Wellness at Home: Understanding the Essentials
A healthy home is a happy home.
Just as you want to put so much effort (and money) on creating a beautiful and inviting home, it is equally important to keep your space clean and sanitized.
Cleaning your home, on a daily basis, is one way to protect your family against various diseases, from respiratory problems to life-threatening infections.
But what makes a green and healthy home? How do you ensure that your family is safe from pests, harmful compounds such as VOCs, contaminants, and other health hazards?
Check out these best practices for maintaining cleanliness and wellness in your home.
Let’s start with the entryway. You wouldn’t want unexpected and uninvited guests to be invading your home. Unfortunately, so many bacteria and germs come in every time someone enters your home. Here are some useful ideas to make your entryway work harder at keeping pollutants at bay:
- Beware of pollens. Keep the yellow stuff our especially during the cold season by taking your shoes off and wiping your feet off the mat. If you have pets, keep them well-groomed and regularly clean their feet with wipes.
- Have plenty of washable mats for your entryway and replace them regularly. A mat is an effective way to trap germs, dirt, and bacteria that you may have carried with you home.
- Place a shoe rack by the door. Taking off your shoes (and having your visitors do the same) isn’t just polite. It’s also a great way to protect your home from disease-causing bacteria.
- Take your pets to their vet regularly. Problems like tick and flea infestation can compromise your family’s health too.
Your living room is where your family recoup after an exhausting day, bond, and enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, there are allergens, pollutants, and dirt that lurk in there too. Keep your family home germ free with these techniques:
- Use air scrubbers with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to get rid of air pollutants, including dust mite and flea.
- Mop and vacuum floors regularly. Cleaning it with a lemon oil-water solution or vinegar-water solution is a safer approach to removing germs and bacteria. Make sure to dry your floors after cleaning them to keep contaminants from getting back. Using air movers should make this process easier.
- Sanitize electronics and appliances, especially handheld devices like your computer keyboard and TV remote.
The kitchen is often the filthiest part of a home simply because there’s a lot of things that bacteria love here – moisture, humidity, food, etc.
- Keep your kitchen dry. Don’t wait for a long time to clean kitchen spills. Dry the dishes and other kitchen utensils properly.
- Seal holes and fissures to prevent mice and other pests from entering your home.
- Clean your fridge regularly. If it has a water dispenser, change the filters every 6 months to prevent the build-up of bacteria that can contaminate the water.
- Only use food containers that are BPA-free.
The bedroom is where you rest and recharge your energy. It’s not supposed to be making you sick!
- Vacuum the mattress and air out your pillows to prevent mites from coming to your bed.
- Avoid putting office equipment in your room, such as printers, as they contain chemicals that can cause irritation to the lungs.
- Keep the humidity in your room under control. A humidity of 40-50% should prevent the onset of mold in your bedroom.
- Install a whole-house fan in your attic to get rid of poor-quality air.
The bathroom houses some of the worst bacteria, such as E. coli (bacteria from poo). Keep this area clean and sanitized by following these steps:
- Replaced cracked or broken tiles as they are great spots for mold to grow.
- Use natural cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide to clean surfaces, including grouts, and to sanitize faucets and other bathroom fixtures. Avoid cleaners containing chlorine and ammonia as they can irritate the lungs.
- Keep an eye on moisture. Hang a squeegee over your shower head, install plenty of towel bars, and keep the window open to allow air to circulate.
Your kids may not be the only ones playing hide and seek. Check out these cleaning tips to keep your child’s room clean and safe.
- Dust and vacuum this area regularly.
- Encourage handwashing. Teach your kids the habit of washing their hands before entering and leaving the playroom.
- Wipe down high-touch areas using disinfecting wipes.
- Use special filters to keep the air clean.
- Always sanitize your children’s toys and doorknobs as they are prone to germs and bacteria.
Basement and Crawl Space
The basement is usually the part of a house that doesn’t always get a good clean. It is also the dumping ground of unused furniture and items, decorations, and supplies.
- Replace or clean your furnace every three months to reduce the allergens in your home.
- Check for peeling asbestos around boilers and pipers. Call professionals to have it removed right away.
- Test for radon. This harmful gas is associated with many health problems, including lung cancer.
- Use a dehumidifier in your basement to prevent mold growth. If your basement has some windows, open them to let fresh air in.
The laundry room is full of germs and it is not surprising. In one study, 60% of the tested washing machines were found positive for fecal contamination. To keep the germs in your laundry area from contaminating your entire house, check out these tips:
- Sanitize your washing machine. Using the “clean-out cycle”, use hot water. Add soap or baking soda and run the cycle.
- After loading your machine, always wash your hands to stop the spread of germs and bacteria especially if there’s a sick person in your home.
- Wash bedsheets, pillowcases and duvet covers weekly. Using hot water can make cleaning more effective.
- Use hot water to wash your pet’s bedding too. Better, take them to a laundry shop.
Yes, your outdoor area needs some cleaning too.
- Remove dried, fallen leaves.
- Kill weeds as soon as you see them growing.
- Check for any infestation in your plans.
- If you have a pool, clean it regularly to prevent the growth of algae that can cause serious health problems in your family.
With these tips, you can keep your home clean and fresh and protect your family’s health.
This article was contributed by:
Megan Jones – Communications Manager
Megan Jones is an author who mostly writes about camping, interior and exterior maintenance, healthy living, and related topics. Having a huge experience in renovating and remodeling, Megan has gained some valuable knowledge, which she is now actively promoting.