As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, the fall season brings with it not only beauty but also an increase in germs and the flu virus. Keeping your home clean and germ-free is crucial to protecting yourself and your family from illness. In this article, we will equip you with powerful cleaning tips that will help you combat fall germs and the flu.
Arm yourself with these strategies to create a clean and healthy living environment that shields you from unwanted sickness.
Fall is prime time for the flu; this year, the Enterovirus is making people ill in more than 28 states nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Couple that with the start of school, and it all adds up to germs and lots of them.
So, how can a busy mom help prevent her children from becoming ill?
As a working mother of three, I’ve developed my own common-sense cleaning tips and routines to stop seasonal viruses from lingering in my home.
Here is a list of my fab five green cleaning tips for flu season and two of the best natural cleaning solutions to help combat nasty germs and the flu.
- Wash your hands – Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water after time at school, trips to the store, and definitely before eating and after using the bathroom. Teach children to wash between their fingers and around their fingernails.
- Stock up on germ-combating natural cleaning supplies – The two ingredients I use most to disinfect against viruses at home are hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective sanitizer and disinfectant in its proper formulation and dilution. White vinegar is a disinfectant.
- Drop backpacks by the door – Designate a drop spot by the door, not on the kitchen table or counter. Remove schoolbooks and other frequently used items to clean daily. Wash backpacks once per week. Clean the outside and inside lunchboxes daily before putting them away or repacking. Use sealed containers that can be put in the dishwasher for lunches and snacks.
- No sharing – Water bottles, earbuds, and food are off-limits for sharing. If school rules require sharing of sports equipment, remind kids to wash their hands afterward. And encourage them to stay away from water fountains at school – one of the biggest germ hot spots.
- Close the lid and clean the seat – Every time you flush your toilet with the seat up, bacteria and germs spray into the air. Toothbrush nearby? Well, you get the picture. Teach your kids to close the seat before flushing. Make toilet disinfection a priority on your cleaning list even when no one in the house is sick.
Below are two of my favorite natural cleaning solutions to help fight the flu.
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon borax, 1 tablespoon washing soda (sodium carbonate), 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap, 1 cup vinegar, 4 cups hot water, 25-30 drops essential oil (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together well in a large bowl, then pour into a spray bottle. Spray on the surface and let sit for at least 2-3 minutes before wiping the surface with a damp cloth.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Ingredients: 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Pour baking soda into the toilet bowl and slowly pour in vinegar. Be sure to get vinegar to cover the bowl surface as much as possible. Add essential oil. Scrub the surface to remove any rings or stains. Flush.
Practice Proper Cleaning Techniques
Effective cleaning techniques can make a significant difference in germ control. Consider the following strategies:
- Use disinfectants correctly: Read product labels and follow instructions to ensure proper usage and effectiveness of disinfectants.
- Focus on germ hotspots: Pay extra attention to cleaning germ hotspots such as remote controls, computer keyboards, and cell phones.
- Use disposable cleaning tools: Opt for disposable cleaning wipes or paper towels when cleaning surfaces to prevent cross-contamination.
Don’t let germs and the flu dampen your fall spirit. By implementing these powerful cleaning tips, you can create a clean and healthy home environment that shields you and your loved ones from illness. Disinfect high-touch surfaces, regularly launder linens and fabrics, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain clean air, and utilize proper cleaning techniques. Take charge of your health and enjoy a germ-free fall season. Let cleanliness be your strongest weapon in the fight against germs and the flu!