Do you find that you’re very prone to getting cold-like symptoms, resulting in one too many sick days from work? If you’re certain your diet and lifestyle are blameless for your recurring illnesses, it’s probably time to look at your house.
We generally don’t think twice about how our household items could affect our wellbeing, but there are germs and bacteria living right under your nose that could be causing you untold misery. Fortunately, there are easy ways to give your home an acceptable bill of health, even for the domestically challenged.
Your Bed Sheets
As difficult as this may be to hear, your bed sheets are the biggest dumping ground for dead skin cells, which leads to millions of dust mites. The warm environment of your bed is the perfect home for them, and they reproduce enough times to house ten million per bed. Although the mites themselves are harmless, their fecal matter and body fragments can trigger allergic reactions like eczema and hay fever, and they affect nearly 80 percent of people with asthma. If that weren’t bad enough, these micro-organisms can put you at risk of illnesses, allergies, or even food poisoning.
Fortunately, protection against dust mites is simple. Change your sheets regularly, and wash them in 60 degrees, or lower, with antibacterial laundry detergent. You can go one step further and invest in allergenic protectors.
It’s important for your energy bill to have your home sealed for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, this does make it easier for mold to sneak into your home and silently impact your health. Although not all kinds of mold are harmful, it’s a good idea to have professionals conduct an air quality testing in your house to check if the risk is high. If there are any areas that smell particularly musty, you should not hesitate in calling in a mold specialist. Watch out for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, dry eyes, or rashes.
If an area of mold is less than ten square feet, then you can attempt to clean it yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing safety goggles, non-porous gloves, and a particle mask when cleaning. You’ll need a solution of one cup of detergent and a gallon of water. Using a sponge, wash the moldy area with the solution, then allow it to air dry. Wash it again, using a different solution of ¼ cup of bleach added to one gallon of water. Give the bleach solution 20 minutes to disinfect the area, then repeat. Keep repeating until you’ve washed the area four times with the bleach solution. Check out DIY sites for more detailed guidelines on how to get rid of mold.
Your Bath Mat
Your mat may have been clean and fluffy when you first bought it, but have you cleaned it since then? That bath mat is now just a playground for mold, bacteria, and dust mites. Each of these germs can lead to colds and debilitating allergies.
Again, this is a fairly simple problem to solve. Make sure you wash the mat a couple of times a month. You can keep it cleaner for longer if you towel dry in the tub, instead of stepping on the mat while you’re dripping wet.
If you haven’t made a point of checking if the fridge – the item responsible for keeping your food fresh – is bacteria free, you might be in serious trouble. It takes more than just clearing out the expired and smelly food to keep the refrigerator germ-free. Liquids that spill onto the shelves and trays collects mold, therefore posing a danger to your fresh food.
The biggest culprits are the vegetable drawers that are often forgotten until a vegetable starts to rot. The collection of rot and aforementioned liquids can gather in the corners and release a powerful, unpleasant smell. Take the drawers out of the fridge and clean them with warm water and baking soda. While they’re drying on the side, take the time to wipe down the rest of the fridge with antibacterial wipes. It is also recommended that you thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge.
When the health bug infects us, one of the first things we incorporate into our diets is smoothies. As a result, blenders have come to be the ultimate representation of health and wellbeing. Don’t tarnish that reputation by failing to clean it properly. The little gadgets that live at the bottom of the blender collect spillage and leftover liquids over time. Next thing you know, you’ve got a puddle of microorganisms such as salmonella and E.coli sitting underneath your healthy concoction. If those germs get into your blender, the next logical step is your digestive system. There is no understating how unpleasant that would be.
To prevent illness from interfering with your health streak, make sure to thoroughly wash the blender after each use, taking it apart if you need to access hard to reach areas.
Your Cleaning Products
Don’t be fooled by that fresh lemon scent. Most cleaning products are packed with chemicals that could irritate our skin, damage our kidneys and livers, and depress the central nervous system. If you’re unsure about the toxicity of the chemicals in your cleaning products, always make sure you’re wearing gloves when cleaning the house. Alternatively, you could start buying eco-friendly products, which are kinder to skin and still have the same cleaning power. If you’re scared by what you learn when looking into the ingredients of cleaning products, go one step further and make your own products. There are more than enough natural ingredients that will effectively clean your house; there are plenty of recipes to be found online. Just to give you an idea, baking soda, salt, lime, and vinegar, are the most commonly used ingredients in homemade cleaning products. You can even use essential oils to give them a nice scent.