Does it seem like everyone you know is sick right now? Winter is peak flu season for a few reasons, one being that the virus thrives in dry, indoor air. And while it’s impossible to get your home completely germ-free, there are lots of ways you can minimize germs in your apartment. We did the research and put together a list to help you get your space as germ-free as possible, along with tips for staying healthy inside and outside your home.
Use A Humidifier
As we already mentioned, viruses like influenza survive better in dry indoor air than outside where the air is more humid. To help minimize germs in your apartment, invest in a humidifier. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — a cheap option like this will do the trick. However, it is important to choose a cool-air humidifier over a hot one, because warm mist can actually promote the growth of germs in your home. It’s also essential to clean your humidifier often to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for germs. Wash it out every three days to be on the safe side.
Swap Out Towels & Linens
This time of year, you should swap out your towels and linens more often than you normally would to stay healthy. Studies show that germs can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. You don’t need to use a new bath towel every time you take a shower, but try to swap it out once a week if possible. When it comes to linens, replacing your bedding every two weeks is recommended during the winter season. Use hot water when cleaning your linens and towels to kill any lingering germs.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your space clean year-round is a great way to minimize germs in your apartment, but during the flu and cold season, it’s even more important. If you tend to do the bare minimum when it comes to cleaning your apartment, now is the time to step up your game. Tight spaces, like in between the walls and your couch, can collect dust and dead skin and ultimately serve as a breeding ground for dust mites and germs. Make sure to use a vacuum often to clean any hard-to-reach surfaces (and clean out your vacuum out, too).
Certain surfaces in your apartment tend to get more “traffic” than others, and they serve as “hot spots” for germs. Common hotspots include doorknobs, counters, light switches and toilet handles. Pay particular attention to these areas when cleaning your apartment, and try to wash your hands right after you come in contact with these spots. You can also use antibacterial wipes to quickly clean these areas before and after you have guests over.
If you don’t know where to start, head over to our 2020 cleaning checklist here.
Wash Your Hands
It’s simple advice, but it’s effective — washing your hands is the best way to keep yourself safe from germs, both at home and when you’re out and about. Use warm, soapy water to get your hands as clean as possible. This will help prevent germs from outside spreading in your apartment, so when you return home, try to wash your hands immediately.
Groom Your Pets
Cat and dog dandruff is more than just a pain to clean — it can be a breeding ground for pesky germs. Pet dandruff can also irritate your respiratory system, especially when the heat is on in your building because it dries out your body. During the fall and winter months, be sure to keep your pets groomed. While your dog or cat may not appreciate the extra baths, your immune system will thank you.
Close The Lid
Leaving the toilet lid open while you flush can launch germs into the air of your home. Gross, we know. But you can stop that from happening by simply remembering to close the toilet lid before you flush. That way, the germs will be contained in your toilet.