How To Keep Your Home From Making You Sick

Your home is the one place you feel most comfortable; it’s the place where you can relax, be yourself, and spend time with your family. However, many people don’t realize that there are common household items in just about every room that can cause illness, and just about all of it is preventable.

If you have a family, it is likely important to you to keep your home clean; the problem with many of these household items is that they either hide in plain sight or they get overlooked because many people are not aware that they can trap bacteria, mold, and dust and even recirculate it throughout your house. Take a walk around your home and assess how clean it really is; have you taken hot, soapy water to the refrigerator shelves lately? How clean are your floors? It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you start small and work your way up, you can suss out the dangers and keep your family safe from illness in no time.

Here are some of the best places to start.

The kitchen

The kitchen can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty things. Fruit, vegetables, and raw meat should especially be handled with care; wash all fruits and veggies before placing them in your fridge, and once every few weeks, take hot, soapy water to the shelves, bins, and trays inside the refrigerator, where E.coli can breed. If you have a wooden cutting board, cleaning it with hot water is the first step; sanding it down is the second. This will ensure that bacteria won’t hang around on the surface.

The bathroom

You may think your bathroom is spotless, but there could be little things you haven’t even thought of, such as the bottom of the toothbrush holder, where water pools after you brush your teeth. Or how about the bathmat? Make sure to wash it once every couple of weeks and always hang it up to dry after you step onto it from the shower, as water can settle onto the rubber backing and create mold. It is also a good idea–especially if you live in an apartment or small home–to leave the door or window open during hot showers (or turn the fan on), as all that steam can loosen wallpaper, leaving the perfect opportunity for mold to creep in.

The vacuum

Depending on what type of vacuum you have, it may be leaving behind dust and allergens every time you use it. Make sure the bag or receptacle is cleaned after each use, and open the windows while you run it if possible. You might also consider buying HEPA filter for your home, which traps a good deal of the dust particles flying around each room.

Your bed

It is scary to think about, but our beds trap dust, dead skin, and microscopic dust mites every day. Make sure you wash your sheets often, including the pillowcases and comforter (although that may need to be dry cleaned), and, if you have a ceiling fan in your room, clean it well once a week to keep dust from floating down onto your bed.

It may seem overwhelming, but making these cleaning habits part of your weekly chores will help you stay on top of them and keep your family safe from illness.