• Tell Your Friends

Achoo! A couple of us down at HGTV Headquarters aren’t feeling so well. I spent last week in bed fighting what I’m convinced was the plague, armed with only a stash of home remedies and a few boxes of tea.

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that never seem to get sick, you’re bound to catch a cold sometime. Keeping your home spic and span is one of the most important ways to ward away disease, and a thorough cleaning once you’re feeling better can prevent illness from spreading to your loved ones.

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Germ-Free: Cleaning your home after an illness will reduce the risk for spreading disease to family and friends.

Start with the air. If you don’t remember the last time you changed the AC filter in your home, you’re cheating yourself out of good health. Harmful airborne particles like smoke, bacteria, pet dander, mold and allergens can build up in your home with a dirty filter.  A quality pleated filter will only run you about $20 and last for 90 days.

Take off your shoes. Your shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Millions of harmful microorganisms can be tracked across the floor – a major problem only multiplied if you have kids that like to play on the floor. Take your shoes off at the door and politely ask guests to do the same.

Battle the bedding. If you’ve been sick, you likely spent a lot of time curled up in bed. Once you’re feeling better, Do Not Pass Go – wash your bedding (and any other laundry, for that matter) on the highest heat safe for your fabric.

Take out the trash. Germs can build up in all those tissues you’ve been accumulating. Little ones are often the culprit of forgetting to toss used tissues in the trash. Do a quick sweep and dispose of any trash that’s been neglected while you were sick.

Sanitize your toys. It’s common to disinfect your children’s toys, but what about your toys? Use an alcohol wipe or a vinegar-water solution to carefully wipe down cell phones, keyboards, remote controls and other gadgets you may have come in contact with while you were ill.

Tackle your toothbrush. Though it’s rare you’ll get the same illness twice, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give your brush a 5-minute boil after you’ve been sick to cut down on germs.  Always store your toothbrush in an upright position that will allow it to dry between uses and avoid keeping your brushes in closed containers like travel cases – the moist environment will encourage microorganism growth.

Clean the cleaners. Your collection of cleaning supplies get dirty too, especially tools that see a lot of water like sponges. Put your sponges in a bowl of water and then pop them into the microwave for two minutes to kill living bacteria inside of them. If your sponges have metal, run them through the dishwasher. Rinse your mop in hot water and bleach (two gallons to 1 cup), then allow to air dry.

Gesundheit! Stay happy and healthy as we ride out the rest of flu-season, and visit the links below for more ways to keep your home germ-free:
Healthy Home Dos & Don’ts
How to Grow Herbal Home Remedies
HGTVGardens: How to Make Ginger Tea
Healthy Home: 10 Mistakes to Avoid
5 Tips for Controlling Dust Mites
Low-Pollen Houseplants

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4 Responses

  1. Kayla@HGTV says:

    This is super helpful! Thanks, Jessica. All of these will come in handy this weekend.

  2. Cynthia S. says:

    Thanks for the reminder about changing the filter. I need to do that and it completely slipped my mind.

    • jessicaykr says:

      Of course Cynthia! I just changed mine this weekend. To be honest, after looking at the thing I'm not really surprised I got sick :)

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Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on...

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