NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Germs Begone!

Germs Begone!


          The season for more time indoors – Winter! - is soon upon us.  All that indoor time can add up to more clutter and grime in our homes. Plus with children in school, “new to your home germs” can come home with that backpack. What’s a family to do to avoid a winter season of one case of flu or a cold after another?  Prioritizing cleaning tasks can ensure a healthy home for everyone.

          Practice Prevention -Keep clutter to a minimum. Having lots of stuff around makes cleaning harder and gives places for dust and allergens to collect.

          Wash your hands, Wash your hands - Wash hands with soap and warm water regularly - to help stay healthy and keep dirt and germs off household surfaces.

          Wipe shoes on entryway rugs or mats to protect floors and carpets, and to catch dirt, dust, pollen and other allergens brought in from the outside.

          Keep bathroom and kitchen surfaces as dry and clean as possible to help control the growth of moisture-loving bacteria, mold and mildew. Also, leave shower doors and curtains open after use so shower walls can air-dry. Disinfect sink areas, toilet bowls, tubs and showers to kill germs as well as mold and mildew that can trigger asthma attacks. Use a daily shower spray on walls and shower curtains to keep mildew from growing.

          Promptly clean up crumbs and other food scraps after preparing or eating food. Wipe up spills before they have a chance to dry. Clean and disinfect cutting boards and kitchen countertops before and after preparing food to help reduce the threat of foodborne illness.

          Launder sheets weekly in warm or hot water to remove dust mite allergens and keep linens fresh. Wash towels and bathmats at least once a week.

          Whatever cleaning product you are using, read the cleaning product label. Different products work in different ways and can have different instructions for using them. Store cleaning products out of the reach of young children and pets and away from food.

          Never mix different cleaning products together. They can make dangerous fumes. Keep products in their original containers with their labels on. It's important to know what the product is if a child accidentally swallows it. Never ever reuse an empty bottle or box for a different product.


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