So you’ve armed your immune system with all kinds of healthy things to eat, turning those white T-cells into germ busting bodybuilders. But one of the keys to a good offensive is a good defense— to reverse a popular sports’ phrase. The best ways to stay healthy and keep the germs out of your body is to keep them out of your house.
Starting at the front door. The welcome mat is one of the dirtiest things almost-in-the-house. Anytime you wipe the dirt and germs (bacteria and viruses) off your shoes, you’re also wiping old germs back on, and then marching them right into your house. So leave the germs out in the cold by cleaning and disinfecting the mat on a regular basis and leave your shoes by the door, too.
Everything, including the kitchen sink. Because the kitchen is full of food, it is therefore prone to harboring and growing bacteria on wet surfaces, bits of food and all the other wet, warm places that the kitchen has to offer. The rubber ring of your garbage disposal and the metal screen on your faucet are breeding grounds for bacteria. Both of them should be rinsed in a bleach solution every week or so. And that goes for another culprit—that nifty rubber seal on your refrigerator door, not to mention the handle, too. Dishtowels should be used exclusively for drying clean dishes. Using them to wipe dirty hands is a sure way to grow bacteria. Paper towels or rags that get washed after a single use are a better bet for wiping fingers during food preparation. A good rule of thumb is to pretend to work in a restaurant kitchen—everything there has to be clean, properly cooked, refrigerated at the proper temperatures and lots of sanitizing. Or follow the rules on the hand-washing sign in the restaurant bathroom to all employees.
Wash your hands– always and everywhere. The hand-washing goes for not just you and your kitchen, but for your kids and the classroom. Any time somebody sneezes, wipes their nose or eyes with their hands and then touches something, they leave germs behind on whatever they touch. That goes for pencils, crayons, other kids’ hands… and the list goes on.
The bottom of your purse is frightening. Don’t set it on the floor, anywhere really, but especially the restroom floor. The same goes for your child’s backpack—make sure it goes on the hook on the wall and not the floor.
So shut the door on those germs, keep that immune system strong and healthy, and if you do catch a bug, tune in (or would that be type in?) next week for great home remedies to make feeling better and back to mommy sooner.