The last thing we want from our home is an illness. Keeping our homes clean and tidy helps us ensure it is a safe living space for ourselves and our family, but there are extra things we should bear in mind when trying to keep our homes healthy. From keeping an eye on mould to opening windows, here are some simple ways you can create a healthier home.
Beware of mould
Mould spores and the allergens, irritants, and toxins they release can have a mild to serious effect on your health. Children, the elderly, and anyone with existing skin, respiratory, or immune system problems are especially sensitive to mould in the home. Keep an eye on your walls and the crawl spaces within your property so you can spot mould early and before it spreads too far.
There are many ways you can safeguard against water damage and damp, such as proactively checking for leaks and mould and using a dehumidifier in your home.
Let fresh air in
Fresh air not only helps deal with damp in your home, but it also has many benefits for those you live with. Fresh, outdoor air generally has higher levels of oxygen and lower levels of pollution than indoor air. Fresh air can benefit your lungs, your heart, and even your mental health.
Invest in machine-washable furnishing
Cleaning curtains and sofa cushions is a pain, so many of us skip it. Over time, however, dirt will build up. One of the easiest ways to keep furnishings clean is to invest in those that are machine-washable. If you’re buying curtains, sofa cushions and covers, rugs, or mats, look out for machine washable indications on the tags. It may cost a bit more, but it’ll be easier for you, in the long run, to keep them clean.
Encourage regular hand washing
Regular hand washing is an important habit and one that can be learnt by kids and adults alike. There’s no need to set up hand sanitizer dispensers around your house, just encourage your family to get into the habit of washing their hands with warm water and soap on a regular basis. In particular, get your family to wash their hands before cooking and eating, after using the toilet, after handling pets, and after handling potentially contaminated things like bins or dirty laundry.
Sanitize all surfaces
Many of us keep our homes clean and tidy by cleaning often, but it’s easy to forget about surfaces we touch often, such as door handles, taps, desks, and remotes. While you don’t need to be scrubbing door handles with bleach and a toothbrush every day, including these surfaces in a monthly clean will keep dirt to a minimum.
Some parents may worry about the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ – the hypothesis that too much cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting can actually weaken children’s immune systems because they are not getting essential early exposure to germs. This isn’t to say that you should stop cleaning altogether, but avoiding harsh chemicals when you clean and ensuring your kids have some exposure to external environments by encouraging time spent outdoors is the best way to combat this.