5 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Cold & Flu Season

Disclosure: I am a compensated 3M-sponsored blogger. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me. The post also includes affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

5 tips for preparing your home

Cold and flu prevention starts at home.  While it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle through, complete with a well balanced diet and exercise routine, hydration, rest, and a multivitamin for health & immune support, there are so many other things you can to maintain your home this winter to further promote your family’s overall health.

  Filtrete

1. Change air filters regularly.  Some sources say it should be changed every 3 months, while others say once a month.  Some factors that may determine that your filter should be changed more often include pet ownership, living hot areas, and living in rural areas.  You should check your own filter and use your discretion. Your air filter helps to capture allergens in the air.

Right now I’m using the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filter MPR 1900.  It is effective at capturing 93% of large airborne particles such as dust, pollen and mold spores from the air passing through the filter. It also attracts and captures microscopic allergens like pet dander, smoke, household dust and microscopic particles that can carry bacteria and viruses.

Filter

We live in an older home, and with that there is always a concern about air quality.  Although much of our house has been renovated, we’ve still dealt with issues such as mold.  Earlier this year, we learned we had a pipe leaking underneath the sink, and the area underneath the cabinet was filled with mold.

We also have pets.  Although I love them, I have to admit, hey shed A LOT.  I’m actually amazed at just how much fur we catch in our Filtrete filter. Apart from capturing allergens in the air, changing your filters regularly can also help to reduce heating and cooling bills and help to maintain your system.

dusting-the-ceiling-fan2

2. Dusting – Dusting is a chore that a lot of people ignore, but it is crucial when it comes to eliminating allergens.  Pledge now has a multi-surface spray that you can use which is also antibacterial, killing 99% of germs.  And I also seen a lot of recipes for organic furniture polishes that are made with essential oils and are antibacterial. Apart from dusting your wood furniture and surfaces, don’t forget to dust wall vents, ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, blinds, and other dust collecting items.

counter top

3.  Sanitize surfaces and floors.  Use antibacterial cleaners to kill germs on surfaces.  You should focus on widely used areas such as your kitchen table, kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks, showers/tubs and toilets.  Also, sanitize door knobs and handles on your refrigerator and cabinets. Also, check your child and pet play surfaces.

You should also clean floors once a week (more if needed).  Sweeping and vacuuming your floors will help to pick up potential allergens like dirt, dust, and pet hair.  And after eliminating dust and dirt, you should sanitize your hard floors using an antibacterial cleaner or a steam mop.

And if you have carpet in your home, consider getting a  Rug Doctor.  These are a huge help in cleaning your carpet and picking up dirt you can’t see.

Guest Bedroom

4.  Keep bedding cleaned and sanitized.  I generally wash our son’s bedding every 2 weeks, whiles ours is washed once a month, but I’ve read that weekly or twice a month is recommended.  I also spray down the mattresses and pillows with Lysol every time I change the sheets. Your pillows can be further protected with an  allergen proof, zip-up pillow encasements. You should still use pillow cases over these covers, then sanitize the covers with Lysol or other cleaner, when you wash the sheets and pillow cases.  Also wash the pillow encasements as needed and wash your actual pillows once a year.

toy cleaner

5.  Sanitize children’s and pet’s toys.  Plastic toys can be cleaned using antibacterial spray cleaner or wipes,  or use a tablespoon of bleach dilluted in a gallon of water.  Vinegar may also be used for chemical free sanitizing, or there are a lot of organic cleaners out on the market that are antibacterial. Method is a brand that I use and enjoy.  For cleaning several toys at once, you may also use your dishwasher.  A toy sterilizer like the Germ Doctor Nursery Sanitizer can also come in handy for parents and pet owners.

Cloth toys and stuffed animals are often overlooked but can be machine washed.  You can place them in a pillow case with a knot tied in it or use a zip-up garment bag.  Then wash on gentle cycle and dry on low heat.


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