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The Ultimate Guide to a Clean & Healthy Home

Our homes fulfill so many of our daily needs. Most of us spend at least half of every day inside of our homes. Our homes should be clean, safe, and healthy for the people who live there. Studies have linked asthma, lead poisoning, and injury to hazards to in the home.

Follow the steps in this guide to keep your home clean and healthy.

You may think of your house as a safe haven for you and your family, but it’s possible your home is full of potential hazards and contaminants. An unhealthy household can affect the entire family.

  • Small children spend a lot of time crawling around the floor and tend to put whatever they find into their mouth. It’s up to the adults in the house to keep them safe from choking hazards and toxic materials.
  • Expectant mothers need to avoid substances that may be harmful to their developing baby, such as pesticides, smoke and lead.
  • The elderly are already at risk for slip and fall accidents and objects around the house such as rugs and uneven flooring may increase this risk.

This guide will help you eliminate dangers around the house to make it a cleaner, safer place to live.

Healthy Cleaning Tricks

Cleaning the Dirtiest Places in Our Home

Much of the germs and bacteria found in our homes are in the places you’d least expect them to be. Here are some of the dirtiest places in our homes and tips on how to keep these areas clean.

Coffee Maker: An often-overlooked appliance when it comes to cleaning is the coffee maker. 50 % of coffee makers tested had mold or yeast present.

Pet Toys & Pet Food Dishes: Pet toys can be home to yeast, mold, and staph bacteria. Children can pick up pet toys and put them in their mouths and a buildup of bacteria in pet bowls can cause illness in pets as well.

Knobs Handles, Faucets, and Doorknobs: We don’t often think about these kinds of surfaces, but they can be breading grounds for a host of different bacteria.

Cleaning Sponges: We use sponges to clean up all sorts of gunk in the kitchen/bathroom, but what about the sponge itself? Dirt and bacteria can accumulate overtime within the sponge itself. Meaning, you may be reintroducing bacteria to the surfaces that you clean with the sponge.

Computer Keyboards and Remote Controls: Similar to faucets and doorknobs, we touch computer keyboards and remote controls daily. As a result, bacteria and dirt can build up on these surfaces.

Green Cleaning Recipes

Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions or Purchase Natural Ones

Commercial cleaning products are full of chemicals which may be harmful to inhale or ingest. There are many natural alternatives that are just as effective at disinfecting and cleaning the home. Here are a few common natural cleaners:

  • Baking Soda – cleans surfaces, deodorizes the refrigerator, removes stubborn stains, and unclogs drains. You can also use baking soda to clean pesticides off produce.
  • Lemon – a natural disinfectant that can clean discolored metals (such as copper, chrome and brass), remove odors and stains, and sanitize the garbage disposal.
  • Borax – (sodium borate) can deodorize carpets, clean toilets and floors, remove rust, and kills pests.
  • White Vinegar – this multi-tasker can be used to clean almost anything: windows, floors, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, carpet spills, and wood furniture. It’s also a great for removing stains.
  • Washing Soda (also known as laundry soda or SALs soda) – this is similar to baking soda and can be used as an all-purpose cleaner, for stain removal and to cut grease. Avoid using on aluminum.
  • Cornstarch –  cleans windows, polishes furniture, and shampoos your rugs.
  • Unscented Soap – is biodegradable and can be used for cleaning anything from clothes to surfaces. Don’t use soaps made with petroleum distillates.
  • Citrus Solvent – can be used in place of paint thinner.

Green Cleaning Recipes:

greencleaning

Make your own all-purpose cleaner

  • Make a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart water for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  • For tougher stains or spills, mix vinegar and salt to clean counter tops.

Eliminate smells with a natural deodorizer

  • Place open boxes of baking soda in the fridge and around the house to soak up odors.
  • Put a lemon or lime down the garbage disposal to eliminate smells.
  • Create an air freshener using three parts water, one part vodka and 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender.

Remove grease stains

  • Mix equal parts lemon juice and vinegar and apply to stains.
  • Pour salt on grease spots to prevent stains.

Make a toilet bowl cleaner

  • Sprinkle baking soda around the toilet bowl. Spray with white vinegar and then use a toilet brush to scrub. (Note: DO NOT use commercial cleaning products with this combination, which can create dangerous fumes.)

Remove furniture scratches

  • • Mix equal parts lemon juice and vegetable oil. Apply using a clean cloth and rub until the scratch is gone.

Make laundry starch

  • Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch and a few cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and apply to shirts as needed.

Create your own oven cleaner

  • Make a paste using ½ cup baking soda and a few splashes of water. Coat your oven with the paste and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Wipe off the baking soda with a damp sponge or cloth, then spray your oven with vinegar. This will react with the baking soda to make a light foam which you can then wipe away with a damp sponge or cloth.

Make glass cleaner

  • Combine water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Instead of paper towels to wipe down the glass, use newspaper – it won’t leave streaks.

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist

One of the simplest tricks to make any bedroom look especially clean is a perfectly made bed. Check out this instructional video (source: PureWow) on how to make the perfect bed:

Light Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Make the Bed

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Sweep or Vacuum Floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Organize dirty and clean clothes and shoes

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300De-clutter desks and shelves

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Place large, clunky objects such as backpacks and coats, in a closet to make the room feel bigger

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Shelve books

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Organize papers into folders, stacks, or file them away

Living Room Cleaning Checklist

This high traffic area can end up being full of the clutter of everyday life. Magazines, school papers, and shoes are places rodents can hide or could even cause someone to trip and injure themselves.

