Healthy Habits to Help Protect Against Germs

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Creating healthy habits that keep germs away from your home are effective ways to protect the people you love most. Proper hand-washing technique may be the most effective way to protect against germs, but here are additional tips that can help keep your home clean and germ-free.

Disinfect and clean surfaces in your home.

Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing—cleaning removes germs from surfaces whereas disinfecting actually destroys them.1 is a common household product that can be used as a disinfectant, as well as cleaning products that are properly registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Swap sponges for dishtowels or rags.

To avoid germs lingering in the kitchen sink, use dish towels or rags that can be tossed in the laundry instead of sponges. However, if you must use sponges, heating them for up to two minutes in the microwave once a day can help eliminate germs.

Don’t forget the toothbrush holder.

It’s important to disinfect all surfaces in the bathroom, but one item that’s easy to forget to clean is the toothbrush holder. You can easily clean this by tossing it in the dishwasher or using a disinfectant to clean by hand.

Treat your pets like family.

As you’re cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces your family touches every day, don’t forget about your pet companions. Water bowls, in particular, can gather germs. Clean them in the dishwasher or rinse with disinfectant soap regularly.

Keep your personal items to yourself.

When it comes to toothbrushes, combs, and razors, don’t share. Germs can easily transfer between these items. Similarly, avoid sharing drinking glasses and dining utensils unless you clean and disinfect them between uses. 1