Ten clean­ing mis­takes that can ac­tu­ally make you sick

The News (New Glasgow) - - SALTWIRE HOMES - Bob We­in­stein

Home­own­ers spend count­less hours ev­ery year clean­ing their homes.

We as­sume all clean­ing ef­forts are worth­while, pro­duc­tive and lead to good re­sults.

Not so, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­est­ing story posted on Bob Vila’s web­site (www.bobvila.com). The story was about clean­ing mis­takes that can make you sick, a sub­ject most home­own­ers never con­sider.

Here are some of them worth heed­ing: 1. For­get­ting germ-in­fested places. The ger­mi­est place in your home is sur­pris­ingly the kitchen, ac­cord­ing to re­search stud­ies. Hard to be­lieve when you con­sider that this is the place where we pre­pare, store and eat our meals. The cul­prit? The sponge or rag you use to clean sur­faces. So­lu­tion: Bleach or mi­crowave your sponges reg­u­larly. 2. Fail­ing to clean toi­let

brush. Bac­te­ria and mould thrive in dark, hu­mid places.

So­lu­tion: Af­ter you clean your toi­let, place the brush be­tween toi­let bowl and seat with the brush fac­ing in­ward. Lower lid to se­cure the brush and then spray it well with a dis­in­fec­tant like bleach or vine­gar. Al­low brush to dry be­fore plac­ing it in its holder. 3. Half-heart­edly clean­ing. De­spite its im­por­tance, no­body en­joys clean­ing. In­stead of do­ing a thor­ough job, we wipe sur­faces with the same old rag. Mis­take.

So­lu­tion: Use pa­per tow­els and clean­ing spray to tar­get germ cen­tres, such as tooth­brush hold­ers, door­knobs, trash cans, stove and sinks. 4. Rush­ing clean­ing ef­forts with com­mer­cial prod­ucts. In an ef­fort to get the an­noy­ing task done, most home­own­ers ap­ply

the prod­ucts and im­me­di­ately wipe them off.

So­lu­tion: Af­ter spray­ing prod­ucts on sur­faces on sinks, shower cur­tains and bath­room tile, give them four or five min­utes to break down the min­eral buildup and scum. 5. Smoth­er­ing laun­dry. Home­own­ers have a ten­dency to use far more laun­dry de­ter­gent and soft­ener than is needed. Us­ing too much of these prod­ucts can ac­tu­ally be harm­ful to your clothes and the en­vi­ron­ment.

So­lu­tion: Use con­cen­trated de­ter­gents as di­rected on the pack­age.

6. Leav­ing toi­let lid up. Clos­ing the toi­let lid is far more than a mat­ter of decorum, Vila

said. By leav­ing lid up when you flush, you’re spread­ing germs. Since the sink is of­ten close to the toi­let, faucet han­dles and tooth­brushes can be some of the dirt­i­est sur­faces in your home.

So­lu­tion: Reg­u­larly clean tooth­brushes and wipe faucets with dis­in­fec­tant.

7. Us­ing bleach. While bleach is one of the most pop­u­lar dis­in­fec­tants in a home, be care­ful how you use it. Never use it with vine­gar, am­mo­nia, le­mon or other acids be­cause they cre­ate a toxic chlo­rine gas.

So­lu­tion: Use bleach spar­ingly, keep bleached ar­eas well ven­ti­lated and be care­ful when spray­ing sur­faces near rugs, up­hol­stery and fab­rics. 8. For­get­ting to clean clean­ers. All the time-sav­ing clean­ing de­vices need TLC. So­lu­tions: Empty vac­uum be­fore it gets full; clean dish­washer fil­ter ev­ery month; and reg­u­larly clean your dryer’s lint trap.

9. Clean­ing elec­tron­ics. Your TV, lap­top and gam­ing con­sole also need to be cleaned reg­u­larly. But never use a spray dis­in­fec­tant.

So­lu­tion: Wipe with a dry mi­crofi­bre cloth. Dab a cot­ton pad in rub­bing al­co­hol and wipe the sur­faces lightly. Use a Q-tip to clean be­tween keys. 10. Vac­u­um­ing throw rugs. Vac­u­um­ing re­moves dust and sur­face dust from rugs, but it fails to do a thor­ough job.

So­lu­tion: To re­move dirt thor­oughly, they ought to be shaken vig­or­ously out­doors. In fact, let them sit out­doors for a cou­ple of hours. The fresh air will give them a fresh clean smell.

Liv­ing Bet­ter by Bob We­in­stein fea­tures prac­ti­cal ad­vice for home­own­ers.

123RF

Bac­te­ria and mould thrive in dark, hu­mid places.

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