Ways to keep your home flu-free

Lesotho Times - - Property -

AS the weather turns and gets colder, many will be fo­cus­ing their at­ten­tion on pre­par­ing for win­ter and stay­ing germ-free dur­ing the flu sea­son. Apart from get­ting vac­ci­nated against the flu virus and the time-hon­oured tac­tic of wash­ing hands well and of­ten, there are other ways that home­own­ers can keep their home from serv­ing as a breed­ing ground for colds and flu.

Adrian Goslett, Re­gional Di­rec­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, says with a few sim­ple tips, home­own­ers can keep healthy dur­ing the colder sea­son. Here’s how…

Change your fix­tures

There are cer­tain met­als such as cop­per, alu­minium, lead, iron and sil­ver that are all an­timi­cro­bial, which means that they ac­tively kill bac­te­ria.

Ac­cord­ing to Goslett, of all the met­als, brass is the most ef­fec­tive at killing germs. Con­sid­er­ing that door­knobs are a com­mon gath­er­ing place for germs and bac­te­ria, chang­ing to brass will not only add to the look of the home, but also act as an ef­fec­tive strat­egy for keep­ing the home flu-free.

Pay at­ten­tion to germ hotspots Pay at­ten­tion to germ hotspots

Aside from door han­dles, there are sev­eral other germ hotspots through­out the home. These in­clude the kitchen sink, coun­ter­tops, phones, re­mote con­trols, fridge door, toi­let han­dles, chil­dren’s toys and any­thing else that is fre­quently used by those liv­ing in the home. The influenza virus spreads through touch­ing, so it is vi­tal that these ob­jects are Aside from door han­dles, there are sev­eral other germ hotspots through­out the home. These in­clude the kitchen sink, coun­ter­tops, phones, re­mote con­trols, fridge door, toi­let han­dles, chil­dren’s toys and any­thing else that is fre­quently used by those liv­ing in the home. The influenza virus spreads through touch­ing, so it is vi­tal that these ob­jects are cleaned reg­u­larly with some kind of an­tibac­te­rial so­lu­tion or wipe, says Goslett.

Keep­ing an­tibac­te­rial wipes in sev­eral lo­ca­tions through­out the home will in­crease the like­li­hood of the oc­cu­pants us­ing them.

Place items in the washer

Although wip­ing an item down is an ef­fec­tive way of clean­ing it, plac­ing it in the dish­washer is a method that is far more ef­fec­tive and much more ef­fi­cient at killing germs.

This is a great way to fre­quently dis­in­fect chil­dren’s toys and dog toys. Not all items will be dish­washer safe, how­ever, it is pos­si­ble to Google which items can be put in the dish­washer.

Re­place or wash sponges

How of­ten some­thing gets cleaned will be mean­ing­less if the sponge, mop or rag used to clean it with is filthy. Sponges, mops and cloths hold onto a host of germs, so they should ei­ther be washed or re­placed on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Un­less sani­tised be­tween uses, a dirty mop will sim­ply spread the germs faster.

Some of the ti­di­est homes could have the high­est num­ber of germs be­cause the clean­ing tools used have not been cleaned be­tween uses. Plac­ing a sponge in the mi­crowave for two min­utes, or run­ning it through a dish­washer cy­cle, will help to kill any fes­ter­ing colonies of germs.

Hu­mid­ify

Viruses thrive in dry air. Sci­en­tific re­search has shown that hu­mid­ity can make it much harder for viruses to mul­ti­ply.

Stud­ies have also shown that homes that keep hu­mid­ity lev­els at be­tween 40% and 60% had far less air­borne flu viruses float­ing around. A hu­mid­i­fier can re­duce air­borne flu virus par­ti­cles by as much as 30%, but it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that a hu­mid­i­fier can also be a breed­ing ground for bac­te­ria if not cleaned reg­u­larly.

Wash li­nens of­ten

Ide­ally, bed li­nens should be washed at least once a week to get rid of any lin­ger­ing germs in the bed­room. Germs can build up on blan­kets and sheets, af­fect­ing home oc­cu­pants while they sleep. It is also ad­vis­able to fre­quently wash other li­nens used around the home as well, such as throws and tow­els.

Goslett says while these tips will not com­pletely erad­i­cate the risk of get­ting a cold or the flu, they will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the chances.

“Be­ing vig­i­lant and tak­ing the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions will as­sist in keep­ing all those in the home healthy dur­ing the flu sea­son,” he says.

Sponges, mops and cloths hold onto a host of germs, so they should ei­ther be washed or re­placed reg­u­larly.

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