Germs are all around us! This may sound like a horror movie tagline, but it’s a scientific fact that most of us tend to ignore to an extent. Some bacteria are friendly, harmless, and even good for us, but some can cause infections and other health-related issues. However, bacteria are not the only pathogens waiting to attack us.
The good news is that most of these germs are easy to keep under control or eliminate with proper and regular hygiene. From the simplest things to more demanding ones, here are the best approaches to have the best hygiene in the home and in everyday life.
Things to do in your home
Taking care of the home is quite a chore that many avoid because of a lack of time or interest. While superficial tidiness will be enough for having guests, living in an improperly cleaned home is a health hazard. So, let’s see some of the MUST DOS when it comes to hygiene in the home:
· Service your HVAC regularly
A dirty HVAC unit can be the cause of allergies and respiratory infections because pathogens attach themselves to the filters and pollute the air in your home. If you use your unit all the time, then servicing it at least twice a year is a good idea, as well as washing the filters once in two weeks. To improve the quality of air in your home, you can use a purifier, but that should not be a replacement for regular HVAC servicing.
· Reconsider the carpets
Carpets are made from woven fabric that easily accumulates dirt and dust in the room. When you step on the carpet, that dust is lifted in the air and you will most likely breathe it in. Allergens, dirt, bacteria, and other bad microparticles may be in your carpet so you need to send it to professional cleaners at least once a month.
Vacuuming once a week will keep your carpets in decent condition or you can replace them with rugs that are washable in the machine. Taking the shoes off in the hallway can also be helpful, although not convenient when having guests over.
· Clean the fridge and other kitchen appliances
Appliances used to store and prepare food are the breeding ground for bacteria. Every three months, you should unplug your fridge, take everything out, and give it a thorough scrub. Keep the stove and oven clean with baking soda and white vinegar paste, instead of using toxic cleaning agents.
Opened packages are an invitation to termites, cockroaches, and rodents so seal them well between uses. If possible, get a dishwasher since it uses high temperatures and aggressive detergents to clean the dishes from any food residues.
· Dust, vacuum, and wipe
Regular dusting, vacuuming, and wiping can keep your home clean and lower the pathogens inside. Some areas will require everyday attention, while others you will have to clean once a week — it’s up to you. If doing house chores is too much for you, consider hiring professional service at least once a month, as well as for seasonal thorough cleaning.
· Do the repairs in time
A leaky roof, holes in the foundation, cracked window frames, and other damages to your home can be an open invitation for germ carriers. Termites, rodents, mold, fungi, and birds will leave their waste behind, turning your home into a health hazard. The best approach is to examine your home twice a year and after bad weather and see whether it requires repairs. Serious damages are expensive to take care of which can affect your mental well-being due to stress and worry.
Things to do for personal hygiene
Personal hygiene may be individual to a point, but there are things we all should respect and do the same. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are many diseases you can catch due to bad personal cleaning practices, like the flu and urinary tract infection. The following hygiene tips everyone should do to preserve their health:
· Don’t neglect washing your hands
Hand washing has been at the center of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us learned we don’t do it enough or properly. You should wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, including each finger, nail, and wrist.
Afterward use towels (if at home) or commercial hand dryers (if in a public space) to dry your hands. Remember to change hand towels every couple of days and not use them for any other parts of your body.
· Wash your laundry often
All your clothes get equally dirty and you need to wash them often. The fabric can collect allergens and dirt from walking outside, commuting, or spending time in the public space and agitate your skin. You will also bring the germs to your home and continue being exposed to them. Some items may need washing after one use, like underwear, while others can be worn once more before ending up in the washer.
· Brush your teeth at least twice a day
It takes only 2 minutes to brush your teeth, less than a song to end. Teeth don’t regenerate or clean themselves, so it’s important to care for them. Since a toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth, use flossing thread to remove the residues of food stuck there. Bacteria love to call your mouth home, and improper oral hygiene can help them damage your teeth and quality of life.
· Bathe and shower regularly
Sweat, dirt, and bacteria pile up on your body and so you need to take a shower every day or more if necessary. This will prevent infections and irritations on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Using exfoliates once or twice a week can remove dead cells and persistent germs, making your skin healthy and deeply clean.
The same applies to your hair. It’s a misconception that washing it every day will damage it, especially if you use non-aggressive products. For example, if your hair gets greasy after a day, you should wash it daily to prevent pathogens to stick to it and irritating your scalp.
· Pay attention to your food
When you buy fruits and vegetables, you need to wash them properly to eliminate germs. Besides strong water stream and rubbing to remove dirt, you can also soak them in a mixture of baking soda and water to eliminate pesticide residues. Make sure to store liquid and solid food in different spots in your fridge to avoid cross-contamination that can be caused by the smallest spill.
Personal hygiene and a clean home are the foundations of everyday life that can bring us good health and mental stability. Remember that you have various solutions to do it properly, from creating checklists to hiring professional services. It’s all a matter of turning it into a habit and accepting it as a normal part of your hygiene in the home and in everyday life.