With the first day of school fast approaching, the creepy-crawly germs swirling around the classrooms are ebbing closer too. Performing healthy house cleaning not only keeps your home looking tidy, but it also prevents the buildup of the germs that cause the common cold and flu. Using environmentally friendly cleaning tips for sickness will allow you to keep your home clean from germs and safe from toxins. Check out this list of things you can do around the home that will nip germs in the bud.
Natural Cleaning Solutions before the kids are sick
Staying ahead of the game is essential for keeping germs at bay. Simple steps in the home will help prevent or minimize the flu bug this season. Natural cleaning is often simpler and cheaper than purchasing chemical-ridden cleaning products from the store.
Hand washing: This should be a no brainer. Hand washing is the easiest and most effective way to keep flu and cold bugs out of your home. Set up a hand-washing station that is easy for your little ones to access. You can purchase organic hand wash from a local wellness store or make your own using this recipe. You can also make your own chemical- free hand sanitizer with items you probably already have around the house. Teach your kids (and you do it to) to sing the alphabet twice as they are washing their hands.
Make it easier to get handwashing done in the bathroom by purchasing a small step stool so your little ones can reach the sink easily.
- Target germy areas: To take out bacteria and viruses before they settle in, make sure to focus on routinely naturally cleaning and sanitizing high traffic areas. According to an article by Healthline, the top five ickiest spots in your home are:
- The Kitchen: In particular, the kitchen sink. Did you know that one study showed that your kitchen sink actually has more germs than the toilet? Eek! Make sure to always wipe down your counters, sink and stove after handling raw food and washrags regularly. Do not forget the refrigerator door and cupboard handles.
- Handles and Switches: Wipe down door handles, drawer knobs and switches at least once a week. Use a simple homemade mixture to disinfect any of these areas. In a large spray bottle, add 1 cup of water, ¾ cup of vinegar, 3 drops of liquid soap, and 15 drops of scented oils (peppermint, cinnamon, lemon and lavender are good choice). Do not forget the cracks and edges.
- Laundry: It is easy to let laundry pile up. However, during flu season it is especially important to keep up with the laundry so you can get rid of germs the kids picked up at school as quickly as possible. Do not forget to spray out the laundry baskets with a natural cleaner or rubbing alcohol about twice a month. ealth Healthy cleaning of laundry and bedding will kill flu and cold bugs before they can spread.
- Electronics: No surprise here, if fingers can touch it, germs will spread. Sanitize remotes, televisions and computer keyboards frequently. Do not forget to wipe down tables or desks where you or your little ones sit to do homework.
- Bathroom: While you likely have the toilet, sink, tub and floor, cleaned regularly, do not forget the toilet paper holder and the smaller items (like toothbrush holders) too.
House cleaning after an illness
No matter how well you manage your heavy duty cleaning, odds are good that at least one person is going to come down with the sniffles, or worse. (Proper cleaning and sanitization will reduce the severity and frequency of bacterial and viral infections.)
Natural house cleaning following an illness is essential to get the bug out of your home quickly and prevent further infections. In addition, everyone will feel better just knowing the home is clean again.
Here are a few tips to maximize your after-illness home cleaning.
Wash all bedding: Wash all bedding that the sick family member touched. Usually this includes their blankets, sheets and pillowcases. Do not forget any stuffed animals or other cuddle blankets they snuggled.
Sanitize touchy areas: Door handles, knobs, remote controls etc. You should sanitize (or re-sanitize) anything that gets a lot of hand to keep germs from spreading to other family members.
Trashcans: Empty all of them and wash them out. Use baking soda to nix any nasty smells and use your vinegar/water mixture to sanitize and clean away germs.
Toothbrush: If the toothbrush is nearing its expiration date (after 3 to 4 months of use), feel free to toss it in the garbage. Otherwise, place it in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes to get rid of the bacteria. Remember to wash out the pan afterwards.
Sick tools: Wipe down and sterilize all sick tools. This includes the thermometer, medicine cups, puke bucket (bowl, toilet etc.), ice packs and cooling rags. If you use nasal spray, you should wipe that down as well to avoid spreading germs.
Back to school brings lots of challenges and fun experiences, don’t let a bug ruin your fall fun. Keeping your home clean will help reduce germs and viruses in your home. Call Sparkling Clean Agency to schedule an appointment for a deep cleaning to get your house ready for back to school.
Image courtesy of John Brawley