Easy Tips for Making Your Home Healthier
Creating a Healthier Home 02:14
I clean a lot. In spite of my incessant scrubbing and bleaching, it feels like there's always something dirty to clean up. With a husband, a couple kids and a dog, I'm bound to live in a dirty place. Most of it is harmless, but some of it can make my family sick. If you're not well, it pays to take a closer look at how you can banish mold, dust mites and dander to make your home healthier.
Kitchen: Sink Area
Raw meat, raw fish, what’s left of dinner — the sink has plenty of growing bacteria. Give it a scrub with baking soda, then follow up with a white vinegar soak. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to warm water, or place vinegar-saturated paper towels in the sink for 15 minutes to completely sanitize.
Every Room: The Walls
While you're at it, go ahead and give all of your walls a good scrubbing. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner that's safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!
Kitchen: Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal can also produce a foul odor if not cleaned regularly. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes; then pour a bucket of hot water down the drain to rinse. Grind half a lemon in the disposal for extra cleaning power and a fresh scent.
Home Office: Computer Keyboard
You touch your face. You type an email. You reach for your lunch. You type a report. You get the idea. To clean your computer's keyboard, unplug it first. Next, gently wipe with a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but make sure not to get your keyboard too wet.
If you don't have time to do a daily deep clean, it's time to advocate some help. No, I don't mean a cleaning crew. I mean cleaning gadgets, which can make a difference with the day-to-day cleaning tasks.
I'll show you a few of my favorite tech items that can help you get the cleaning done and get your home into healthier shape. There's an automatic device that can make your toilet more sanitary, a kitchen surface that can almost clean itself and an everyday appliance that eliminates allergens that linger on your clothes.
You can keep sweep but never seem to get all the dust in the dustpan. Enter automatic dustpan. This dustpan hooks up to your central vacuum system and sucks the dust into the wall and out of sight.
Think Dirty Phone App
Your lipstick or face cream may be carcinogenic. Plug your personal care products into the Think Dirty app that rates items based on the reported toxicity of their ingredients, so you can choose the safest products.
This is a far cry from a plastic pitcher. With its glass body, petroleum-free filter casing and coconut carbon filter, the Soma filter is the ultimate water purifier, all while looking stylish.
Lapka Phone App
This miniature environment monitor works with an iPhone to detect radiation and electromagnetic fields in your environment. It also detects whether your food is organic by plugging a probe into the food in question.
Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Instead of beeping, this smoke and carbon monoxide detector both speaks aloud and notifies you via app if it picks up a problem — and tells you which room the trouble is coming from. It also specifies whether it's an emergency like a fire or a heads-up like burning food.
This plug-in gadget works with your existing smoke and monoxide detectors, and contacts your phone (and your emergency contacts' phones), so you'll know if the alarms go off while you're away.
Pelican Water System
Chlorine is a must to keep you from getting sick in a swimming pool, but you don't want it in your drinking and shower water. Pelican's whole-house water filters and softeners remove chlorine, sediments, pesticides and other water contaminants.
These counters can practically clean themselves. By incorporating copper into their surfaces, they’ve been made into bacteria-busters. Studies show that dry copper naturally destroys bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Vacuum With HEPA Filter
Vacuums grab dust, but they can leave billions of allergens behind. HEPA filters can trap allergens as tiny as 1.2 microns, so spores and dust get whisked out of your environment.
If you're feeling out-of-sorts or just eager to wipe out household dirt, it might be time to let tech take over some of your housework.