The year 2020 has reminded mankind of the importance of personal hygiene, as well as living in a clean and sanitized home. The surfaces in our home are covered with germs, bad bacteria, and virions (virus particles). Here is how to maintain a healthy home and prevent potential diseases and health risk
Any one of these can cause an infection or a disease, so cleaning the house more often should become a priority for Australian homeowners in the years to come. God forbid, but the COVID-19 pandemic might not be the last major epidemic of the 21st century.
Here are a couple of neat strategies on how to maintain a healthy home, thus preventing potential diseases.
Prevent allergens from spreading
There are all sorts of airborne particles flying around your home. For instance, the fireplace in the living room silently sputters dust and soot for days after you extinguish the fire. Further on, all the snow, mud, and dirt that enter your home on footwear dry up after a day and fine dust particles fill the air of the hall.
Various allergens are often found among these dust particles. There are several strategies for preventing the spread of allergens and these include keeping the curtains short enough so they don’t touch the floor, wash the bedding often, throwing away old pillows and blankets, etc.
The bed is the most important place inside the average Australian home that you should protect from allergens to Maintain a Healthy Home. Powerful vacuum cleaners use both the power of vibration and suction to penetrate deep into the mattress to remove mites and their excrement.
Are you sensitive to dust?
You don’t have to have an allergy to cough inside the house all the time. Fine dust particles tickle the inside of our throat, forcing us to cough often. The issue is complicated further for individuals who have asthma, so they need to sanitize the home really well.
Namely, there are allergen covers for bedding, bedding, mattresses, cushions, couches, and in general anything you sleep/nap on. When cleaning the house, don’t forget o vacuum the bed alongside cleaning it with a wet cloth.
The reason why you want to prevent allergens from spreading is the myriad of health issues they cause. From psoriasis to eczema, dust can trigger a number of health conditions. These might not be as contiguous as the common flu or the new coronavirus (the infected person can spread the virus within 24 hours, as Canberra Times writes) but they will still weaken your immune system, making you susceptible to more serious ailments.
Maintaining hand hygiene
Apart from physical distancing, the World Health Organization sees hand hygiene as an essential preventive measure for stopping the spread of COVID-19. A simple bar of soap and running water have the power to stop a pandemic and they are essential for Maintain a Healthy Home good personal hygiene.
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease, as all you need is soap and water; something most of us have back home. Even when you are away from home, you can use wet wipes, hand sanitizers, 70% alcohol, gels, and even ash to sanitize your hands.
Since children are more susceptible to illnesses, you need to teach them how to wash hands properly. For example, you need to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, something even adults don’t know. Furthermore, kids need to scrub hard under the nails and above the wrist.
Washing your feet
Apart from your hands, your feet need to be clean as well. The biggest danger of contracting a disease is when you walk barefoot, usually in summer. Also, put on slippers when going inside the bathroom, as you can pick up a fungal infection, such as the athlete’s foot.
Furthermore, you should ask guests to take off their shoes at the front door and you should do the same. By containing dirt in the hallway, you are easing the cleaning process and preventing dirt from spreading through the whole house and residencies can be large in the south of Australia.
Never ignore a leak
Whether it’s the kitchen or the bathroom, there is always the danger of water damage. Not only can a leak you ignore for months cost you thousands of dollars if a pipe bursts, but you will also endanger your health as well.
Namely, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments (July is the most humid month in Canberra, for example) without proper air circulation. Installing air vents in the bathroom and making sure the bathroom can open to the end are just some of the ways of protecting your health.
Secondly, you should never ignore a leak and find a plumber in Canberra the moment you notice a leak. A small leak is enough for mold and mildew to appear. Soon enough, you’ll start breathing in tiny spores that can provoke a headache, a runny nose, a sore throat, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, etc.
Wiping all touchpoints
Most viruses are quite weak and they cannot survive for more than a couple of days on hard surfaces. However, it takes a single touch of the door handle to get infected (you later touch your nose, mouth, or eyes with the infected hand).
The best way to prevent getting infected this way is to wipe touchpoints throughout the house. There are numerous places you skip while cleaning but you should still wipe them using 70% alcohol or another type of sanitizer. Light switches and doorknobs are just some of the often-overlooked places where germs lurk.
