When cool weather begins, many of us focus on cleaning the leaves off and preparing our yards for the winter. However, the cool weather also marks the beginning of another season, cold season.
The American Lung Association reports that between September and May of every year, the average adult can expect two to four colds per year, for children, that number doubles. The cold bug can spread quickly in a household, especially if you’re not ready. So, it’s time to prepare your home for battle and fight back against the common cold this year.
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Test Your Air Quality
Your immune system needs to be in great shape during the cold weather as one of the ways the cold spreads is through the air in homes, schools and offices. If you have asthma or allergies, this can pose a significant challenge. Before beginning all the steps to clean your home, it’s a good idea to test your air quality. Indoor air pollutants can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to the common cold. The average cost to test indoor air quality is $385.
After the test, if you feel like you can improve on your indoor air quality, consider having your air ducts cleaned by a pro. This will get rid of any excess dirt, dust and bacteria that is not helpful to an overall healthy household.
Understand Your Cleaning Supplies
While your all natural cleaning solutions may smell great and leave your surfaces looking shiny, it’s important to be aware of how these products actually work. Often, products are marketed with one of these three terms, as defined by the CDC:
- Cleaning: Physically removes dirt & germs from surfaces, but may not actually kill the germs.
- Disinfecting: Completely kills the germs on surfaces, but may not clean dirt from a surface.
- Sanitizing: Lowers the number of germs on a surface.
While all actions are good, if you’re preventing germs in your household, you’ll want to be sure the product you choose is a disinfectant. Additionally, if you live with children or pets, be sure that the chemicals you are using are not harmful to your home environment.
If you’re looking for a completely natural option for your cleaning solutions, look into what essential oils might work well in your home. Many have antimicrobial and disinfectant properties that are less harmful than conventional cleaning supplies. Read How To Use Essential Oils In Your Home to learn more.
What To Clean
Now that you have the proper cleaning supplies, you can get to work preparing your house for cold season. While doing the routine chores, like cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming the floors will help, pay close attention to areas you may not think about as often.
The more places we bring our cell phone’s, the more bacteria we allow into our lives. Consider the last time you’ve cleaned your phone. If you’re anything like me, it’s been quite some time. It’s a good idea to wipe it down with small screen-cleaning wipes at least once a week, if not more, especially during cold season.
If garbage bins are left unattended, not only will they begin to smell, but they also can harbor germs in your home. For a thorough deep-clean, this is a step that shouldn’t be missed. The Kitchn gives a great tutorial on how you can thoroughly clean your trash can.
Easily, handles, knobs and pulls is one of the fastest ways a cold can spread through a household. Wipe down any doorknobs and handles in your home at least once a week with a disinfectant, especially if someone in your household is sick. Pay close attention to your kitchen cabinet hardware, as these little pieces are usually skipped when it comes to cleaning.
The kitchen can be considered the heart of the home where people eat and gather. It’s a place many families love to be. However, the kitchen can have some of the most germs in the home, according to The National Sanitation Foundation. The biggest culprit? The kitchen sink. Regularly rotate though sponges and dishcloths as these can harbor bacteria. Also, consider disinfecting your sink and knobs, to prevent the spread of germs onto clean dishes.
Getting Rid Of A Cold
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Even with all of the preparation, there’s still the possibility that the common cold may enter your home. If this is the case, try to prevent it from spreading. Stay at home when you’re sick and avoid contact with others. Keep tissues available throughout the home and quickly dispose of them when used. Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose. Sadly, there’s no cure for the common cold, but plenty of rest and fluids will help the illness end faster.
The common cold is quick to spread and easy to catch. By properly cleaning your home, you can help prevent you and your family from getting sick.
Stock up on before cold season starts. Read 10 Must-Have Supplies In Your Cleaning Closet For A Spotless Home to see what you need to keep handy.