Cleaning Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Home

Our home is our sanctuary. It’s where we spend a good portion of our time, so it’s important that we figure out ways to make our home as healthy as it can be.  Germs are prevalent everywhere, from the surfaces we touch to the hands we hold, making us susceptible to sickness all year round. Germs are transferred when we touch something or someone and then touch our mouth, nose or eyes,” explains Dr. Ronald W. Stout, Medical Leader for Procter & Gamble’s Global Health & Wellbeing Business Unit.  It’s critical that we maintain healthy hygiene habits and a clean home throughout the year to help prevent the spread of germs.

Clean homes are healthier homes.  Keep your family healthy with our cleaning tips for maintaining a healthy home:

1. Deal with the dust 

Dust control should be a top priority for a healthy home. Accumulated dust can trigger allergies and asthma. The CDC estimates at least 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. More than just dirt, house dust is made of microscopic particles, a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, insect feces, soil particles, pollen, and microscopic specks of plastic.

Dust gets resuspended when it’s disturbed and will recirculate throughout the house, picking up substances before returning once more to surfaces and the floor. Exposure to these microscopic particles and the potential for inhaling them when the dust becomes airborne is not healthy. Dust mites also feed on this dust and can aggravate allergies and asthma. Get rid of the dust and you’ll get rid of the mites. Damp dusting surfaces using a dampened microfiber cloth will minimize the distribution of dust in the air and help eliminate allergens. 

2. Vacuum carpets and area rugs often

Carpets and area rugs act as giant filters – trapping allergens and keeping them out of the indoor air we breathe. But, just like an air filter, carpets become full over time. They need to be properly cleaned to remain effective at trapping particulates as they settle from the air. This is especially critical for those with allergies or asthma.  As a general rule, aim to vacuum carpets and rugs twice a week or more often if you have pets.   

Ordinary vacuum cleaners just send the dust into the air, which is the worst for people with asthma. Instead, use one with a HEPA filter and vibrating powerhead. Attachments for vacuuming furniture, curtains, blinds, and ceilings are also a plus. Regular vacuuming along with having your carpets and area rugs cleaned professionally every 3 to 4 months will keep them clean and in good condition and help keep allergens under control. 

3. Wash your sheets and bedding regularly 

Proper hygiene is important in all areas of life. When it comes to our bedding, it’s perhaps more important than you might think. Without regular cleaning, unclean sheets can contribute to allergies, skin breakouts, asthma, and more. For health and sleep quality, it’s important to keep things clean. Washing sheets and making your bed once a week may seem excessive, but it’s well worth your time. Even after a few days, bedsheets can accumulate significant amounts of dirt, dead skin cells, body oils, sweat, and dust mites (including their carcasses and fecal matter). 

At any given time, there can be tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dust mites living in your mattress and bedding. Even if you’re not allergic to dust mites, you probably don’t want to be sharing your bed with them. Washing your sheets and bedding regularly can help. Most people should wash their sheets once per week. If you have pets, and particularly if you let them sleep in your bed, a wash every 3-4 days is recommended.

For other bedding, it’s recommended that you wash pillowcases once a week, duvet covers once every 2 -3 weeks, comforters once every 2-3 months, blankets once every 2-3 months, and pillows once every 4-6 months (if washable).  Don’t forget your mattress. Its recommended that you clean your mattress once every 6 months or so. Cleaning can help extend the lifespan of your mattress while improving sleep quality and your health. Be sure to vacuum your mattress thoroughly, then cover it with a good-quality, washable mattress protector and correctly fitting sheets to keep it fresh and free of stains.  

4. Clean and disinfect germ hot spots

Frequently touched surfaces and items around your home should be routinely cleaned and disinfected, especially if someone in your home is sick. These items include:

  • Cabinet handles
  • Computer keyboard and mouse
  • Kitchen/bathroom countertops
  • Toilets
  • Doorknobs and door handles
  • Handheld electronics
  • TV remotes
  • Light switches
  • Phones (including your smartphone)
  • Toys

Household cleaners represent a broad category of products that use soap or detergents to physically remove dirt and soil from surfaces. But cleaning alone doesn’t kill germs, it simply removes them. A disinfectant is a chemical substance or compound that works by destroying, neutralizing, or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces can be accomplished using common EPA-registered household disinfectants as long as you’re following the label’s instructions and using a disinfectant appropriate for the surface you’re cleaning.

