Germ season is in full swing, and with a little one in the house who puts everything in his mouth, it’s been important to me that my home is as clean as it can be—including the cleansers I use!
Although talk of germs gets louder during cold and flu season, there are some important habits you can develop and use all year long to keep your home as clean and safe as it can be. And when the bug hits my home despite my best efforts, Lysol is still a good friend of mine.
1. Clean and disinfect high traffic areas of your home:
– Door Knobs
– Entertainment Areas
These high traffic areas should be cleaned once a day or at least every few days! Using white vinegar to clean hard surfaces followed by spraying with a 3% hydrogen peroxide to water mixture (let air dry) is the most effective natural disinfectant.
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, rinse toothbrush with warm/hot water.
– Store upright, uncovered
– Replace every 3 months
– In between replacements, throw your toothbrush through the dishwasher for a quick clean
3. Clean your cell phones, tech and toys often:
We touch our phones so often throughout the day. They are big carriers of germs such as staph or flu viruses. Wipe down your phones, laptops, tablets and toys with a disinfecting product a few times a week to ensure it stays germ free.
4. Create a new policy – no shoes in the house
This one we had a little push-back from our 11 year old. She had a hard time remembering at first, and tried to flat out protest the new rule but after 2 weeks it was a habit for her to take her shoes off in the mud room. Where you go, your shoes go. 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 (from humidity) which then causes mold growth in your walls! Mold has all kinds of nasty side effects.
6. Make hand washing fun
Kids are active, and can find messes anywhere. They also bring germs to and from because they touch everything and are terrible hand washers! Sing songs, keep a chart for the most times washed and give a prize of some sort like choosing dinner, a movie, or a dessert.
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. Pretty gross, but 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. And consider using an anti-allergy mattress wrap, which can keep mite waste from contaminating your air.
Mop/ vacuum the floor and clean surfaces with an antibacterial product, and don’t let damp clothes sit in a hamper longer than a day.
Natural Cleanser Recipe:
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Water
15 drops of favorite Essential Oil for scent (I like lemon!)
I hope you find these tips to be useful and practical to implement into your daily routine!