habit to routinely swipe the doorknobs and handles with an antibacterial cleaner will help you stay much healthier at home. Even if it’s just tackling the entryway doors once a week, you’re doing much better than the rest of us and your well-being will benefit from it.
Rugs and Carpets
The floor is the catch-all for all sorts of dirt and grime inside the home. And, if you have children or pets then you know how filthy the floor can get with food bits, hair, dander and all sorts of other things.
With hardwood floors, you can easily see dirt as it collects and know when it’s time for a sweep, but because rugs and carpets are fibrous materials, the particles that get trapped in these floor coverings go undetected.
Homes with carpeting and rugs have the worst problems with dust and bacteria collection, therefore it’s crucial that you vacuum these areas as often as you can. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is the best choice because it captures the finest particles possible. It’s especially good for people who have allergies and asthma too, since it removes microscopic contaminants that trigger these types of issues.
Indoor Air Quality
The most undetected problem that many homes have is poor indoor air quality. As you’ve learned so far, there are lots of areas of the home that harbor germs, bacteria and other contaminants. Unfortunately, as you clean these spots some of the germs get stirred up into the air you breathe.
Dust, pollen, mold, smoke, chemicals, gases, viruses, bacteria, fungi, pet dander, etc. are just some of the particles that float around your house and degrade the quality of air.
If you want to keep your home as safe and healthy as possible, you should consider using a portable air purifier. An air purifier cleans and purifies the air from harmful contaminants that can make you sick. Many of them also use a HEPA filter, which is the same thing that’s used in the vacuum mentioned above, and can collect the smallest sized contaminants.
Keeping a Healthy Home is Not as Hard as it Seems
As you can see, by following just a few simple cleaning tips you can ensure that the environment inside your house is clean and healthy.
Setting aside just a few minutes each day to better maintain your kitchen and bathrooms will go a long way to eliminating germs. Washing your bedding, disinfecting doorknobs and handles, and vacuuming the rugs and carpets each week are also small things you can do to get rid of harmful particles.
Finally, using an air purifier inside your house is easiest and best way to maintain healthy indoor air quality that’s safe to breathe.