Pass the tissues. It’s cold, flu and other yucky, no fun virus season! Some areas of the world are suffering pretty hard with it, so you can bet you will be exposed to it. But, it doesn’t mean you will actually suffer from it. We can’t hide out all winter to avoid bodily contact with strangers, but we can take a few other tiny measures to lower our contact with those virus germs and those measures are pretty simple!
Of course, keeping our immunity strong with other healthy habits (lots more here) like good quality sleep, a diet rich in various whole food nutrients, a balanced stress level, etc., is crucial to staying flu-free, but there are some other little, quick things we can do that don’t take a lot of time or effort that can have big returns, too. Come check them out. It won’t take long.
WHAT TO CLEAN TO AVOID GETTING SICK
Cleaning is never on top of someone’s bucket list, exactly . . . not mine anyway. But I promise these seven cleaning tasks are simple and quick. Swiping a few surfaces daily (or near-daily) could help you avoid the pain and suffering of the flu. If you think about it, getting sick is actually a lot more time consuming and interruptive to your life than a 5-minute cleaning habit. So, if you are still with me and I have not lost you yet, let’s get on with it. Let’s try to incorporate these tiny tasks to stay out of the doctor’s office with the flu, shall we?:
Wash your hands. Before meals, always, and other times, too! Every time a family member comes into our house, we head straight to the sink and wash our hands. Here is the proper technique cause a quick rinse won’t kill the germs. You gotta take the time to do it right.
With those clean hands (and especially not recently washed hands!), do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Those are entries for germs. Nail bitters – please quit.
You may not catch the flu from cracked skin, but you can create other bad infections. Cracked skin is an opening for bacteria and germs to enter and make a real mess. Keep your favorite moisturizer by the sink, your bed, your TV – anywhere to remind you to take care of those hands that are exposed to so much. I use coconut oil as it works great for me if I have a minute to allow it to sink in. It is also naturally anti-bacterial.
4. Treat your assistant well.
There is little use to washing your hands and then touching a dirty cell phone. Not sure about you, but I often have my cell phone near, which means lots of exposure to germs. Studies show cell phones carry loads of really gross kind of germs.
It should be cleaned and disinfected but, please read your phone’s manual well on how to clean it and disinfect it before attempting to put any cleaner near it. You could damage it. But always power down the device before doing so. There are specialty electronic wipes to use but always ask your phone manufacturer what is safe for your device. Here is some other advice on that, too.
5. Clean up your gadgets.
Swab TV remotes and computer keyboards, as well as video game parts, your mouse, tablet covers – all the techie stuff – with a well-wrung-out disinfecting wipe. Remember to disconnect everything and remove covers first. Your touch screen surfaces may require a scratch-free product designed for electronics as well. Toys should be disinfected, too!
6. Bring the out, in . . . and the in, out.
Air out your home for just a few minutes daily to let stagnant air out and fresh air in. Yup – even in the winter, cracking your window or leaving the door open for a bit when you are coming in to increase airflow is a good idea. This is especially important if someone in your home is sick. Your house will smell better, too!
7. Handle it.
Rub down door handles or give a quick spray with a disinfectant. This includes door handles used frequently and by many (refrigerator handles, cabinet doors used often, etc.). While you are at it, throw in a roll of disinfecting wipes in your car. A quick wipe of your steering wheel and other handles is a good idea. Take advantage of the disinfecting wipes offered at many grocery stores for your use on cart handles, too.
SHOP CLEANING TOOLS
Be sure to check out these top-rated cleaning tools and supplies that get the job done easier and more effectively without harsh chemicals:
HOW TO DISINFECT SAFELY
I like to keep it as “green” as possible when cleaning my house. There are many effective ways and products that kill viruses and bacteria using natural disinfectants such as vinegar or citric acids. Germ removal can get a little murky in the case of flu and other contagious viruses, though.
I wrote about bleach here and why you want to take seriously the concerns over its use. Because of those concerns, I really only reach for it as a very last resort; however, some studies do say bleach is the only effective means of eliminating certain stubborn viruses and germs. So, on those very rare occasions that I use bleach, here are some guidelines:
- Use bleach sparingly with a 1:4 ratio of bleach to water
- Ensure the room is well ventilated so you don’t hurt your lungs
- Keep other cleaners far away as never use bleach in combination with other cleaners, even vinegar which I use a lot, as toxic fumes can form
So, what did I miss? What measures do you take to keep the flu away? Add in the comments, please!