Touchscreens are filthy!
Speaking of touchpoints, there is one hard surface you touch and swipe all day long but you probably never (or rarely) clean them. Yes, we are talking about all the devices with touchscreens, such as smartphones, tablets, remote controllers, laptops, board computers, etc.
Since touchscreens are cleaned separately, they are a breeding ground for germs. Just think of the number of times you grab your cellphone during the day and when was the last time you cleaned it using more than a dry cloth (be honest)!
These are the surfaces you shouldn’t scrub hard, as you might damage, i.e. scratch the delicate screen. Use a cleaning solution and let chemical processes do their job, so all you have to do in the end is to wipe the screen using a soft cloth.
Clean every spot inside the kitchen
After the bathroom, the kitchen is the space you need to direct the most attention to. Since Australians use the kitchen more often to cook, homeowners clean the kitchen often but only superficially. Things might look shinny at first glance but right underneath the surface there are germs and various pathogens lurking.
Deep cleaning is the keyword for sanitizing the kitchen. The fridge and the sink should be the areas of special interest; the sink because of food leftovers and the fridge because you touch it all the time. Furthermore, the fridge is cold to touch and if the kitchen is warm, this creates the perfect breeding ground for germs.
If you don’t have a microwave, then you use sponges to wash the dishes. However, sponges are full of germs and bacteria, so microwaving them for just one minute kills all the germs. It goes without saying that you should wipe down all the surfaces in the kitchen as often as possible, especially the counters.
Rinsing the sink
The area in the kitchen where diseases spread from is the sink. This is because of the food leftovers because when different foods mix, not only do they start to reek but to produce bacteria as well.
Luckily, rinsing the sink is easy if you have some baking soda and vinegar. Mix them together and pour them down the drain to kill all the germs and even unclog the drain.
Maintain a Healthy Home cleaners are always a better solution because they don’t harm the environment. If you want the sink to smell nice, then add a few drops of lemon juice to the mixture.
Countering the counter
The kitchen counter acts as an oversized cutting board. This is a good thing if you sanitize the counter often using alcohol. However, if you leave meat or dairy residue on the counter, all sorts of microscopic sickness-makers will start reproducing.
Meat leftovers are common in Australia whose red meat and livestock industry makes up almost 1.5% of GDP. Eating anything off a soiled counter means that you’ll soon need to visit the bathroom and pronto. Food poisoning might not be contagious but it’s anything but pleasant.
Humidifying the house in winter
In summer, you are fighting to make your home less humid but in winter, the goal is the exact opposite. Namely, indoor air quality is poor due to the heating and you feel as if the air is dry and dense. This influences both our skin that dries up and the throat that starts feeling itchy.
Humidifying the air is essential in winter unless you want to develop bronchitis or a sinus infection. Placing a bowl of water on the stove or the radiator is the old-fashioned method to humidify the air. A modern humidifier is perhaps a better solution, as it comes with attachments that make it more aesthetically appealing.
Enjoying clean air
The air quality index can be unhealthy for certain groups along Australia’s West Coast. We are talking about the quality of air outside but the air inside our home is usually more polluted. That’s why you need an air purifier or an air filtration system to destroy allergens in households that don’t have access to the clean air outside.
Wherever possible, you should use natural air purifiers, i.e. plants. They pump in oxygen inside your home, preventing allergies and respiratory illnesses. Also, if you own a furnace, then don’t forget to replace the filter mid-way through the cold season (and service the machine before the start of winter).
Only clean toys are fun
We have mentioned various hard surfaces in your home that require sanitization. If germs or mold appear on toys, that’s most likely to die to improper storage. The toy box needs to have air flowing through it or otherwise, mold will start forming. While cleaning the rest of the house, don’t forget to scrub the LEGOs and the Barbie doll with some alcohol to Maintain a Healthy Home.
Maintain a Healthy Home requires constant work and care about the sanitary conditions in your house or apartment. From the cleanliness of air to fixing a bathroom leak pronto, you are not powerless to stop diseases from spreading.