13 Things: Get a Healthy Home

Reader's Digest US|July - August 2020

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13 Things: Get a Healthy Home
Most of us have spent more time at home recently than we ever imagined possible.
By Jody L. Rohlena

Maybe you took the opportunity to clean, or maybe you plan to do it ... tomorrow. These tips can help make your domicile better for your body and your mind.

1 THINK ABOUT keeping your home clean the minute you walk in—literally. Take off your shoes at your door. A University of Arizona study found that the average shoe harbors nearly 421,000 different bacteria, including Escherichia coli and strep. Pesticides, tar, lead, mold, and cleaning chemicals can also get tracked into your home via your shoes. Leave a pair of slippers by the front door.

2 NATURAL CLEANERS are great, and they can also be surprising. Can’t find bleach? Try vodka! High-alcohol vodka (at least 120 proof) makes an excellent disinfectant. So if you have some vodka you’re not planning to drink, mix it with an equal amount of water, put it in a spray bottle, and use it to freshen your sheets and smelly gym clothes.

3 EVEN IF you think you’ve disinfected everything, you might have overlooked some germ magnets. One notorious offender: the toothbrush holder. Rinse it daily and run it through the dishwasher regularly. Another culprit: kitchen sponges. They’re so unsanitary, they’ve been banned from restaurant kitchens.

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July - August 2020