21 Things to Know About Staying Healthy in Your Home

Staying safe from viral and bacterial infections is a year-round practice. These tips can help.

Wash hands frequently

  • It’s always a good idea to wash your hands before eating or drinking, and after getting home from work or picking the kids up from school.
  • Make sure your kids are washing their hands too. Kids do nasty things.
  • You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • The CDC recommends humming happy birthday twice to reach 20 seconds.

Upgrade your air filters

  • Upgrading to a MERV 13 air filter can decrease your risk of contracting certain infectious diseases, both bacterial and viral.
  • MERV 13 filters are estimated to catch up to 87% of virus-carrying particles, compared to a mere 11% by cheap fiberglass filters.
  • Studies show MERV 13 filters can cut your risk of catching Influenza, Tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases by more than half compared to using a cheap MERV 4 filter.

TRY A MERV 13

Use hand sanitizer

  • The CDC suggests using a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Just like washing your hands, you should rub your hands together for 20 seconds when using hand sanitizer.
  • Remember that hand sanitizer disinfects, but does not wash away things like chemicals that could be on your hands. Always wash your hands if you have the option.

Disinfect surfaces

  • Disinfect surfaces that are most frequently touched. Things like doorknobs, phones, flush handles on toilets, remotes, and computer keyboards are massively germy places.
  • Use a microfiber cloth dampened but not soaked with a mixture of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol to wipe down phone screens. This combination will minimize the risk of damaging the screen during cleaning.
  • Be sure to clean phone cases as well, else you’re defeating the purpose of cleaning your phone.
  • You can clean the outside of your computer with a regular disinfecting wipe, but be sure to use the isopropyl alcohol solution on the keyboard.
  • Check out the germiest places in your home to know what to disinfect.
  • Always follow manufacturer cleaning instructions on cleaning products.

Take your shoes off at the door

  • Shoes harbor countless nasty bacteria and pathogens including disease-causing E.Coli.
  • Bacteria entering your home via shoe typically remains on the floor, so while it isn’t a huge threat to adults unless it becomes aerosolized, small children that crawl on the floor are susceptible to these tiny bacteria, so best to remove your shoes and be safe.

Create a sick room

  • Avoiding interactions with sick people is pretty hard if one of your family members is sick, which is why you create a sick room for them.
  • Minimize contact with the sick individual by isolating them.
  • Be sure to thoroughly disinfect all surfaces in the room after it is no longer the designated “sick room.”

Alec Lower