Staying healthy starts at home. Get smart on the safest and most effective ways to keep your home and family healthy with household product tips and advice from the Alliance for Consumer Education.
Changing your bed linens once a week is good practice for healthy skin and your immune system.
Wash bedding in warm water with mild detergent to remove body oils, stains and odors.
- Germs can survive on bed posts, head and footboards for up to 48 hours.
- Store disinfectant wipes nearby for quick cleaning.
Fungi, mold and mildew love bathrooms and show up on shower curtains, toilet basins and sinks.
- Don’t simply spray and wipe. Many cleaning and disinfecting solutions must be left on surfaces for a few minutes to be most effective. Always read your product’s label and use as directed.
- Close the lid when flushing the toilet to keep lingering bacteria out of the air.
- Don’t forget to frequently wipe down door knobs and light switches, which are often overlooked, but can harbor germs for up to two days.
Everyday dirt, bacteria and other debris hitchhike into our homes on our shoes. Keep those intruders at bay by leaving your shoes at the front door.
- Use dry powders, pump sprays, and aerosol foams to clean and freshen carpets once or twice a month.
- Choose a cleaning agent specially formulated for your hardwood, tile, or laminate floors. Block off wet areas to prevent slips and falls.
Since kids can touch 300 surfaces in under 30 minutes, keeping surfaces germ free is super important.
- Toss plush toys into the washing machine, plastic toys in the dishwasher (if dishwasher safe), and wipe down wooden toys with a cloth and mild soapy water.
- Vacuum carpets and rugs once or twice a week to help keep them dirt and dust free.
Dishes are a never-ending chore, but important to your family’s health.
- Dish washing, either by hand or machine, cleans away bacteria that can grow on dirty dishes, especially with a dish soap that eliminates germs.
- A variety of dish cleaning products for different purposes exist today. Always read labels to choose the best product for your needs.
Your keyboard and cell phone might be dirtier than a toilet seat! Microbiologists recommend wiping down desks and keyboards at least once a week.
- Use computer duster to remove debris and particles from keyboards. Remember to recycle when empty.
- Gently use a disinfectant wipe to remove germs on remote controls, cell phones, key boards and mouses.
Keeping hands clean before mealtimes is one of the most important things we can do to keep our families healthy.
- Thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds, which is the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”
- Keep napkins or paper towels handy during your meal to wipe up spills. Clean trays, placemats, and the table after every meal.
Responsibly store all laundry products out of the reach of children.
- Keep laundry products in their original containers and never mix products.
- Clean up laundry product spills immediately to prevent slips and falls.
Front and Back Yards
Practice safety and common sense when doing yard work.
- Some lawn products recommend that children not play on treated surfaces for two or more days. Always read your product’s labels.
- Remove any standing water in bird baths, old tires, kid’s sand boxes and other containers as they are popular breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Consider using personal insect repellent while doing outdoor maintenance.
For more tips and advice on keeping your home safe and healthy, visit healthystartsathome.org.