What You Should Do During the Flu and Cold Season

In the midst of cold and flu season, you’re often greeted with sniffles and sneezes everywhere you go. Washing your hands and stocking up on orange juice are great starting points, but there’s more you can do at home to decrease your chances of falling ill.

Take these steps to keep yourself and your family in good health.

Disinfect hot spots. Think about what you touch every day and spray those spots with disinfectant. This includes doorknobs and faucet handles. Carefully wipe remote controls and light switches with a disinfectant wipe.

Sanitize cleaning products. Ideally, cleaning your home helps to kill germs, but this isn’t the case if you’re using dirty supplies. Opt for disposable mop pads, or for a greener solution, sanitize mop heads at very high temperatures before reusing them. Wash your dishtowels regularly. University of Florida researchers found that microwaving a wet sponge for two minutes kills or inactivates 99 percent of living pathogens in the sponge.

Wash bedding. Wash your pillowcases and sheets in hot water once a week, and use your hottest dryer setting. Be sure to wash your hands after dealing with soiled linens. Wash any blankets and furniture covers as well.

Clean your home office. If your desk is covered in a film of dust and last year’s tax files, it’s time to purge and disinfect. Don’t forget to clean your computer keyboard and any mobile devices, which are the perfect hosts for household germs.

Humidify the home. Humidifiers help alleviate dry nasal passages for easier breathing. However, they can breed bacteria. Clean humidifiers regularly or consider natural humidifying techniques.

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