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As you go about your day, you probably don’t think about germs that could be lurking in unexpected places. In your own home, there are plenty of opportunities for bacteria to thrive, which means plenty of opportunities for you and your family to get sick. Nobody wants that— especially during flu season, when a little cold can turn into something a lot worse before you know it. Here are a few things you can take care of in your home to avoid sickness and stay healthy!


You know the smell of dirty sponges. It seeps into your skin every time you go to wash dishes. Little do you know, there are tons of bacteria in your dirty old sponges— ones that can really make you sick, like salmonella or e.coli. To kill off that old bacteria without wasting a sponge, dampen it and nuke it in the microwave for 1 minute on high. While this takes care of the bacteria, there still comes a point where your old sponge needs to be swapped out for a fresh one— experts recommend changing it out at least once a month if you’re doing dishes every day.


It happens like this— you sneeze, and you walk into the next room over, opening the door on your way in, to get a tissue. You touch a lot of gross things throughout the day— and while you may be washing your hands regularly, your door knobs don’t get the same treatment (or even the thought of it!). Wipe down door knobs on doors and the knobs on your cabinets once a week or so with an antibacterial wash to get rid of germs that might be waiting for the chance to make you sick!


Especially the kitchen. And especially if you’re preparing meat. When you place things on your kitchen counter, the bacteria from those things stays there even when you move the food. Raw meat, especially when left out of the fridge, becomes contaminated with bacteria within a relatively short timespan—about 2 hours. But the germs stick around longer than that, so be sure to wipe counters down as soon as you’re finished cooking so that you don’t risk contaminating other food or getting sick yourself. And food isn’t the only problem! Whether you’re in your living room or bathroom, places that are both frequently used, be sure to wipe down the surfaces like the toilet, tub, sink, and coffee table; plus things that are used by everyone, like the remote or house phone, with an antibacterial wash.


Dust is an inevitable part of living. Literally. It’s comprised of dead skin particles and other random things that float around and accumulate in and under things. It doesn’t sound clean— and it’s not. Grab your vacuum and suck up the dust bunnies, both high and low, as often as you can; getting not just the dust but any other particles that may have found their way onto your floors or into your carpets. This one’s a great responsibility to delegate to the kids!


The path to wellness is best traveled holistically, fusing exercise, nutrition, rest, and general wellness. Cleaning up your house is a great way to reduce allergies, prevent sickness, and improve your mental health – all of which can help you to be healthier and happier in body, mind, and spirit.