Though Boston has already hopefully seen the spike of the flu outbreak, it is still a good idea to keep your home healthy this winter given that the season is still far from over; the air outside is dry and cold, perfect for spreading germs and virus. And even if you constantly wash your hands and keep everything sanitized and safe, you can't prevent these microscopic critters from getting into your system - whether you're out in the streets, or even indoors at home. And since protection begins at home, here are some basic yet sure fire ways to keep you and your family healthy, and stave off a visit to the doctor:
Watch Out for Germy Hot Spots
The sink, the telephone, computer mouse, children's toys, and doorknobs are popular landing sites for virus and bacteria. If someone is sick at home, disinfect daily, especially the remote control and the phone. To illustrate, what's usually the first thing you do after you call in sick? Pick up the remote control. In fact, remote controls are the germiest thing in hotel and hospital rooms - so this is probably the case in your home, too. And since a virus like influenza spreads through touching something a sick person has also touched, or an object that's been sneezed on, cleaning off the places your hand usually goes is most important.
We all know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables are good for boosting your immune system, but one thing that not all of us know is that it's also good for household disinfecting, cheaply for that matter. Peeling open an orange? Save the rind and rub it against your palms after washing them with water (or anytime for that matter); this not only makes the most use of the fruit, but it also saves you from frequently buying disinfectant soaps.
Beware of dust rags, dishrags, mops and other cleaning tools. Unless sanitized between uses, they only spread around the germs you are trying to kill. It's a free ride for the virus. Some of the cleanest houses tested have the highest germ counts because the tools used for cleaning are "dirty" themselves. During this "sickly" season, it is best to depend on disposable products such as paper towels and the like, so as not to keep on spreading germs in the household.
Take The Field With Tech
If you're used to hand washing dishes, don't - your dishwasher is sitting pretty there, not only for convenience, but also for a healthier you. By putting your plates, cooking utensils, and kitchen paraphernalia in the automated washer, you not only save time and effort, but you're also making sure that they're ultra-clean and bacteria-free. Remember: the less human contact these items get, the better. Kitchen items are the most prone sources of sickness since everyone shares them.
Some medical practitioners believe that dehumidifiers minimize the spread of germs since they prevent them from breeding. However, keeping these dehumidifiers clean is also of utmost importance; failure to do so usually makes them into breeding grounds. Keeping a small dehumidifier per room is more ideal (and easier to maintain) than a centralized one.