A recent study found there were nearly 340 different types of bacteria in a person’s home. What’s worse is that these bacteria can divide every 20 minutes and spread quickly. This is how you can get sick from your own home.
How clean is your house really?
Find out where you need to shine up with this guide to some of the ways a dirty house can make you and your family ill.
1. Mold Grows In Wet Spots
You may think your shower is clean, but think again—unless you scrub your shower, you probably have mold buildup. Mildew is popular in tile and grout because it lives in dark, damp spots.
You may also find mold in the basement, around window seals, under the kitchen sink, and in the laundry room. If you have any plumbing leaks, this could also cause mold.
Condensation may not seem like a big deal around your windows, but mold loves the water. If the outdoor air is drier and cooler than inside, that’s when the condensation forms.
Ways you can help the control the moisture in your house include keeping the humidity between 35 to 45 percent. If it is higher than that, you may want to get a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air.
Make sure you scrub your showers and tile regularly. Use a mixture of white vinegar and water to kill the mildew.
The biggest thing you can do is keep an eye on your home. Make sure you don’t see any gaps or holes water can seep into, and also address leaks immediately. Check your gutters to make sure rainwater is diverted from your home.
2. You Don’t Change Your Air Filters Enough
Filters collect dust, dirt, and other allergens, so if you don’t change them enough, you could have respiratory problems. How often you change it depends on the filter you have.
When you purchase a filter, look at the recommended time to change it. Some need changing monthly while some last up to six months. You may have to change it more if you have pets or open your windows a lot.
3. You Use One Cloth to Clean
Every time you use a rag, that cloth keeps some of those germs. When you move on to the next spot, it can help spread more germs.
Use a separate cloth for each area to avoid spreading germs. Be sure you wash these rags after each use to avoid contamination.
4. You Haven’t Cleaned Your Air Vents
In addition to your HVAC filters, you also need to clean out the heating ducts from time to time because dust can also collect in these areas. You should also regularly sweep the cold air returns or vents you can see in your home. Check out the outside, and you will see just how much dust collects on the outside alone.
5. You Don’t Clean Your Kitchen Sink Enough
Think about how much you use your kitchen sink daily. If you don’t clean the sink, your kitchen sink could be a breeding ground for bacteria and other dirt, so your dishes are not really getting clean.
Use dish soap to scrub your sink after use, and don’t forget to clean out the garbage disposal with some soap. You can also add ice cubes down the garbage disposal to remove some stubborn grease. Your drain will begin to smell if you don’t clean your sink.
6. You Use Dish Soap to Clean Cutting Boards
Do you clean your cutting board with dish soap and a sponge just like other dishes? If so, you are not getting it clean. Because you cut with knives on the surface, your cutting board has tiny cracks where germs hide.
Bacteria from the raw meat hides in these cracks. The dishwasher won’t get into those crevices either.
How do you clean them? Soak your cutting board with hydrogen peroxide or bleach mixed with water to get a deep clean. Just wash it off after you soaked it.
7. Your Refrigerator Needs to Get Cleaned Thoroughly
Even if you clean the inside of your fridge regularly, you are probably still forgetting to clean the tray below and the coils. Most refrigerators have an electric oil that melts all the frost. The water then drips in the pan and evaporates from the fridge’s compressor’s warm air.
If the pan below is dusty, this dirt is going into your home. This tray also catches all spills, so there could be mold if it’s not cleaned.
The newer refrigerators don’t have trays, but you still need to dust the coils in the back. Read your manual for the best way to clean your fridge.
8. Your Vacuum Does More Than Clean
You probably use your vacuum a lot in your home, but vacuums collect dirt and dust and can release allergens in the air. A study found that these vacuums—regardless of brand, age, and price—are releasing dust, bacteria, and mold every time they are run.
To help prevent adding more pollution to the air, buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and change this filter regularly.
9. Defrosting Food All Wrong
You should not leave a package of frozen meat on the counter before cooking it—even if it is frozen solid. Bacteria grow at room temperature.
No food should be left out for more than two hours. It’s best to let meat thaw in the refrigerator by pulling it out the night before.
10. Using The Wrong Cleaners
Your house cleaning products could also make you sick, especially if you don’t clean properly. You should always wear gloves, open a window, and dilute with water.
You could try using more natural products like vinegar and water to clean glass. You can also use baking soda to scrub and shine any fixtures. There are green products on the market without these irritants.
You could always leave the cleaning to the experts, like this company, to make sure you have the cleanest home possible.
Bottom Line: Don’t Have a Dirty House!
Your home should be your comfort spot.
If you don’t clean it properly, a dirty house can make you sick. Make sure you spend extra time cleaning the areas above so you can relax with ease.
If you want to learn more tricks to keep your house comfortable, check out our site for other helpful advice, like how to keep your kitchen organized.