Did you know that the average person gets about three colds each year? And the statistics are higher for people who live and work around young children. But the good news is that you can protect yourself by employing some precautionary measures around your home.
Prevention is key
We’ve all heard it before: wash your hands. But the truth is that this is one of the simplest and most effective ways of controlling bacteria and viruses. If you don’t do it already, get into the habit of washing your hands before you eat and every time you go to the restroom. And if you can teach your kids to do the same, then half the battle against stubborn, recurring colds is won. Also, position a bottle of hand sanitizer by each sink to encourage quick cleaning.
Having clean air and a clean home are very important when it comes to avoiding sickness. Bathrooms and kitchens especially harbor all kinds of pathogens. Here are a few tips for keeping germs at bay:
- Clean bathrooms and kitchen countertops with a weak bleach solution to kill bacteria and viruses.
- Use the same solution when you mop if you have flooring that will not be harmed by bleach.
- Disinfect dishes by always using your dishwasher on the “hot wash” setting. And don’t forget to include sponges and scrubbing utensils in each load.
- Spray doorknobs once a week as part of your cleaning routine. Think of how many people touch those surfaces.
- It’s a good idea to disinfect your family’s toothbrushes once a week, as well. Simply soak toothbrushes for a few minutes in diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Wash thoroughly before resuming use.
- If possible, Wash linens and towels in hot water every week if possible.
Natural means of disinfecting
If you are not a proponent of chemicals and would rather not use bleach or other toxic chemicals, there are many essential oils that are proven disinfectants. Some of the most potent are the essential oils from cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, and clove. You can use a mixture of unflavored vodka, distilled water, and essential oil to make a versatile disinfecting spray. Here’s how:
1 cup unflavored vodka
1 cup distilled water
10-20 drops essential oil
Mix essential oil with vodka. Add in water. Pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use.
After you test this spray on an inconspicuous area, use it to disinfect your carpet and linens. Or spray in the air to disinfect and deodorize your home. It can also be used as a multi-surface cleaner. Remember to test first. This spray is potent so take care not to get it on your skin or in your eyes.
With cold and flu season fast approaching so you can’t be too careful. Taking certain precautions can cut down on the number of pathogens you come into contact with, thus decreasing your chances of getting a nasty bug.