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8 Tips for Sanitizing Your Home Safely

With flu and cold season in full force, now is the time to take your cleaning and disinfecting to the next level. But before you start spraying and scrubbing everything in sight, you need to give careful thought to what products you’re buying, and make sure you know how to use them properly. Check out these eight tips for sanitizing your home safely.

  1. Bleach with caution:

    When used properly, bleach is an excellent sanitizer and disinfectant that kills many common types of bacteria and viruses. Bleach is also highly concentrated and inexpensive, so a little goes a long way. Before using this powerful solution, be sure to read the instructions and adhere to the recommended amount. Always add bleach to the water last to reduce fumes, and make sure the room is well ventilated before cleaning.

  2. Read the labels:

    Before you douse your floors in bleach or start making homemade solutions, it is critical that you read the label on all household products. Many products provide specific instructions on how much of the solution to use, where you can use it, and how long it needs to sit in order to kill 100% of germs or viruses listed on the bottle. Neglecting to follow the instructions could damage skin, eyes, and clothing.

  3. Wear gloves and eye protection:

    When working with harsh chemicals, it’s important to remember to wear gloves and eye protection to prevent damage to your skin or eyes. Full strength bleach is very destructive, and its fumes can irritate the lungs and mucous membranes and cause complications for children with asthma. Always clean in a well-ventilated room to avoid unnecessary exposure to fumes.

  4. Use vinegar:

    If chlorine bleach is too much to handle and you want a natural alternative, reach for white distilled vinegar to get the job done. This natural disinfectant is gentler than bleach, but equally effective at killing salmonella, E. coli, listeria monocytogenes, and mold. For extra germ-fighting power, heat 4 ounces of vinegar in a sauce pan to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and carefully pour into a spray bottle using a funnel. Spray it on the counter tops, sink, floor, toilet, and other surfaces. Let it sit for one minute and wipe clean with a clean paper towel or rag.

  5. Wipe down high-touch surfaces:

    When sanitizing your home, think about the surfaces that see the most action. Handles, doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and remote controls are just a few items that are crawling in bacteria. Because so many hands are touching these surfaces, they need to be wiped down and sanitized at least once a week.

  6. Take advantage of the sun:

    Don’t underestimate the sanitizing strength of the sun. The sun’s rays are excellent germ killers and do wonders at brightening and de-staining laundry. If you have mattresses, rugs, pillows, sponges, and toys that need sanitizing or just drying, just place them in direct sunlight and germs will be zapped away.

  7. Don’t forget to clean your cleaning tools:

    With so many rooms and surfaces to clean, we often forget to sanitize the very items that help us clean. Brooms, mops, vacuums, dusters, sponges, and the washing machine are just a few cleaning tools we neglect to sanitize on a regular basis. Using hot water and a mild cleansing solution, you should be able to clean and disinfect most of your household cleaning tools.

  8. Utilize the dishwasher:

    Believe it or not, the dishwasher has more uses than simply washing dishes. A dishwasher’s hot temperatures and high water pressure are enough to sanitize various things around the house, including plastic toys, sponges, tools, and plastic combs or hairbrushes. Some items may need to be towel-dried afterward to prevent rusting.

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