8 Uncommon Cleaning Hacks for the Flu Season – Germaphobe Approved

by | Mar 14, 2023 | House Cleaning

Flu season’s creepin’ up, and all year long, bacteria and viruses are tryin’ to make your home their own. The best way to keep your fam safe from dirt and sickness is to keep a regular cleanin’ schedule, but there’s more you can do to keep the number of pathogens down. Changin’ the temp and humidity can help keep the germs away, and switchin’ up your cleanin’ methods and fixtures can help keep you and your fam healthy.

  1. Chill out, bacteria dig the heat, and the snug, thermostatically-regulated habitats in our cribs give bacteria the ideal spot to propagate and expand. But just dropping the temp in your pad by a few notches is enough to stifle bacteria’s growth, keeping it from dispersing throughout your domicile.
  • At 40 degrees, bacteria is in its element, but a slight dip in the thermostat can put the brakes on germs. Hospitals are well aware of this, which is why they often greet you with a chill when you enter. Operating rooms are kept at a cool 65-69 degrees to reduce the risk of bacteria during surgery.
  • Chilling your crib is also beneficial for your bod in other ways. Research has revealed that keeping your sleeping quarters between 60-67 degrees enhances the caliber of your slumber, as well as the speed at which you drift off. Cooling down also helps kickstart your stores of brown fat. This is the healthy fat located in your core that helps control your internal temperature. Kicking off your brown fat can help maintain a healthy weight, and studies have demonstrated it to have advantageous effects for people with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Maintaining equilibrium, humidity is simply a gauge of the water content in the atmosphere. Imagine air as a sponge, and 50 percent relative humidity (RH) as the sponge being half-filled. 100 percent RH implies the air is completely saturated and can’t take in any more water.

  • The humidity level is ever-changing, and how sticky or comfortable it feels to us is usually contingent on the overall temperature. Generally, high temperatures are more bearable at low humidity, and low temperatures can deceive us into believing the humidity isn’t high. That’s why it’s astonishing to discover Alaska has the highest average relative humidity in the United States, at just over 77 percent, and why Nevada has the lowest, at around 38 percent.
  • When it comes to keeping your abode healthy, humidity is a major factor, as the amount of moisture in the air can either promote or impede the growth of bacteria. Generally, the bacteria most commonly found in homes thrive at a relative humidity of over 60 percent. 
  • Hospitals keep operating rooms below 70 percent RH to protect patients during surgery, and you can do the same in your pad by getting a dehumidifier with a built-in hygrometer. It’s really tough to accurately gauge the actual humidity by feel alone due to the effect of temperature on how we perceive relative humidity, so having a hygrometer is essential.

  • A dehumidifier can be your best friend when it comes to curbing the spread of bacteria in your abode. Not only that, but it can also help to keep dust mites, mold, and mildew at bay. These pesky critters love nothing more than a hot and humid atmosphere, so by cooling down your home and decreasing the humidity, you can make a huge difference to the amount of allergens and irritants in your house. Just don’t forget to clean out the dehumidifier regularly, or else it could become the very thing you’re trying to avoid – a toasty, moist environment.

3. Aerate your abode! The final thought to maintain the air in your crib as healthy as can be is proper ventilation. Circulating the inside air is essential to avoid stagnant patches of high moisture, particularly in inner rooms like bathrooms. If a house isn’t properly aired, pollutants can accumulate, from dust and germs to hazardous chemicals like carbon monoxide and radon.

  • If the atmosphere permits, fling open your windows and let your abode air out organically whenever feasible. This will keep the air crisp, and obstruct the re-circulation of bugs and allergens that can occur with air conditioning. When the atmosphere is too sweltering or chilly, you can utilize fans to keep the air circulating instead.

  • Ventilation is the key to a healthier home. Keep the air moving to reduce humidity, banish allergens and toxins, and make the air feel and smell more invigorating. Stagnant air can become stuffy and create a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungi. A couple of fans will help keep the air circulating and make dehumidifying your home a breeze.

4. Restrict air contamination. To really up the ante on the air quality in your crib and give your air conditioner a break, try to restrict the amount of pollutants that make their way into the atmosphere. You can do this by taking some basic steps like always flipping the extractor fan on when you’re scrubbing or cooking, covering your kisser when you hack or sneeze, and keeping a consistent cleaning routine. But there are some other ideas you might not have thought of to keep your indoor air pollution to a minimum.

  • Every time you plop down on the couch, a puff of unseen dust and allergens is blasted into the atmosphere. If you expel air from garbage bags when you seal them, you’re dispersing all the germs that are living on the bag’s innards into the air. If you forget to put the toilet seat down when you flush, minuscule particles get vaporized and scattered around the room. Just think of what’s settling on your toothbrush!
  • Minimize the amount of air you stir up while going about your daily biz. Before dusting, spritz the area with a fine mist of H2O to reduce the amount of dust that gets kicked up. When changing bedclothes, don’t shake ’em up, just roll ’em up and chuck ’em in the laundry basket. These small tweaks can make a huge collective impact on the air quality in your crib.

