Monday, October 13, 2008

Fight The Flu With Simple Cleaning Techniques


They're back, perhaps sooner than you realized. If you don't do something about them now they may stick around for quite some time.

No, they're not a carload of impromptu guests who view your home as their on-the-cheap getaway. They're influenza and friends, the viral vixens that sneak into your home and lounge around while spreading their gunk and funk to you and your family.

Like unwelcome guests, getting rid of them can be quite a chore. That's why health care and home industry professionals say it's best to stop them in their tracks before they invade and gear up now for the certainty that they will be knocking on your door soon.

Here are some tips for keeping germs at bay in the home:

- Wear gloves when cleaning. Germs lurk even when illness isn't present, Carter said. "There are some things you should never touch," she said. "That's why we always wear gloves."

- Wear a mask to protect yourself against airborne germs and viruses.

- Wash hands frequently. "Germs aren't just on toilets," she said. "You can pick up the flu virus by touching a doorknob if it's on there."

- Avoid touching your eyes while cleaning. This helps to not only prevent the spread of viruses, but safeguards your eyes against the effects of strong chemicals or cleaners.

- Turn on bathroom vents and open windows (weather permitting) to allow for better air circulation.

- Change your vacuum bag after extended periods of illness. "It's a good idea to get that out of the house because those germs are in the dirt and they're in the bag," said Dave Segan, owner of Vacuum World in Waynesboro. "It may not solve the problem of the germs that are still in the air and you may still get the flu, but at least by getting that old bag out of the house you've got fewer germs to deal with."

- When humidity levels are low, as they often are in winter, viruses and bacteria can spread more easily and nasal passages can't filter as effectively, increasing illness, notes Abby Buford, a spokeswoman for Lowe's. Installing HEPA filters throughout the home can help confine airborne allergens including household dust, mold and pet dander.

- Help fight the growth of bacteria and mold in the home by using a humidifier designed to guard against germs.

- Houseplants such as ficus, palms and anthriums will help purify the air indoors naturally while making your home look nicer.

Click here for the full article.

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