Most of us have the same ultimate goal: keeping our families healthy. What you might not realize, though, is that there are some potentially harmful germs lurking in some of the things you use every day. We are constantly walking on our carpets and sleeping on our pillows, so how do we combat these germs? The first step is recognizing where they’re hiding. Here are five common household items that may be making your family sick:
Item #1: Carpet
You likely have carpet somewhere in your home. Whether it’s on every floor of the house or just a carpet runner, carpet is a breeding ground for germs. It can trap pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens that can make your family sick. You can help to keep the dangerous compounds out of your carpets by choosing a thinner product and ensuring that your home is well-ventilated. Make sure you are also vacuuming weekly and opt to regularly get your carpets cleaned with an eco-friendly cleaner.
Item #2: Computer Keyboards
Most family members are using a computer throughout the day. When you’re looking up a new recipe or the kids are doing their homework, fingers are leaving behind germs. Researchers said there are 21,000 germs per square inch on an office desktop, more than what’s found on the office toilets! Germs can easily hide in the nooks and crannies of your computer keyboard. Encourage children to reduce their risk of illness by wiping down the keyboard with an eco-friendly cleaner, washing their hands after each use, and avoiding touching their mouths.
Item #3: Pillows
You may notice some allergy or asthma symptoms in either you, your partner, or your children. If this is the case, you may want to check the pillows. It isn’t difficult for dust mites to make a home inside pillows, especially if they’re used for a long time. Dust mites are the most common cause of non-seasonal allergies and asthma and feed on the flakes of human skin. If you don’t want to replace your favorite pillow, be sure to cover them with zippered, dust-proof covers.
Item #4: Sponges
You’d be surprised to see just how many germs are left behind on your sponges. Sponges that are used in the kitchen can be a major contributor to foodborne illnesses since bacteria can easily prosper on them. To eliminate the risk of spreading germs via sponge, consider switching to dish cloths that you can easily run through the washing machine. Check out our other tips on green cleaning of your kitchen sponges.
Item #5: Shoes
If you don’t take your shoes off when you walk through the door, you will after you read this. You’re wearing them around all day and picking up all sorts of pesticides, toxins, and germs. Wearing shoes in the house leaves these particles in the carpets and on the floor, which can in turn make you and your family sick. A practice as simple as leaving them off at the door will not only make it easier to keep your house cleaner, but is also much safer for the entire family.
Do you have any other tips for keeping your household germ-free? We want to hear about them!