Guest post by Laurie Larson
Americans spend 87 percent of their time indoors, and much of that time is spent in our homes. With a space that occupies this much of our time, it’s vital that we ensure we are keeping our homes a safe and healthy place to be.
We can’t always control our environment while we venture out into the world, but we can be empowered to take control of our homes. Here are seven home hygiene tips you can follow to make sure you maintain a healthy household:
1. Kick your shoes off
You probably shouldn’t literallykick them off, but you should make sure to take your shoes off at your front door and leave them there. Walking around your home without removing your shoes allows for the immense number of germs you’ve collected on the bottoms of your soles to take a trip around your house.
Even if your shoes aren’t noticeably dirty, they still carry a ton of bacteria — around 421,000 to be specific. This even includes Escherichia coli, known as E. Coli, the bacteria that causes intestinal infections and meningitis. To avoid welcoming all of the unknown bacteria that you collect into your home, keep your shoes by the door or in a mudroom to keep them separate from the rest of your house.
2. Notice the hot spots
The areas that receive the highest traffic in your home need the most attention. Unfortunately, these spots are so ingrained into our daily routine that we forget about them sometimes! Make sure to keep these spots at the forefront of your mind and give them extra attention when you’re cleaning:
- Light switches
- Door handles/knobs to cabinets/drawers
- Faucet handles
- Workout products
- Makeup application tools
3. Clean as you go
We’re all pressed on time, and some weeks the task of cleaning your home can seem too imposing. Instead of saving all your cleaning for a weekend chore, actively clean your home every day.
If you keep up with it, cleaning can take as little as five minutes. Just make sure to keep clothes off the floor, clean your countertops, wash your dishes, and consistently follow up with any small messes. The clean-as-you-go principle can get you a long way in keeping your home looking polished.
4. Clear out the dust
When you let your house get dusty, you’re leaving an open invitation for germs, mites, and bacteria. Some places are more prone to collecting dust than others, so it’s important you take notice and regularly clean these areas.
Seeing dust on the items right in front of you is pretty easy to do, but sometimes you need to remember to look up. Cobwebs collect in corners and your ceiling fans are a major home of dust. Give these areas some attention regularly.
5. Keep up with your sleep hygiene
One-third of your life is spent sleeping, so you should be sure you’re sleeping clean. Many people neglect washing their sheets as often as they should and end up rolling around in sheets that have collected dead skin cells and sweat. Ideally, you should throw your bedding in the laundry on a weekly basis.
And don’t forget about your mattress. All the sweat and dead skin cells you shed in your sleep end up in your mattress, leading to more dust mites and bacteria in your bed. If you’ve had your bed for over seven years, it’s probably time to start looking at your options for a new bed. For more regular upkeep of your mattress, you can vacuum it to pull out as much dust as you can.
6. Don’t forget about your pet
Just like your shoes bring in everything they collect from outside, so too does your pet. Even though it may be a hassle to get your pet in the bath, it’s important to keep up with their hygiene as well so they aren’t spreading germs and allergens around your home, especially if you allow them on your couches or in your bed.
Additionally, you should regularly clean the pet products sitting around your home that your pet has likely drooled all over. This includes toys, food/water bowls, beds, or clothing items. Your animal can’t clean up after themselves, so you’ll have to lead the charge in keeping up with their hygiene.
7. Deep clean your bathroom
Finally, the most arduous task: deep cleaning your bathroom. Nobody ever wants to clean the bathroom because they think it’s gross, but that’s exactly why it’s important that someone does it.
On a weekly basis, you should be deep cleaning your bathroom to prevent collection of moisture that creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Wash your shower curtain in the laundry to prevent buildups of mildew. Then, scrub down your shower, toilet, sinks, countertops, and mirror. Finally, mop up the floors. It may not be the most exciting chore, but it is a necessary one.
By following these essential tips, you’ll be able to maintain a healthier and happier home.
Author’s bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer who writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics.