by Laura Carson Miller
We’ve all been through it — you or another member of your household is battling an illness and you are hyper-aware of the potential spread of germs to anyone and everyone (and everything) in your living quarters.
Here are ways to “divide and conquer” during and after an illness so you can once again enjoy a healthy environment in your own abode.
Coryanne Ettiene of Housewife Bliss was a natural choice to offer some insight on getting your house back into healthy shape after a battle with fierce illness or even a 48-hour bug. She knows the ins and outs of keeping your home fresh and friendly any time of the year.
“With three small children, the first sign of a cold or illness is an early warning sign that within days our home will be a living laboratory of germs, viruses and aliments,” Ettiene says. “Daily disinfecting is standard practice in a home like ours, and deep disinfecting is vital to ensure that we don’t circle back to enjoy round two of the same illness!’
Follow these easy and helpful steps from Ettiene:
Step 1: Use vinegar
Vinegar is a natural and inexpensive way to combat household colds and illness. “When our home is overrun by an illness, I fill a spray bottle with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water, and use it to disinfect every kitchen and bathroom surface,” says Ettiene. If you are sensitive to the aroma, mix in the juice of 1/2 lemon to balance the smell.
Step 2: Remember your laundry room
Be sure to give your laundry baskets a cleaning with your vinegar solution, then wash your towels, linens and bedding on a “hot” temperature setting to kill any lingering germs.
Step 3: Harness the power of the sun
With warmer days here, the sun is the best defense against the spread of germs. Placing comforters, rugs, pillows and even smaller mattresses outside in the direct sunshine is a great way to burn away the germs.
Tea tree oil
We are big fans of tea tree oil, and it is especially effective if you have sick people in your house, as it is a natural antibacterial and antifungal, and cleans and freshens without any chemical additives.
Here are steps to use tea tree oil to disinfect your home:
Step 1: Disinfect with your vacuum
Take a few cotton balls, apply several drops of undiluted tea tree oil to them and place them in your vacuum cleaner bag.
Step 2: Keep a spray bottle handy
Fill a spray bottle with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water and keep it on hand so you can spray the air to disinfect and leave a fresh smell. You can also use this solution (add a few drops of liquid soap if you like) to wipe down kitchen counters (test on small area first) and anything in the bathroom; it is also fantastic on floors.
Step 3: Deal with frequently touched surfaces
Remember computer keyboards, toys, doorknobs and railings are things you and your family touch frequently and will need to be disinfected regularly. Also remember your toothbrush — when you’ve been sick it is a good idea to soak it in hydrogen peroxide to kill any lingering germs.