Spring has arrived, and it’s time for a little spring cleaning! A clean home is one way to embrace the season and focus on your health at the same time. Now’s the time to throw open the windows and take a step out of hibernation. It’s easy to blame spring pollen for any congestion and stuffiness you’re experiencing, but the real culprit may be living in your house. Here are some things to look out for this season.
Let’s begin with the kitchen. Kitchen countertops have the potential to carry the most amount of bacteria per square inch — up to 500,000! Bacteria thrive in overlooked meat juices and food crumbs. It’s important to maintain a healthy food preparation area to prevent your kitchen from being a magnet for viruses and germs.
- Avoid cross contamination by using two cutting boards. Using one board for meat and one for vegetables and fruits can help reduce the spread of salmonella, E.coli and other bacteria.
- Seventy percent of cleaning mats, towels, and wipes harbor microbes such as E.coli, so it’s also important to clean them, too! Put used dishrags in the washing machine and sanitize sponges in the dishwasher.
Now for the bedroom. You spend one-third of your life in the bedroom, so keeping it clutter-free is a good idea. Your bedding can also be a resting spot for dust mites, pet dander, fungi and pollen! All of these unwelcome guests contribute to poor air quality and illnesses.
- Wash your bedding in hot water (over 140 degrees) at least once a week. We also recommend vacuuming under the mattress to ensure you’re getting rid of stray pet dander.
- Clean out your hamper! Leaving damp or dirty clothes around can attract bacteria and increase potential for mold. Pollen also sticks to our clothes during the day and can linger in your dirty laundry.
We didn’t forget about the bathroom! When it’s not living it up in the kitchen, bacteria thrive in the bathroom. Having a maintenance routine for your bathroom can prevent the spread of viruses among your family.
- Use disinfectant on the floor regularly. Fungus that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot can pass from one person’s foot to another from your floor tile.
- Empty wastebaskets on a daily basis! Rhinovirus, the main cause of the common cold, spreads easily and lives on tissues you throw away.
- Wipe door knobs and flush handles with an antibacterial cleaner. These touchpoints can carry staphylococcus, a bacteria that is harmful if it enters your mouth, eyes or cuts.
At AFC Urgent Care, we understand that enjoying all the spring season has to offer starts with a healthy home. A good spring cleaning will help you clear the clutter and keep you and your family on the path to better health.