You may not have heard lately, but it’s still cold and flu season. This means as concerned as you are about the coronavirus, there are other germs galore equally intent on making you ill. The good news: most of them, including COVID-19, can be effectively dealt with by simple cleanliness, especially around the home. And while that has predictably created mass shortages of sanitizing products, it also requires more than a simple wipe-down. Here are a few ways to help keep your house a healthier place as you hunker down for the long haul.
Possessing the precious sanitizing wipe isn’t enough – you also need to wield it correctly. First, after cleaning, surfaces should stay wet for a few minutes, then be allowed to air dry. Second, the wipe should be discarded (no matter how diminished your supply is) as studies have shown reusing it will only spread germs rather than eliminate them. If you don’t have sanitizing wipes, try mixing five tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water as a make-ready disinfectant. Using a vinegar solution isn’t potent enough, especially against COVID-19.
Wipe your fEET
There’s little point to assiduously scrubbing your house down if you’re tracking in dirt and who-knows-what into the place every time you enter. Slap down a fresh doormat at every entryway and remove your shoes whenever you come inside. Better still, wash the soles frequently because, again, who knows what you stepped in out there.
WASH TOWELS AND LINENS
Linens and towels, which viruses and bacteria cling to, should be washed frequently in hot water. If someone in your home has been sick, a few extra steps are recommended, such as introducing bleach to your laundry – always follow the instructions on the label – and then sterilizing the washing machine itself. This can be done by adding bleach to an empty cycle of hot water, then running it a second time just to make sure the bleach has been drained away.
SANITIZE YOUR CLEANING TOOLS
After you’ve scrubbed and disinfected from one corner to the other, you aren’t finished cleaning until you’ve sanitized the mops, rags and any other items you may have used. Otherwise, you run the risk of having only captured the germs in your home – which you will then distribute around the next time you “clean.” Wash them with hot water and soap as well as a touch of bleach. And if possible, ditch your mops and brooms altogether for disposable cloth refills.
HUMIDIFY YOUR HOME
From cutting down on static electricity to keeping wood from splitting, there are many reasons to keep humidifiers around, especially during winter. But most importantly, a humidifier, like the Vicks mist humidifier pictured here on Amazon, can help eliminate flu viruses. And if you are suffering symptoms, a higher humidity level can soothe sore throats and sinus congestion.