Diluted household bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is effective in killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus. Diluted bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time and is widely available at a low cost. To make a bleach solution, mix 1/3 cup of bleach per one gallon of cold water (hot water decomposes the sodium hypochlorite and renders it ineffective). Be sure to have adequate ventilation while using bleach or any disinfectant product. Keep doors and windows open and use fans to help improve airflow. Special considerations should be made for people with asthma as bleach and some cleaning and disinfection products can trigger asthma.

5. Minimize mold and mildew 

Household mold is a type of fungi that grows in damp and poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. Inhaling mold spores can trigger nasal congestion and cause wheezing, coughing, throat irritation, allergic reactions, and neurological problems.  Those with allergies to molds or who suffer from asthma may have more intense reactions such as fever and shortness of breath.  

To eliminate indoor mold growth, you need to control the source of the moisture. Wipe up spills when they occur and make sure rugs and carpets can adequately dry. Hang up wet towels, and squeegee or towel-dry tiles and floors immediately after showering. Dripping taps can become a breeding ground for mold spores. The same goes for leaking pipes and toilets. Make sure that you have good ventilation and, when weather permits, open up doors and windows to create good airflow. And don’t forget to switch on extraction fans when cooking, showering, or using the clothes dryer.

To get rid of mold and mildew, make a solution of one-part bleach to three-parts water in a spray bottle. Saturate the mold and surrounding area and let the solution soak into the mold for 10-15 minutes. Then, using the scrubbing brush, remove the mold and stains. Repeat as necessary to remove all traces of mold and mildew.

6. Wipe your feet at the door

The use of quality mats will help keep dirt, grime, pollen, and microbes from being tracked into your home. Double the effectiveness by having both an indoor and outdoor mat at each of the entrances of your home. Rubber matting is ideal for an outdoor mat because it can easily be cleaned by hosing it off. Your best bet for indoor matting is acrylic with either rubber or vinyl backing. Indoor mats can be kept clean with regular vacuuming or by shaking them outside.

Of course, you can always go a step further by asking people to remove their shoes before entering your home, especially if you have young children crawling on floors or people in the home who suffer from allergies. Charles P. Gerba, a professor, and microbiologist at the University of Arizona studied how many and which kinds of bacteria linger on the bottom of shoes. The study found large numbers of bacteria both on the soles and inside of shoes. Some of the bacteria included Escherichia coli (known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis, and diarrheal disease), Klebsiella pneumonia (a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia), and a host of other bacteria.  

The takeaway

 A clean home is essential to your family’s health and well-being. Whether someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma or you just want to provide a healthy space so your loved ones don’t get sick, a professional house cleaning service can help.  At Clean Nation Company, our highly-trained cleaning professionals take health-focused house cleaning to the next level!  

Professional House Cleaning Services

Give the cleaning specialists at Clean Nation Company  a call today to learn more about our quality, health-focused house cleaning services at (509) 217-4729. 

We make it our mission to provide the highest level of clean and customer service possible.  We offer weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, and one-time cleaning services when you need them. All of our cleaners are bonded, insured, and background checked for your peace of mind.

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If you are not happy with an area in your home we have already cleaned, just give us a call within 24 hours and we will re-clean the area at no additional cost.  Our integrity, commitment, and attention to detail are why our loyal customers stay with us for years! 

Clean Nation Company proudly offers:

  • Over 50 years of experience in the cleaning industry
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Give Clean Nation Company a call today to schedule a cleaning or request a free, no-obligation estimate. We offer a variety of professional cleaning services in Liberty Lake, Post Falls, Spokane, Spokane Valley, and the surrounding area.