Light Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300De-clutter

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Sweep or Vacuum Floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Organize wires from electronics such as television sets and keep them out of sight.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Vacuum couches

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean television screen

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Dust electronics

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Shake out door mats and rugs.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Organize books, DVDs, and CDs neatly

Deeper Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wipe baseboards and door frames

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean blinds and/or wash curtains

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Dust lights and lamps

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Dust ceiling fans

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Dust furniture and/or use furniture polish

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Carpet: Remove stains

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Couch: Remove stains

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Hardwood or Tile Floors: Mop

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Sweep/mop under the couches

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean the windows, window sills,  and mirrors

Wow Factor

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Rearrange furniture for a new look

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Light a candle or use room spray

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Add fresh flowers

Declutter: The Secret to a Clean Living Room

What does it mean to declutter? Essentially, take inventory of the items in your home and ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t really need an item, consider throwing it away or donating it. If you think you might need it, but don’t use the item often then place the item in a closet or storage area. Additionally, place clunky objects (such as backpacks, coats, children’s toys) in a closet to make the room feel bigger.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Have a Clean & Healthy Fridge

When freezing meat bought in bulk, divide it up into bags immediately to avoid bacteria growth. Then label the bags with the date and type of meat. How long will it last in the freezer? Here is a guide:

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Wipe up spills in the refrigerator as soon as you notice them and wipe up any jars that have food on the outside. Make sure that you are checking the expiration dates on your food and tossing anything that has expired. While cooking your meals, rinse dirty utensils, pots and pans, and any other tools you use. This will keep your kitchen clean and your workspace safe.

 Light Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Sanitize: cutting boards, surfaces, trash cans, sink, drawer knobs, appliance handles & buttons, faucets, light switches and any other surfaces that are routinely touched. Even if they appear to be clean to the naked eye, they might still be harboring bacteria.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Sweep or Vacuum Floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Eliminate foods in the fridge and pantry that are beyond their expiration dates

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean and disinfect microwave oven

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300De-clutter: place utensils in drawers, organize dishes/cups in cupboard, and remove excess clutter from countertops.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Dust ceiling fans, lights and lamps.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Collect, clean, and organize all dishes and utensils around the house.

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Empty trash bin

Deeper Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wipe baseboards and door frames

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean coffee maker

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean and disinfect oven

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean kettles and hot water heaters

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Remove crumbs from toaster

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wash walls and trim

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Mop floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean the windows, window sills, and mirrors

Wow Factor

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Hide rarely used appliances in cabinets to create more space

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Open windows and blinds to make the room brighter

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Add a bowl of fresh fruit to the counter top

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Light a candle or use room spray

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Avoiding mold!

Bathroom mold is one of the most common cleaning challenges in any house. For individuals who are allergic to mold or those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of mold in the home can irritate your respiratory track. Keeping your bathroom ventilated removes moisture from the air. Moisture can lead to mold and mold can get you very sick. Keep your bathroom well-ventilated and always wipe down any surfaces that collect water, rather than letting them dry out on their own. Also, be sure to use bath fans during your shower and for 30 minutes after your shower to eliminate moisture.

To kill existing mold and germs, use heavy duty cleaning products like bleach, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

 Light Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Remove all items from the sink counter top

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Organize items in cabinets and vanities neatly

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean and disinfect sink counter top

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean mirrors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Disinfect and shine sink and shower faucets

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wipe down shower glass or rinse off shower curtains

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean the inside and outside of the toilet

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Vacuum or sweep floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Empty trash bin

Deeper Cleaning

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wipe baseboards and doorframes

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Discard old cosmetics and medications

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Mop floors

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Wash bathroom rugs and mats

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Scrub bathtub

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean the windows, window sills, and mirrors

 Wow Factor

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Light a candle or use room spray

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Neatly fold or hang towels

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Eliminate clutter from counter tops

Safety Guidelines

Accidents, illness, or injury can occur in any area of your home. When cleaning your home take a few simple steps to ensure your home remains not only clean but also safe and healthy. Checking the batteries on your smoke detectors takes only a few minutes but will save your family in the event of a fire.

It is also important that families have a plan in case of a fire or other disaster. In moments of chaos, families can become separated or in danger if there is not a discussion ahead of time. Take some time with the members of your family to discuss an evacuation plan in the event of a fire or natural disaster. Where should everyone go to exit the home? Where should everyone meet in the event that they are separated, such as a neighbor’s home or a park that is nearby?

Safety Checklist

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Repair or replace any frayed or loose wires on electrical devices

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Replace batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors annually

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Test smoke alarms monthly

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Clean all detectors – wipe and vacuum out each grille

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Demonstrate the sound of each detector to family members

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Replace fire extinguisher based on manufacturer suggestions

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Change water filter (whole house, under sink, and refrigerator) according to the manufacturer suggestions

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Change home air filter every six months for the cleanest air quality

Escape Plan

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Create an escape plan with two exit routes in case of fire

Square-Freemason-Symbols-300x300Set a plan and location for meeting up in case of a local or national disaster

Click HERE to download a printable version of these home cleaning checklists!


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