The chilly weather months are upon us and so is the dreaded cold and flu season.  While even the most avid germaphobe can’t control every germ from reaching their family, you can take extra precautions to keep a healthy home this year.

Clean Kitchens?

According to the National Sanitation Foundation, more than 20 percent of foodbourne illnesses come from mistakes in the kitchen. Here’s how to stay vigilant:

Stop sponges from spreading bacteria that you just cleaned up. Replace sponges regularly and wash them thoroughly with soap after using. You can also kill harmful bacteria by tossing a damp sponge in the dishwasher or by zapping it in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. ?

Wipe down surfaces regularly with soapy water or disinfectant wipes. Make sure these items are on your wipe down to-do list: countertops, faucets, refrigerator and oven handles, cabinet knobs, light switches and the telephone. Additionally, be extra careful when you’re handling raw meat, fish, eggs, and poultry – all of which harbour dangerous bacteria like salmonella.

To control the spread of bacteria in and around the kitchen sink, a hands-free faucet, such as a Moen® pulldown kitchen faucet with MotionSense™ technology, will make a significant difference by limiting the number of surfaces you’ll have to touch, especially while cooking. Simply wave your hand over the ready sensor or place your hands below the spout to start the flow of water. Bacteria are instantly washed away – rather than lingering on the faucet handle.

Bacteria-Free Bathroom

?Hot and humid areas like the bathroom are a breeding ground for bacteria.  In fact, according to WebMD, even small surfaces like the bathroom faucet handle can be home to 6,267 bacteria per square inch.  Keep the bathroom cleaner by taking the following steps:

Before mold takes hold, launch an attack on shower gunk by cleaning tiles, shower curtains and doors with an all-natural cleanser; not bleach which can eat away at grout.  For extra cleaning power, heat diluted vinegar in a bowl and pour into a spray bottle.  ?

Keep surfaces clean and disinfected to reduce the spread of stain- and odour-causing bacteria.  Did you know on an unprotected surface, bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes?  Luckily, the new Moen® Ashville™ two-handle bathroom faucet featuring Microban® antimicrobial protection will help guard against stain- and odour-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. Microban technology is built into the faucet finish, so it works continuously, even between cleanings. ?

Healthy Home

?While the kitchen and bathroom may top the list of bacteria hot spots in the home, here are a few tips that will keep harmful germs and allergens from spreading room to room:?

Clean your cleaners. You may clean out the dust container routinely, but when was the last time you cleaned the vacuum upholstery tool or brush roll? Check your manual for the how-to. Rather than sucking up allergens, these attachments could be spreading them throughout the home. ?

Your laundry may come out dirtier after you wash it.  The washing machine is actually swarming with bacteria that can find their way onto your clothes – and eventually you.  Kitchen towels and undergarments are the biggest culprits and can harbour bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, which detergent doesn’t kill. To prevent harmful germs from spreading, combine these items together and wash with hot water and non-chlorine bleach. Take extra precaution by cleaning the washer out with a disinfecting wipe after washing a load in hot water. ?

This season channel your inner germaphobe and take a few extra steps to prepare your home to fight off bacteria.

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