A home is more than where the heart is. It is where you spend on average 90% of your time. Keeping your sanctuary healthy and safe means removing harmful elements from the environment. Harmful elements include allergens, pollutants, chemicals and other contaminants that invade the average home daily. This is how to create a healthy home.
Putting Up Home Defenses
Keeping your home clean, healthy and safe means battling bacteria, germs and viruses as well as doing it in a safe and healthy manner. Daily cleaning in the kitchen and bathrooms is mandatory in this war because these are places that are used daily. Launch your battle by cleaning surfaces to help remove and reduce bacteria, viruses, allergen and pollutants. Moisture is also a culprit because mould and fungus grow in damp places. Give special attention to odour removal. Both the kitchen and bathroom require daily floor care as well.
Defending Against Dust
Dust poses a threat to air quality. It contains dirt, fibres and dust mites as well as their larvae. It also contains shedding hair, dead skin, chemicals from cleaning and personal care products, fragrances and building materials. Dust aggravates allergies and asthma. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters trap dust particles and prevent them from being released into the air. Vacuum the floor at least twice a week. You can also vacuum your mattress to remove dust and allergens whenever you change your bed linen.
Poor Air Quality
Poor air quality can cause more than allergies and severe asthma attacks but also headaches and tiredness. Mould also affects air quality. Since it grows in dampness, the kitchen and bathroom offer mould a friendly environment. Proper ventilation can improve air quality and help dry moisture. Air quality is also affected by gas and carbon monoxide in the environment from burning gases. Cleaning chemicals can release hazardous fumes into the environment. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are used in products, such as paints, can cause dizziness, headaches and chronic health issues. Other helpful products, such as stain resistance and fire retardant, that offers enhanced benefits may also contain VOCs. There are products made with low VOCs and they are also low odour and allergy and environmentally friendly.
Let’s start in the kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces often during the day. Include all counters, stove and tabletops, stove, refrigerator and microwave handles and buttons. Wash all dishes and utensils as soon as they are used. Wash dish towels often and clean sponges regularly. Sponges can be cleaned in the dishwasher, wet in the microwave for a minute or two, as well as by rinsing and air drying. Use hot water to kill germs and microorganisms on dish towels and sponges.
Avoid cross-contamination by using different cutting boards for vegetables and fruit than for meats. At least cut meats first, thoroughly clean and rinse before cutting fruits and vegetables. An extra measure in the fight against germs, bacteria, E. coli, salmonella and viruses, mix one teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water to sanitize kitchen surfaces. You can also effectively use ammonia or some natural cleaners, such as lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda to avoid chemical contaminants. Other areas that come in constant contact with hands-on a daily basis include doorknobs, light switches and other surfaces. These surfaces should also be cleaned and sanitized often.
A safe, healthy home also require taking other dangers into consideration, such as potential fire hazards. Check to make sure flammable materials are far away from a heat source. Flammable chemicals should be stored properly and far away from a heat source as well. Discard any cloth, paper or rags that may be soaked or saturated by flammable chemicals because even without a heat source, they may combust. Preventing fires by such actions makes a home healthier and safer. Another hazard to watch for is trip hazards. Keep cords and other objects off the floor and put them away. Use non-slip mats and keep things neat and tidy. It requires more than just house cleaning.
Benefits of Daily Practice
Keeping things clean, safe and healthy at home is a daily practice, even though some chores are only done once or twice a week, or less often. Clean as you go allows your daily activities to provide an opportunity for you and your family members to keep an environment free of germs, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants. Other safe, healthy practices improve indoor air quality, such as changing filters in the heating and cooling system and ventilating by opening windows and using fans to circulate air. Plants can also help improve air quality by exchanging gases for oxygen.
Enjoy A Better Quality of life
Keeping your home neat, organized and free of clutter saves time when looking for things and makes the inhabitants feel more in control of their lives. A safe, healthy home provides comfort and well being. It is relaxing, stress-free and more optimal for your physical and psychological stability. Keeping your home free of germs, bacteria, allergens, irritants, and contaminants will keep you and your family free of flu-like symptoms. A clean home makes the whole family feel more capable and confident and it should be a whole family activity. Everyone has a better quality of life.
Further guidance offered by the National Center for Healthy Housing provided some principles of a healthy home:
Keep your house dry, moisture invites mould, mites, rodents and roaches into your home. Moreover, always keep your house clean to avoid contaminants and chemicals. It is as well essential to keep the pest-free using integrated pest management. Do not forget to prevent falls, burns and poisoning. In addition, you may have to keep contaminate free by removing exposure risks such as lead, carbon monoxide, VOCs, and pesticides. Fresh air also removes moisture, improves air quality and respiratory health. Lastly, it is also important to keep your house maintained, signs of neglect include pest, moisture can increase accidental injury. With this guidance in mind, keep a safe, healthy home.
About the Author
Monica is a passionate writer and content creator. Her interests include outdoor activities, fitness, technology, entrepreneurship and everything in between. Say hi to Monica on Twitter @monical_lee.
Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash