November 26, 2018

When you think about avoiding illnesses, you're typically concerned with the hygiene of facilities crowded with other people, including the mall, your work, your school, and large arenas. An equally important factor to consider, for the sake of your health, is maintaining proper hygiene in your own home.

Considering how much of our time is spent in our homes, it only makes sense to value the cleanliness of our living space as much as the other places we visit. While the basics of keeping a clean home like sweeping and mopping the floors may be obvious, there’s more beneath the surface you should know. To improve your home hygiene, don’t forget about these key areas that often go ignored.

Focus on your IAQ in the whole home

Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is one of the most important aspects to pay attention to in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns of the short-term and long-term implications of poor IAQ, including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and cancer.

To protect your home, it is vital to improve your IAQ. Some easy fixes include regularly cleaning your floors and preventing mold in your home by controlling moisture levels. More laborious tasks, such as having your air ducts cleaned and testing for radon, may also be necessary.

An easier quick fix is to add some plants around your house. Not only are they great decorative items, but plants can also improve air quality in your home naturally by absorbing pollution through their leaves and roots.

Give your bathroom a deep clean

The bathroom is a large site of humidity and moisture collection. Moist areas can encourage mold and mildew to grow. This can be detrimental to your health, especially for those with asthma or allergies.

Take time weekly to keep your bathroom clean by wiping down all surfaces, scrubbing your bathtub, toilet, and sink, and disinfecting your shower curtain to avoid mildew.

Focus on the high-traffic hot spots

Don't forget about the places in your home that are regularly being touched. Because you interact with them so often, you may neglect them in your cleaning routine.

Make sure to disinfect these surfaces to avoid spreading germs:

  • Light switches
  • Remote controls
  • Door knobs
  • Faucet handles
  • Cleaning sponges
  • Hand towels
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Drawer handles.

Clean your bedroom

If you have a healthy sleep hygiene, you're spending 7-9 hours each night in your bedroom, so you should make sure it's cleaned properly. Sure, it's obvious that you shouldn’t be leaving your clothes laying around on the floor and you may even use a humidifier in your bedroom, but what a lot of people don’t know is how gross your mattress can be.

Did you know the average person sweats half a pint of perspiration each night? On top of that, your mattress is constantly collecting dead skin cells, dust, and mites. For maintaining proper sleep hygiene and ensuring you’re sleeping on a clean and quality mattress, you should regularly replace it every 7-10 years.

Additionally, it's advised to keep your mattress lifted on a frame rather than resting directly on the floor to prevent moisture collection. You should also ensure that you're washing your sheets and other bedding pieces knowing how much sweat collects on them each night.

Windows and doors

Areas around your windows and your doors can accumulate dust, dirt, and even dead bugs. Leaving these areas uncleaned can make you susceptible to colds and respiratory illnesses. Make sure to dust or vacuum around these areas regularly to keep them as clean as possible.

These openings also leave your home vulnerable to outside agents and dust. Take notice of when your windows and doors are opened, even just a crack, because that will increase the amount of dust left around.

Keeping your home clean and healthy

Whether you’re in the market to make big investments on your home hygiene or if you're just looking to improve your cleaning routine, it's important to know the places that leave you in danger of illnesses.

Some of the dirtiest areas in your home may be ones that you forget about. Make sure to educate yourself on these germ-infested areas to have the knowledge necessary to keep your home as clean and safe as possible.

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Laurie Larson, Guest Poster

Laurie Larson is a freelance writer from Durham, NC. She enjoys working on keeping a healthy and happy home for herself and her fur babies.