In the same way that eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly helps your body fight off germs and illness, keeping your home clean and disinfected helps you fight illness before it spreads. Good health can begin athome if you follow a few common sense guidelines and understand which germs can cause illness and how to stop their spread.
Cold viruses and certain other illness-causing germs aren’t just found inside the body, they can he found outside the body as well. Studies show germs can actually survive on hard surfaces around the house — like the refrigerator, faucets, doorknobs, telephones and TV remotes — from several hours to several days. Most doctors believe illness can occur when you touch something contaminated then bring your hand to your mouth, nose or eyes.
One of the most effective precautions you can take is to teach family members to wash their hands frequently, especially when they first come home, before meals, or when one of them is sick. You can also promote good eating habits by keeping healthy snacks on hand. Good nutrition is the number one factor in building a strong immune system. And, of course, try to keep household surfaces free of the viruses and bacteria that cause illness.
Remember, wiping surfaces with just soap and water will not kill harmful germs. And most household products are designed to clean but do not necessarily disinfect. In fact, wiping without disinfecting may make matters worse — germs can be spread around and onto other surfaces. To supplement cleaning you need an EPA-registered disinfectant such as LYSOL[R] Disinfectant Spray. It is proven effective against a wide variety of viruses and bacteria, including Rhinovirus, the leading cause of the common cold, and Rotavirus, the leading cause of infectious diarrhea. For proof positive that a product disinfects hard surfaces, check the back label to make sure it has an EPA registration number.
Following, is a room-by-room guide to safe-guarding your family’s health and creating a clean, healthy home. The makers of LYSOL products have a full range of household cleaning products that both clean and kill germs.
Throughout the House
One of the most basic things you can do to keep your home healthy is make sure it’s well-ventilated and frequently aired out. Most germs live longer in warm, stale environments. Once or twice a week — even when it’s cold out — open the windows and let the air circulate. Also, be sure to lower the indoor temperature at night. This promotes a better night’s sleep which will help strengthen and recharge your immune system.
In every room of the house disinfect frequently touched surfaces with LYSOL Disinfectant Spray. These “hot spots” are prime places for germs to spread, particularly if someone is sick.
Don’t forget the bathroom, basement and laundry room. If there’s a sharp, musty smell, it may be due to mold and mildew which may cause allergies or other ailments. Clean and disinfect these rooms regularly using a product that controls mold and mildew, like LYSOL Basin Tub & Tile Cleaner.
Germs love the warm dampness of a bathroom, so clean and disinfect it regularly. Every time you flush the toilet you catapult germs and bacteria onto nearby surfaces. Rhinovirus, the germ, can also be transferred in the bathroom via faucets, toilet handles, doorknobs, etc. And a wet floor is the ideal breeding ground for fungi that can cause athlete’s foot.
Take these precautions:
- Disinfect bathroom surfaces regularly with specially formulated LYSOL products like LYSOL Basin Tub A Tile Cleaner and LYSOL Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Both provide effective, targeted cleaning while killing a variety of illness-causing bacteria and viruses.
- Close the toilet lid before you flush.
- Change toothbrushes every three months.
- Unfold and dry washcloths. If left damp, they can foster bacteria growth.
It’s the heart of the home, but according to studies, it’s also potentially the most contaminated. The USDA estimates that each year at least half of the up to 80 million cases of food-caused illnesses originate in family kitchens, not in restaurants. Salmonella and E. `, two common food-borne bacteria, can be found in raw meat and poultry. Proper cooking kills the harmful germs, but they can still be spread around the kitchen and to other foods from raw juices that aren’t properly cleaned up.
So, as you prepare foods, be conscious of how germs might be spreading. Keep raw meats and poultry separate from other foods and use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables. Wash your hands frequently and run all cutting boards, sponges, utensils and plates through the dishwasher where the high temperature will kill germs. To disinfect kitchen surfaces such as faucets, countertops, cabinet handles and appliances use LYSOL Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, an EPA-registered disinfectant that cleans and kills bacteria commonly found on kitchen surfaces. Keep in mind that antibacterial dishwashing and hand soaps may kill germs on hands but they do not kill germs on dishes, glasses or other hard surfaces.
The kitchen floor also needs special attention. Use a solution of 1/4 cup LYSOL Deodorizing Cleaner or LYSOL PINE ACTION[R] Cleaner in one gallon of warm water. Both disinfect even when diluted.
Babies are dependent on you for their hygiene. And their developing immune systems are particularly susceptible to colds and other illnesses which can spread to other family members. Plus, small children may not show symptoms but may be carriers of viruses that cause certain illnesses such as the Hepatitis A virus. That’s why regular disinfecting is important, even when your baby appears healthy.
In the first two years of life, most children have eight to ten colds, even more if there are older siblings or the child is in daycare. Very young children are also prone to bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory infection, and infectious diarrhea. Studies show the viruses that cause bronchiolitis and diarrhea can survive outside the body anywhere from several hours to a few days, so it’s especially important to clean and disinfect your child’s room and play areas frequently. The tub you wash your child in should be cleaned and disinfected with LYSOL Basin Tub & Tile Cleaner. Also disinfect “hot spots” regularly, such as the changing table, high chair, playpen and toys, with LYSOL Disinfectant Spray.
When They’re Away From Home
With more than 8.3 million children in day care centers, and family and group programs, the likelihood that colds and other infectious diseases will be passed from child to child is even greater.
The good news is a recent day care center study shows LYSOL disinfecting products play an important role in helping to stop the surface-to-human spread of many illness-causing germs. When an infection control program was put in place that included regular disinfection, the number of respiratory illnesses among children was reduced by more than one-third. So, if teachers and parents remember to wash hands regularly and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like toys, tabletops and handrails several times a week, we can help keep infectious illnesses at bay.
By using the full line of LYSOL household products, you’re taking an important step by disinfecting while you’recleaning. It’s an easy way to help create a healthier environment for you and the ones you love.
* Disinfect the telephone handle regularly with LYSOL Disinfectant Spray.
* Use paper towels instead of sponges or dishcloths. If you do use sponges, run them through the dishwasher along with your dishes. The heat will kill any germs.
* Each time you empty the kitchen garbage, spray the pail with LYSOL Disinfectant Spray to keep it fresh.
* To prevent mold and mildew, shake the shower curtain after use and leave it open, not drawn, so moisture can evaporate. Spray regularly with LYSOL Disinfectant Spray. Once a week, give the rubber shower mat a disinfectant bath. And in the laundry room, keep your washing machine open when not in use.
* When a family members is ill, keep dishes, glasses, utensils and towels separate to prevent the spread of germs.
* Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. At room temperature, bacteria multiply quickly. Store leftovers as soon as possible.
* To help prevent cross contamination of food-borne bacteria, keep raw meats and poultry separate from other foods.
* If you have a humidifier, empty the reservoir daily and clean it with LYSOL Deodorizing Cleaner.