5. Score yourself a couple of plants! They’re like natural air scrubbers, gobbling up CO2 and spitting out O2. Plus, some of ‘em can even suck up and neutralize the nasty toxins that lurk in our homes. Don’t sweat it if you’re not a gardening guru – these species are content with minimal attention, just a quick spritz of H2O every now and then. Our top five is a must-have: 

Spider plant. These resilient plants require minimal care, and are non-poisonous to animals, making them ideal for households with furry pals. Place them in a bright, indirect light and water sparingly and your spider plant will be more than content to absorb toxins such as carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent found in paints and rubber. 

English ivy is a strong plant that looks timelessly stylish and will grow with ease in your home. This ivy loves plenty of water and is especially adept at fighting mold and fecal particles, so it’ll be in its element in your bathroom as long as it gets some sunlight each day

Chrysanthemum Mums are beaming, vivid blossoms that bask in the sun. Place one on your windowsill and it’ll get to work sieving out the ammonia, benzene (a chemical found in plastics, detergents, and glue), and formaldehyde from your air. Alert: mums are poisonous to animals so dodge if you have pets. 

Boston fern Another top-notch plant for bathrooms, Boston ferns adore cool, moist atmospheres with indirect light. They filter out formaldehyde and xylene.

Snake plant, or as some may call it, mother-in-law’s tongue, is a plant that’s almost indestructible if you don’t drown it in water. It loves a dry atmosphere and can handle a variety of light levels, so you can stick it in any room and it’ll help clear out benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene, a chemical found in paint and nail polish.

6. In these cases, an ultraviolet air purifier can be a great solution.
Investigate an ultraviolet air purifier! Studies have revealed that basking in the sun can diminish bacterial populations by half. Uncovering curtains and blinds and permitting as much sunlight as feasible is a great way of reviving your abode and keeping the amount of germs in check. But for some rooms that isn’t a choice. Interior bathrooms, closets, and finished basements can all gain from sunlight but don’t have the alternative. In these cases, an ultraviolet air purifier can be a great answer.

  • The sun’s rays can be a powerful weapon against germs, with a specific wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) light – 254 nanometers – causing mutations in the DNA of bacteria and germs, leading to their demise. Though modern glass can filter out most UV light, letting the sun shine in is still a great way to keep your home healthy.

  • If you don’t have access to sunlight, you can always use a UV cleaning wand. These handheld tools generate the same germ-slaying UV light, and can be used to disinfect any surface. Most of these wands boast a 99.9 percent success rate in killing bacteria and viruses, including MRSA and H1N1.

  • You can get portable versions, or air purifiers with UV technology, and even UV bulbs that fit inside HVAC systems to purify the air without any extra effort.

7. Just blast away the dirt and grime with a blast of steam! It’s a great way to keep your home spick and span without any of the hassle. Employ your steam cleaner on any surface that won’t be harmed by heat and/or H2O.

 

  • Handheld steam cleaners can be maneuvered with ease to access tricky areas, and the heat can dissolve stubborn substances like hardened wax and gum. Steam cleaners can also annihilate pests like dust mites and bed bugs.

  • Give your tile floors, walls, windows, mirrors, cutting boards, and door handles a good steam-cleaning. Keep the cleaner in motion and don’t forget to wipe down afterwards.

  • Steam-cleaning will zap bacteria and loosen dirt, but you’ll still need to scrub away the grime. Make sure to mop up any water droplets left behind from the condensed steam. Heads up: don’t use a steam cleaner on any electrical appliance, porous surfaces like brick, marble, and wood, or painted walls.

8. Invest in copper fixtures and tools – it’s the hottest trend around! The EPA has done their due diligence and certified that copper alloys are a surefire way to keep bacteria at bay. Their lab tests showed that Staph, E. coli, MRSA, and other common bacteria were no match for copper’s 99.9% effectiveness rate. While it won’t stop bacteria from spreading, it’s still a great addition to any home, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

  • Copper-clad cookware, faucets, basins, doorknobs, switch plates, and more can all help to stymie the spread of germs in your abode, and look fly while doing so.

  • You can also find big and small appliances with a copper finish, from range hoods to coffee makers, as well as tools and accessories like measuring spoons, coasters, and cutlery.

  • The war against dirt and germs is real, and it’s time to take a proactive stance. If you’re not feeling the copper vibes, bronze and brass alloys are just as effective in the fight against bacteria, as approved by the EPA. 

A few simple changes can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your home, so don’t let the struggle against allergens and germs seem like a never-ending battle. Get ahead of the game and make sure you’re on the winning side.

Our ideas can help keep your domicile’s air quality and cleanliness in tip-top shape, not just for a fleeting moment. This will make your abode a much more enjoyable place to be, granting you the advantage of living in a healthier environment during the cold and flu season and beyond.

Let us wow you with our phenomenal maid services, and relax while we take care of your home, all while knowing you are helping a wonderful cause.

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